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Staffing shortages playing major role in school districts moving to remote learning

Many school districts in Lucas County have announced a move to virtual learning for the next few weeks. Leaders say staffing is one of the top reasons for changes.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Nearly all of the school districts in Lucas County have announced a move to virtual learning for the next few weeks.

Some of you may be wondering why, after we've been told school spread is not an issue. 

School officials say while that may be true, quarantined or isolated staff is one of the top problems.

"It's not spreading at school, but we are having to quarantine a lot at school, and that's causing a staffing problem," said Washington Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Kadee Anstadt.

Lucas County continues to have increases of coronavirus cases in the community and school leaders say there's not one specific reason to move virtual, but staffing has come to the forefront.

"We are short of substitute teachers, short of substitute para-professionals, short of substitute bus drivers," Sylvania School's Superintendent Dr. Veronica Motley said.

Anthony Wayne Local Schools in the same situation. Superintendent Jim Fritz sent a letter to families this week.

"With the increased number of staff being placed into quarantine or isolation, the District has had unfilled teacher and bus driver positions that haven't been able to be filled by substitute employees over the last two weeks," he wrote.

"From a year ago, we had about the same number of teachers out last year as we did this week. The difference is they're out for a day last year," Dr. Kadee Anstadt said.

One day last year has turned into at least 10 to 14 days this year that a staff member will be out.

They say it's a difficult task to find someone to cover for that long and maintain quality instruction.