Raleigh County Schools adjust to shortage of substitute teachers

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Schools across the state have had to adjust to a multitude of factors this school year.

In Raleigh County, finding substitute teachers to fill in with staggered schedules has been a challenged throughout the semester.

Flexibility has been more necessary this year among school staffs. At Beckley-Stratton Middle School, employees from various departments have been called to fill in due to a shortage of available substitute teachers compared to years past.

“I was just ready to step in for whatever role I needed,” said Beckley Stratton Middle School ISS Teacher Felicia Law. “Whether it be, you know, stepping in when we didn’t have enough subs to cover classes. Helping students that may need extra help. I just knew that I wasn’t going to be fulfilling my role this year as I’ve done in years past.”

The county does have a system in place to try to offer schools some notice on their substitute situation.

“We know like a day ahead on what’s going to go on because the calls go out for the subs,” said Beckley-Stratton Middle School Principal Yahon Smith. “We get to assess that at night or in the morning if we’re going to have any subs in the building. It’s not like we’re totally off the wall or not knowing. We have a system that allows us to know how many positions we have open. We reassess that morning on what we need to do to provide instructions to our students.”

This past Tuesday, five teachers at Beckley-Stratton found out they had to quarantine before the day started. Situations such as this have made the staff ready to fill in on a moment’s notice.

“I think it’s just coming in every day expecting it not to be the same old same old,” Law said. “Don’t get surprised by, ‘hey, I need you to cover Science. I need you to do this today. I need you to do that.’ Just be prepared to do whatever you can to help out your team.”

Beckley-Stratton’s staff has maintained the flexibility necessary to make this year possible, ensuring that class goes without proper support.