SALT LAKE CITY — School districts in Salt Lake County dealt with a large number of teachers calling out sick Monday, forcing officials to come up with alternate plans to staff classrooms as the COVID case surge continues to plague the state.
Districts reported the following teacher call outs:
- CANYONS - About 200 teachers
- JORDAN - 365
- GRANITE - 260
Jeff Haney with the Canyons School District told FOX 13 that the district did not have enough substitutes to cover the absences, meaning some teachers doubled-up on students or office staff were brought into the classroom. Other district personal were called in on their days off to help handle the teacher shortage.
Because of the rise in cases and staff members available to work in schools, Haney said there is "great concern" over how the district can continue to sufficiently keep schools staffed.
Classes were not the only areas affected by the call outs. Several bus routes across the district were delayed due to drivers being sick.
Haney said transportation office workers with a commercial drivers license who don't normally have a route were assigned to get students into school, while drivers who had finished their routes were sent out on others. In all, eight routes were delayed up to an hour in the district.
Because of staff shortages in the district's nutritional services department, certain menu items were not available at school Monday.
Another substitute shortage occurred in the Jordan School District as 365 teachers called out. Because of only a 75% substitute fill rate, the district also used other staff members, including principals and assistant principals, to take over in the classroom.
The Granite School District faced similar challenges Monday, with approximately 260 teacher absences, which is a 2% spike in call outs among about 4,500 teachers.
Neither Jordan or Granite districts reported having bus route issues.