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Schools work to build substitute roster

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - While teachers prepare their classrooms, districts are making sure their sidelines are stacked with substitutes to fill in if needed.

“New teachers started yesterday, all of our other teachers started today and we are excited to get our school year up and running,” Botetourt County Schools Human Resources Director Julie Baker said.

Even during a normal school year, getting enough backup can be difficult.

“There are never enough substitutes, whether it is classroom instruction or whether it is for any other capacity, food service, custodial,” Bath County Public Schools Superintendent Sue Hirsh said.

Meanwhile in Botetourt County, there are 259 certificated substitutes ready to step up to the plate and fill in in the classroom.

“I feel confident with the numbers we have, although it is difficult to predict at this point what we are going to need in the upcoming year,” Baker said.

Administrators want to be prepared for any absences that could pop up during the pandemic.

“I anticipate that we may need substitutes for a day to three days. If someone is experiencing symptoms of illness, we may also need substitutes for a longer period of time, for example 10 to 14 days, if an individual was waiting for COVID testing or had to self quarantine,” Baker said.

School districts are accepting applications for substitutes and hope people find ways to help.

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