Sidney schools face staffing shortages


SIDNEY — Staffing shortages — both fulltime and substitute employees — have started hitting Sidney City Schools. And with the shortage of teachers, the decision has been made to have Sidney Middle School students attend school remotely Thursday and Friday.

According to an email sent to all parents, “Like many school districts in our area and across the country, we are experiencing critical staffing shortages due to illness and quarantine protocols. Unfortunately, there is also a shortage of substitute teachers. Because of this, we are asking families to prepare for the possibility of a building closure. Our goal is to give families advanced notice, but we may make the call the same morning of the closure. Our staff is doing everything we can to prevent a building closure. To help mitigate building closures, please keep your child home if they are ill.”

Superintendent Bob Humble said the district had 18 teachers out with illness Wednesday. A number of substitutes, he said, work in other districts and have other jobs so they never know how many substitutes will be available on a daily basis.

He added the administrators are going back to the classroom to help with the shortage of teachers.

“It (COVID) is playing a part but it’s mostly some respiratory thing that’s going around and lack of subs,” said Humble. “COVID is just making it worse.

“We are going to have in person classes as long as we can staff the building,” he said.

The email directs parents to the district’s website with further details about potential building closures and encourages parents to have a backup plan for childcare. The link is www.sidney.k12.oh.us.schools.bz/news/buildingclosure#sthash.6IS4BlN7.dpbs.

In addition to the staffing shortages, the district is also facing food shortages.

The email said, “additionally, supply chain issues are impacting our cafeterias and the availability of certain foods. Our Food Services department is doing the best they can to keep the menus as posted but menu items are subject to change daily due to this issue. It is anticipated that school districts may continue to face these supply chain issues through this school year.”

Guidelines for possible school closures provided on the website include:

School lunches during temporary building closures

Should your child’s school close temporarily, school lunches will still be available to students at the building which is closed.

• Students/families need to call 937-494-2001, ext. 1168 by 9am to request a lunch on a day their building is closed.

• Please share your child’s name and building.

• Lunch pick-up will take place from 11 a.m. to noon.

• Students are also welcome to eat lunch at their building between those hours.

Building specific information

Sidney High School

If SHS needs to temporarily close due to staffing issues, students and families should expect continued instruction through Schoology. Therefore, it is extremely important that students take their Chromebooks home each night.

Sidney Middle School

If SMS needs to temporarily close due to staffing issues, students and families should expect continued instruction through Schoology. Because devices have not been distributed to students in grades 5 and 6, remote learning because of a building closure will look different across the grades.

Grades 7 and 8 should expect continued instruction through Schoology with their devices. It is extremely important that students in grades 7 and 8 take their Chromebooks home each night.

Grades 5 and 6 will have access to Schoology lessons should they wish to complete the work electronically. However, until we are able to distribute devices to all 5th and 6th-grade students, teachers will make available materials/packets. If a child needs materials, they should communicate with their teacher(s) to get them. Our goal is to get devices ready for deployment as soon as possible.

Northwood Intermediate

If Northwood Intermediate needs to close due to staffing needs, students and families will have a packet of work sent home to complete. This work will also be available in Schoology should they wish to complete the work electronically. Because the paper packet will be sent home with students, devices will not be distributed.

Emerson Primary

If Emerson Primary needs to close due to staffing needs, students and families will have a packet of work sent home to complete. This work will also be available in Schoology should they wish to complete the work electronically. Because the paper packet will be sent home with students, devices will not be distributed.

Longfellow Primary

If Longfellow Primary needs to close due to staffing needs, students and families will have a packet of work sent home to complete. This work will also be available in Schoology should they wish to complete the work electronically. Because the paper packet will be sent home with students, devices will not be distributed.

Whittier Early Childhood Center

If Whittier ECC needs to temporarily close due to staffing issues, students and families should expect to have a paper packet of activities available and access to their teacher’s Bitmoji classroom.

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