Nebraska schools work through staffing shortages

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Wahoo Elementary is just the latest school forced to close because of staffing shortages. The school is shutting down for the rest of the week.

“Just in our admin team meeting this morning when we talked—it was going to be impossible to staff the building and we moved forward from there.”

Superintendent Brandon Lavaley says his staff is calling out with a range of illnesses and he’s having trouble finding people to step in and teach classes.

“It’s certainly a challenge. It’s a daily effort on the administration’s behalf and on our regular staff’s behalf to put together a sufficient staff to provide the education the kids need,” said Lavaley.

It’s not just this district.

Beatrice is closing all district schools on Thursday and Friday so everyone has a few days to get healthy.

Lincoln and Millard schools—are also getting creative changing their schedules to accommodate sick staff.

Leaders with the Nebraska State Education Association say staff across the state of Nebraska are trying their best to keep up with the shortage of teachers and subs—some even stepping in to cover classes they typically don’t teach.

“It’s hard to keep up with just physically. If you are a kindergarten teacher and you have to cover computer class or music class or P.E. for your own students during your own plan time,” said Jenni Benson, NSEA President.

Leaders with NSEA say a day or two set aside for teachers will help teachers and students as they navigate this shortage.

“To have that day—I think will give our educators the time to get that planning done and to look at the things they need to do.”

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