Western Pa. school districts cope with teacher and staff shortages

Western Pa. school districts cope with teacher and staff shortages

When Thomas Shea had to quarantine in October, he never stopped teaching. From his home, he continued giving and recording lessons for his 10th-grade social studies students at Kiski Area High School. Shea said about two-thirds of his students are still learning from home, though the school district offers up to four days of in-person instruction. A co-teacher watched the students in his classroom, Shea said, but he still carried out his lessons from afar, with students following along on their Chromebooks. “It’s changed,” Shea said. “Covering classes isn’t new for teachers. It’s something we usually have to do here and there, a couple times a month. … But now, when it’s a teacher who is quarantined, they’re still managing the class.” Educators had predicted early in the pandemic that increased covid cases would amplify a shortage of teachers and substitutes. Months later, many districts have found hybrid and remote learning offers a bit more flexibility. Still, many educators also have found the shortage is more challenging to manage, as quarantines take teachers out of class and create inconsistency for …
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