COVID-19 pandemic causes staff shortage in Kansas City-area schools

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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a staff shortage in Kansas City-area schools. Kansas City-area school districts say they are doing what they can to keep the doors open, despite staff shortages. COVID-19 has significantly affected the labor market across the United States. Metro school districts say this year is even more difficult than last year. It’s nap time at the Guadalupe Center Early Years Education Center in Penn Valley. It’s the quietest these 20 kids in the giraffe room will be all day. The Giraffe Room is one of four classrooms with teachers. There are two other classes, but they are empty, because there is no one to occupy them. “My vice president of early childhood education just asked us for overtime approval,” said Shirley Folch, director of human resources for the Guadalupe Center. “So my family advocates can stay longer and do what they’re supposed to do because they cover the classrooms.” In addition, there are 80 other children waiting to attend the center, but they cannot because there is no one to teach them. Across the border in the Upper District of Kansas, there are signs outside every building in the Blue Valley District. All are touting the hourly wages the district will pay for para-educators, gardeners, dining room staff and substitute teachers. Click here to apply to the Blue Valley School District. “This very morning our assistant superintendent was in an elementary building replacing, I believe, a second grade classroom,” said Eric Punswick, district director of human resources. “Last year I was replaced in a kindergarten class. As a certified person in high school, it was a learning experience. That’s exactly what you do when you have a pandemic and you have a tight job market like this. ” At least the Blue Valley School District has that workforce at the moment. He hopes that the salary increase will bring more support staff. But it is also asking parents to volunteer in canteens one day a week, as there are not enough staff to ensure that elementary school children can get and eat their food within the allotted time. Last year, Blue Valley opted to use emergency replacements for classroom staff, meaning anyone with 60 hours of college credit can step in. Before, you needed a degree in education. On Friday, the person filling all the replacement vacancies in the district was still calling for help at 10 a.m. Click here to apply to GCI. Its guardian staff gets overtime to keep up with the efforts in other buildings. But for Folch, after 18 months of dealing with staffing issues, it seems almost personal. “I am so frustrated and I feel like my hands are tied,” she said. “Because I feel like I’ve done all I can but we can’t find any candidates.” She said every vacancy sets off a chain reaction. Much like stealing Peter to pay Paul in a classroom, she said it was like asking one person to leave their work unfinished and do someone else’s. At some point, all the work has to be done.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a staff shortage in Kansas City-area schools.

Kansas City-area school districts say they are doing what they can to keep the doors open, despite staff shortages.

COVID-19 has significantly affected the labor market in the United States. Metro school districts say this year is even more difficult than last year.

It’s nap time at the Guadalupe Center Early Years Education Center in Penn Valley. It’s the quietest these 20 kids in the giraffe room will be all day.

The Giraffe Room is one of four classrooms with teachers. There are two other classes, but they are empty, because there is no one to occupy them.

“My vice president of children’s education just asked us for overtime approval,” said Shirley Folch, director of human resources for the Guadalupe Center. “So my family advocates can stay longer and do what they’re supposed to do because they’re covering the classrooms.”

In addition, there are 80 other children waiting to attend the center, but they cannot because there is no one to teach them.

Across the border in the Upper District of Kansas, there are signs outside every building in the Blue Valley District. All are touting the hourly wages the district will pay for para-educators, gardeners, dining room staff and substitute teachers. Click here to apply to the Blue Valley School District.

“This very morning our assistant superintendent was in an elementary building replacing, I believe, a second grade classroom,” said Eric Punswick, district director of human resources. “Last year I was replaced in a kindergarten class. As a certified person in high school, it was a learning experience. That’s exactly what you do when you have a pandemic and the labor market is tight like this. “

At least the Blue Valley School District has that workforce right now. He hopes that the salary increase will bring more support staff. But it is also asking parents to volunteer in canteens one day a week, as there are not enough staff to ensure that elementary school children can get and eat their food within the allotted time. Last year, Blue Valley opted to use emergency replacements for classroom staff, meaning anyone with 60 hours of college credit can step in. Before, you needed a degree in education.

On Friday, the person who fills all the vacant replacement positions in the neighborhood was still calling for help at 10 a.m.

As for the centers in Guadalupe, they are struggling not only to fill vacant teaching posts, but also administrative, childcare and catering services. Click here to apply to GCI. Its guardian staff gets overtime to keep up with the efforts in other buildings. But for Folch, after 18 months of dealing with staffing issues, it seems almost personal.

“I am so frustrated and I feel like my hands are tied,” she said. “Because I feel like I’ve done everything I can but we can’t find any candidates.”

She said that every vacant position sets off a chain reaction. Much like stealing Peter to pay Paul in a classroom, she said it was like asking one person to leave their work unfinished and do someone else’s. At some point, all the work has to be done.


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