LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) — Several schools in the Olentangy School District were forced to close Monday after a substitute teacher shortage.
This is just a few days after teachers were vaccinated with the second COVID-19 dose. The big question is what will school look like for the rest of the week.
The Olentangy School District said it is planning a regular week starting Tuesday.
According to a Facebook post by the district, the following schools were closed Monday:
- Berlin High School
- Freedom Trail Elementary School
- Indian Springs Elementary School
- Johnnycake Corners Elementary School
- Liberty Middle School
- Liberty Tree Elementary School
- Oak Creek Elementary School
- Olentangy Meadows Elementary School
- Orange High School
Parents said they expected a closure to happen at some point.
One middle school, two high schools, and six elementary schools were closed Monday due to the substitute shortage.
“I think it would have been very hard for them to determine ahead of time,” said parent Christine Norfolk, whose children are in the cohort for the second half of the week for in-person learning.
“This time around, knowing that the second round of vaccinations was going to take a little bit longer to recover, they decided to do the shot clinic on Saturday, which enabled teachers to have time to recover if they needed to, but it just seems they needed a little more time,” said Paul Stokell, another Olentangy parent.
Olentangy schools said the vaccination clinic was held Saturday to allow for some recovery time. It contracts out substitutes, putting in a request for more teachers Monday, but there wre not enough to cover all of the district’s buildings.
“It’s hard to find subs even in a good year, so I think they’ve done the best that they can, trying to get word out, saying, ‘Hey, we need subs,’ and whatnot, but there’s only so much they can do,” Norfolk said.
The district says virtual learners weren’t affected by this and only one portion (32%) of Cohort A were impacted. The other cohort, cohort B, was not impacted at all.
This time next week, there will be a full in-person return for everyone.
“Very glad to be getting back full-time,” Norfolk said. “My daughter didn’t really have many friends in group, there were only like three of them that hung out together, so getting to see everybody again will be nice.”