POWAY, California – School districts across the United States are reporting staff shortages due to a labor shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Poway, the third largest district in San Diego County is urging parents to step up to meet the demand.
In an email to families across the district on Wednesday, the Poway Unified School District said the shortage had left many vacancies “which directly affects the experience of our students, staff and families. “.
The result put students on waiting lists for buses, created long lunch lines that sometimes prevent students from eating before returning to class and forced principals, vice principals and counselors to take on instructor roles due to a shortage of substitute teachers, district spokeswoman Christine Paik said.
“School districts are like mini-cities,” Paik said. “We need drivers, we need crossing guards, we need food and nutrition workers in the cafeteria.”
Paik said shortages arose as staff members left the district during the pandemic, either retiring or quitting their roles in favor of another industry.
As of this week, the district worksite shows openings for a number of positions, including bus drivers, food and nutrition technicians, gardeners, office assistants, and program assistants, among others. Most of the positions available offer a flexible or part-time schedule. Some do not require prior school experience, the district email says.
In addition, occasional teachers are needed with roles paying $ 180 per day or $ 200 per day for long-term assignments. Replacement requests can be submitted on the district website.
“For the first time, Poway Unified has students on waiting lists to get on a bus to and from school,” Paik said. “It leaves families – working families – scrambling to figure out how I’m going to get my child to and from school. “
The district’s email was sent to some 40,000 families asking for help filling these critical positions. Since her release, Paik said the district has received 73 applications, compared to an average of 10-20 each day.
“If we don’t have people coming, I’m not sure I don’t know that we can support this type of operation,” she said.
José Baltodano has a sister in the neighborhood. He said his family are considering applying to show support.
“Everyone has their own kind of game with schools,” Baltodano said. “We all have to play a role.
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