ENC school scrambles for staffing help

ENC school scrambles for staffing help
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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BATH, N.C. (WITN) - Schools across North Carolina are in desperate need of extra staff as thousands of teachers call out of work due to the omicron surge.

In an effort to help schools that are stretched thin, a new state policy will allow state employees to volunteer in schools.

State employees can volunteer as substitute teachers, cafeteria workers, and even bus drivers, but according to Gov. Cooper, the policy will only be in effect for a limited time.

Some schools like Bath Elementary School in the Beaufort County School District, have it so bad that they needed to take a teacher workday Friday to give their educators a much-needed break.

“It’s really giving teachers the chance to refresh and recharge because the first two weeks coming back, we’ve had a considerable among of students and staff out,” Charles Clark, Bath Elementary School principal says.

It’s a situation Clark says he’s never seen before, even during the delta variant’s surge in the fall semester.

“Having to prepare for students being out, it’s almost gone back to what happened last year where they’re having to provide online instruction and face-to-face instruction. It’s become much of a chore for them.”

Charles Clark, Bath Elementary School principal

To alleviate some of the stress on educators, the governor approved the new aforementioned policy. It is in effect until Feb. 15th, but Cooper says it could be extended.

Bath Elementary, more than anything, needs bus drivers.

“I had to park a bus earlier this week and take those students and split them up between two other buses just to have enough drivers to roll,” Clark said.

State employees who are interested in volunteering can stop by any Beaufort County school and pick up a volunteer form in the front office.

Beaufort County Schools will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tuesday for yet another teacher work day.

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