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Need for substitute teachers remains fallout from COVID

We knew it was coming, but some Ohio school districts still find themselves scrambling as another surge in the COVID-19 pandemic leaves them short of staff … and substitutes.

Last week in the Lakota Schools District near Cincinnati, 60 of 1,400 staff members were out on one day.

“We are hiring substitute teachers, cafeteria, intervention aides. We have kids that are in college now that we can bring in as subs that are helping us out while they’re on winter break,” Matt Miller, superintendent of Lakota Schools, told another media outlet.

There and in other districts the requirements for those willing to serve as substitute teachers are changing. For instance, Salem is among local schools in our area adapting, widening its sub net via modified education requirements.

“A lot of people don’t know the rules have changed in Ohio, and you don’t need a teaching license. You have a temporary license right now to do that,” said Tracey Carson, spokesperson for Mason City Schools in Warren County, according to WLWT. “In Mason, we’d love to encourage, if someone has just graduated from college, doesn’t have a job yet, come sub for us, make $125 a day and get to be with students.”

Getting creative — and finding those willing to do the job rather than those who are simply qualified on paper — is important for school districts. And, who knows? It may show districts that thinking outside the box can sometimes be better for students.

Meanwhile, those who believe they can help schools should look into the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, driver or other staff member for their local districts. Many of them need all the help they can get.

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