Teacher reacts as DCPS admins fill roles in classrooms amid staffing shortage

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The highly contagious omicron variant is spreading and multiplying in DCPS schools, and as more teachers call out sick, the already short-staffed school district has had to come up with a solution.

Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene sent out a letter last week saying district administrators and specialists will be filling in for teachers in the classrooms.

“As long as they’re certified and they’re doing their absolute best. I can’t fault them on that; it’s short-term solution,” Terry Parker High School educator Elwood Thompson said.

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He commends the district for taking action, but says it’s a temporary fix to a long-term problem.

On Monday night in a DCPS board meeting, Greene said there are over a thousand vacancies in the district including teachers, para-professionals, and other support roles.

“If you talk about a silver lining, it’s not all of our schools. The not-so-silver lining is for many, it’s our struggling schools where the vast majority of those vacancies are located,” Greene said.

She said in a letter that this could go for at least the next two weeks, adding that she hopes COVID cases will decline next month.

Thompson feels more needs to be done, and he thinks it should start with mask requirements again.

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“This is not gonna just magically go away,” Thompson said.

Click here to read about the school board’s approval of continuing with rapid testing for teachers.

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