North Country schools struggle to find substitute teachers, superintendent says


General Brown High School (WWTI/ Delaney Keppner)

DEXTER, N.Y. (WWTI) – Local schools are facing difficulties filling positions throughout their districts.

In a letter to the community, General Brown Central School District Superintendent Barbara Case addressed a recent closure following staff shortages in the District. Specifically on October 22, General Brown switched to remote instruction after numerous staff absences were confirmed the day prior and the District could not fill the positions in time for school to function.

According to Case, General Brown is struggling to fill substitute teacher, aides and bus driver positions when regularly scheduled staff puts in for sick days or vacation time.

Case added that the District still has many unfilled bus-driver positions although it has been recruiting since summer. She said this is due to the ongoing labor shortage.

“The labor shortage is real, and we are facing the challenges associated with it,” Case stated in her letter to families. “We are doing everything in our power to keep school open, including condensing bus routes and asking teachers to cover additional classes beyond their own teaching responsibilities.”

However, in further addressing the labor shortages, and instances like the District’s recent closure, the Superintendent added that students and families must be prepared for unanticipated closings.

“Unfortunately, I must reiterate again, the reality is that you should be prepared for such transitions, just as you would prepare for unanticipated snow days,” Case expressed. “We will try to give as much advanced notice as possible, but that may be mornings before the bus runs are scheduled to start.”

Following the closure on October 22, the General Brown Central School District returned to in-person instruction for all students on Monday, October 25.

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