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School districts prepare for lack of substitutes

Schools are in need of substitutes in case teachers call out sick with coronavirus
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 4:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Schools are looking to hire more substitute teachers in preparation for full-time teachers calling out sick with COVID-19.

Ingham County School District Superintendent Jason Mellema said his district has about 80 percent of substitutes returning for this upcoming school year, but he said he is looking to recruit more.

”I think we will absolutely have some subs train in virtual instruction, I just don’t know how many and I don’t know how we’re going to do that because we’re still learning with our own staff,” Mellema said.

Mellema said about a fifth of the district’s substitutes said they will not return.

As schools review Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent road map plan for reopening, Mellema said there will most likely be a new plan for substitutes.

“I expect districts will try to utilize building specific subs, or district specific subs, to help minimize some of the outside exposure,” Mellema said. “I think that would be a very viable strategy.”

The substitutes are required to report to their designated school Monday through Friday and they will be put on an assignment each day.

This will cut down on the amount of exposure getting into the schools.

“You got all these different grades you could work within but it’s still only one person coming in as opposed to multiple subs,” Mellema said.

According to Mellema, families should anticipate receiving more details about this upcoming school year by the end of July.

He said he meets with surrounding districts weekly and they are looking to finalize details for what the school year will look like.

Mellema encouraged people to apply to be a substitute teacher. The application for the Ingham County School District is below.

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