Catholic school board tells parents to prepare in case of a sudden temporary closure
BARRIE -- As case numbers continue to rise across the province, the Catholic board in Simcoe Muskoka is desperately running out of staff.
"We're having staff that are required to quarantine, we're having staff that have to go for tests, and they can't return to the classroom until their test results come back," says Pauline Stevenson, Communication Manager with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.
The board says it's had to deal with a lack of available supply teachers to fill in for those waiting to return with hundreds off last week alone.
"These are the staff that are supporting our student's EAs, teachers and ECEs. We had close to probably 800 or 900 over the course of that week that were off at various times," says Stevenson.
Sunday night, the board issued a release to its parents, telling them to be prepared for possible temporary school closures which adds they've used non-educators to help fill in, and even brought in students currently in teacher's college.
"There really is not enough of supply educators on our list to cover off the number of absences that we have," she says.
So far, there have been no issues with the Simcoe County District School Board, which says, "to date, we have been able to cover staff absenteeism. We are not experiencing any immediate pressures; however, we continue to monitor and plan accordingly in order to keep our schools open."
For now, the schools will remain open, but the Catholic board is warning parents that if they do have to close a school temporarily, it could be short notice, so parents should be prepared just in case.