Lack of substitute teachers in Fort Smith Schools; vaccine plans for those subbing

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Schools are still struggling to get enough substitutes for when teachers are out on quarantine.

Fort Smith School District started vaccinating teachers last week and Christina Williams with the district said this does include substitute teachers, however, there is still a greater need than ever to occupy those fill-in roles.

She said generally the district is able to cover 80-85% if absences requiring substitutes, but, on January 15th and 19th, the district had to pivot to remote learning because not enough substitutes could fill in for teachers who were out on quarantine.

“It’s always been a challenge under normal circumstances but the pandemic complicates matters like that pretty significantly,” Williams said. “We did have substitutes sign up and participate in that vaccination opportunity, so we’re just hopeful that we’ll be able to stand more of those up so our staff and substitutes and hourly contract workers can get vaccinated and on that path.”

Williams also said over the summer the district increased pay for substitute teachers to $95 per day and she encourages you, if you are interested, to reach out to the district. Once you are approved to sub you can also get in line for the vaccine.

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