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Oakridge Schools back to virtual learning due to substitute shortage

Because of a lack of available substitute teachers in the Muskegon area, Oakridge Schools has been forced to move class online for the first half of this week
Posted at 3:50 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 12:45:46-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Because of a lack of available substitute teachers in the area, Oakridge Public Schools has been forced to move several of their schoold days back to a virtual format.

During the week of November 2, Oakridge High School held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's classes online. Administrators had made the decision to revert back after realizing that weekend that they would not have enough staff members in the building to hold in-person classes.

Superintendent Tom Livezey said in a letter to parents that "the number of Oakridge High School employees in isolation or quarantine," forced them to make the call.

“There's already an educator shortage environment, even before the pandemic hit,” Livezey told FOX 17 Monday afternoon.

"When you find out that you don't have enough school staff to operate in-building, you've got to prepare the community and staff to go to remote learning on relatively short notice.”

Again this week the high school will hold classes virtually on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday the students will return to an "in-person hybrid learning" approach.

“In the middle of the pandemic, you have to have multiple plans going at any one time. So being prepared for the unexpected is the name of the game right now,” Livezey said.

The days learning remotely over the internet will see students sit in on three separate 30 minute live teaching sessions, with breaks and open teacher office hours worked in throughout.

While 2020 has lobbed all sorts of challenges at our educators, Superintendent Livezey bbelieves that school districts will come out stronger on the other side.

"In the end, all public schools, I believe we're going to take away the positive and apply that in the future.”

Anyone in the state of Michigan with an associates degree or 60 credit hours is eligible to apply to become a substitute teacher.

Oakridge Public Schools, and other districts throughout West Michigan, utilize EduStaff to find subs. You can be added to their pool of available teachers by applying at their website.

Superintendent Livezey suggests reaching out to districts near you once you have applied and been accepted into EduStaff.