SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local school districts are dealing with staffing shortages as COVID-19 cases rise and they are searching for more substitutes to help fill those gaps.

The shortages are impacting small and large districts in the region. Greenland School District Superintendent, Dr. Andrea Martin, said there’s always been a need for subs but the pandemic has made that need even greater.

“With COVID and then the additional increasing cases we just can’t seem to fill those and so we have many buildings with low fill rates,” Martin said.

Martin said substitutes are critical for keeping kids in the classroom.

“The teacher can’t be replaced in the classroom, but we look for good substitutes,” Martin said.

The state’s largest school district is also in need of more subs. Mary Jordan, public relations specialist for Springdale Public Schools, said she can’t quantify how many substitutes the district needs because it changes on a daily basis.

Jordan said the biggest need is ensuring learning inside classrooms, which substitutes help do.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that students are receiving the same high quality education that we choose and want to deliver here,” Jordan said.

Martin and Jordan said its district’s teachers make sure to equip substitutes with all the materials they need to ensure instruction.

“They’re arming substitute teachers with the information they need when they pick up their classes,” Jordan said.

You can learn about Springdale substitute opportunities here. You can learn about Greenland substitute opportunities here.