Vernon. Vernon substitute teachers got a raise to $125 per day, after the school board on Jan. 11 unanimously approved a recommendation from assistant superintendent Charles McKay.
The measure runs through June 30.
McKay said the district has been averaging about 23 substitutes per day, up from about 13 in previous years. He attributed the increase in the need for substitute teachers to the Covid-19 pandemic, and said it’s possible social distancing measures could stretch into the 2021-22 school year.
“There’s no way we can last two years dealing with the amount of absences we have,” McKay said. “If someone goes home and has a relative test positive, we lose them for 14 days. All those things are playing large right now.”
When the district is short on substitute teachers, it doesn’t have the option it does in normal years. While the auditorium has the capacity for 700 students, social distancing requirements allow it to be filled to only about 200 students. Even if a teacher is instructing on-campus students from home, there still needs to be someone in the classroom.
Students in the auditorium are usually working on their Chromebooks.
“You still have to have a certified teacher supervising,” Superintendent Karen D’Avino said. “The learning, in some cases, is still continuing, unless you have someone who is really ill and can’t deliver instruction.”