BAY COUNTY Fla (WMBB) — Since Hurricane Michael, Bay District has dealt with a shortage of substitute teachers and COVID has only made the problem worse.
Right now the district says they can only fill about 75 to 85 percent of the needed substitutes each day.
On a typical day, Bay District Schools needs around 100 substitute teachers.
Mosley High School usually needs around five of those, and it is Sheila Cook’s job to secure them.
“Sometimes it’s last minute when someone wakes up sick that’s when we get frantic a little bit trying to find a sub,” Cook said. “but we never fail to get every class covered.”
Cook said this year has been more difficult but she does everything she can.
“whatever we have to do to get a class covered but we usually have good luck in getting them,” cook said.
Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said that since the beginning of the school year around 13 hundred students have switched from Bay Link back to in person schooling, and he is hoping this trend will continue among substitute teachers.
“So there is a large percentage of our population that has not returned to work yet and some of those are going to be substitute teachers,” Husfelt said. “And the fear there is that i don’t want to go into school and get the virus from the students.”
Husfelt said the district is willing to return the favor for those who help schools in need.
“We now pay bonuses to our substitutes,” Husfelt said. “We also pay teachers a stipend if they have to take over for a class because the teacher is not there.”
For more information on how to apply to be a substitute teacher you can go to the Bay District Schools website.