Waterloo Superintendent of Schools Brian Charron notified parents Saturday morning that students in sixth-12th grade may soon return to remote learning because the district has so many teachers quarantined after contracting or being exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“As we remain committed to providing in-person learning to our students, it is becoming increasingly difficult to staff our buildings with the number of employees necessary to sustain an in-person option at all grade levels,” Charron wrote in an email to parents. “We have several employees that are unable to be present due to being on quarantine, etc. We are faced with the difficult dilemma of having to prioritize in-person learning opportunities for students that need it the most and what will cause the least burden on our students and families.”
Charron said the return to remote learning could happen “with little notice” and told parents to prepare accordingly. He said the transition could occur as soon as Monday.
He also pledged the district will work to make the time those grades spend back doing only remote learning as short as possible based on when a sufficient number of district employees return from quarantine.
The problem, however, is a lack of substitute teachers.
“We will continue working to secure substitute teachers for known absences for next week, but we are quickly running out of options and will be unable to sustain the loss of any further employees,” Charron said, noting interested parties can visit the Regional Office of Education’s website to find out more about becoming a substitute teacher.
Charron also pointed out that none of the quarantined individuals have contracted COVID-19, which he credited to widespread social distancing and mask wearing in the district.