A Macomb County college is so understaffed that students will have to learn online this week.
Eastpointe Middle School faced a wave of resignations last week, according to a letter principal Stephanie Fleming sent to families on Thursday. Due to the shortage, students will learn from home this week, Fleming wrote, to help the remaining staff cover lessons.
Fleming wrote that the district planned to resume school in person on September 27. She did not specify how many jobs were to be filled by then. Posting Jobs Online six certified teaching posts.
District spokesperson Caitlyn Kienitz said 22% of teaching positions in the district are vacant. The reasons are various: some teachers have found opportunities in other districts, some have left the field altogether.
“We don’t want to have our students in front of an uncertified teacher,” she said. “By doing this virtually, we can ensure that they are taking lessons with an instructor, not just sitting in front of a substitute.”
Kienitz said COVID, along with an existing teacher shortage, created the “perfect storm” to bring about the shutdown.
The college was also closed on Thursday. A Facebook post in the district attributed the closure to a construction issue.
School closures can be extremely difficult for working parents and guardians, who may struggle to find and pay for child care at the last minute.
Fleming’s letter offered no child care options for parents who may be struggling, and an Eastpointe Middle School official who answered the phone on Monday did not say whether the district had raised the issue. no resources for these parents.
School staff shortages in Michigan have shaken district operations across the state in several ways. Several neighborhoods have suspended transport services due to a shortage of bus drivers.
Help who work with disabled students are rare, leaving some of the most vulnerable children with an education that parents deem insufficient.
Just over 149,000 people in Michigan hold a valid teaching certificate, according to Michigan Department of Education data. But nearly 65,000 do not work as teachers. During the 2019-2020 school year, 7,412 teaching positions were filled by a temporary worker or by someone who did not have the appropriate qualifications for the position.