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Flathead schools struggle with substitute teacher shortages during COVID-19 pandemic

School Lockers Flathead
Posted at 10:50 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 12:38:52-04

KALISPELL — Some Flathead Valley schools have told MTN News that they are struggling with staffing substitute teachers.

Looking to this upcoming school year, Somers Lakeside School District Superintendent Joe Price explained that the problem only got worse when the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year.

"Last spring I had at least two or three subs contact me who said they wanted to be taken off the list because of their concerns with the virus," said Price "And I expect that will be the case in the fall too."

Kalispell Schools Superintendent Micah Hill told MTN News that the Kalispell school district has also struggled with substitute teachers as the area's population continues to grow.

With around 6,000 students in the district, substitute teachers are imperative during this uncertain time with Hill noting that not having a full staff can create a ripple effect and impact other areas in the district.

"It puts an incredible strain on the district," said Hill "So, in a day where we're maybe short a teacher in a particular class we may need to reassign a para to that position to cover which means that para isn't doing a responsibility that they would normally be doing. So, it's definitely a domino effect to the entire district."

Hill added that the Kalispell School District has job postings open for various positions in their district to fill those shortages.