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WF implementing ‘tiered approach’ to help combat sub shortage

Substitute teacher shortages.
Substitute teacher shortages.(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A substitute teacher shortage is impacting several classrooms across the U.S. and has prompted one local school district to come up with a plan to try and combat it all while trying to keep students’ learning as normal as possible.

“It is not our ideal circumstance,” West Fargo Public Schools Human Resource Director Brittnee Nikle said.

West Fargo Public Schools has since created a four-tier system that goes from green to red which indicates how low on staff and subs the district and each school is every day, as well as how and where available staff may be placed to help out.

“We’ve had our assistant superintendent out in the buildings, we’ve had our business manager. You know, if you have a sub license, you can sub!”

Nikle says no day is the same with each school varying in tier color.

“We look at that report every single day. We’ve developed this to really make sure that we can take that more data-driven approach and then respond to it,” she said.

Nikle says while it has happened before, WFPS tries not to split students into other classrooms when their teacher’s spot is unable to be filled.

“If I’m a classroom teacher and I’m prepared for a lesson with 19 students and I have materials for 19 students and all of a sudden I have four or six more kids that come in, I don’t have my materials ready for that student,” she said.

West Fargo Schools says about ninety percent of the district’s absences come due to personal reasons and not COVID-19, as much of their teachers and paras are young and starting young families.

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