MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – “Substitute teachers wanted.” That’s the message from some districts around the state as quarantines impact staffing levels.

One of those districts is St. Michael-Albertville. Their superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault put a plea on Facebook hoping to find enough subs to keep her students in class.

“I don’t want the reason we have to change our learning model to be dictated by our staffing levels,” Foucault said.

As the lowest funded district is the state, she says dollars are tight. In anticipation of fluctuation of staffing levels due to COVID-19, they hired 20 long-term subs. It wasn’t enough. Thursday, 45 teachers were out, with 18 unfilled absences.

“We had all hands on decks. So we had principals subbing,” Foucault said.

She says students learn best while in the classroom and that’s where she wants them to stay. But they need help and are asking for substitute teachers to step in or for people with a four-year degree to apply for a short call license to become a sub.

“There’s just not a lot of teachers out there that want to do it. They might be quarantined themselves, they might have fear or anxiety about the learning models and so this is why we’re really begging our community and our parents to step up and to partner with us so we can keep our kids in school,” Foufault said.

The district is trying to become more competitive, so they’re recommended a pay increase for substitutes to the school board from $115 per day to $150. The board will vote on Monday.

Call 763-497-6532 for information about applying to help the St. Michael School District. The district is looking long-term. It takes about 30 days for the short call license application to go through.

Click here to apply for a substitute license. Here’s more information about what’s required.

Jennifer Mayerle

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