In addition to some minor shortages for bus drivers, Canal Winchester Schools is addressing issues in the classrooms brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Jim Sotlar said faculty needs mostly have been in academic and behavioral intervention positions.
These new positions come as Sotlar said some students need additional support due to the challenges and stresses associated with the pandemic.
“The shortages are mostly more support with intervention and to help out in the buildings with a lot of things that are going on,” he said. “Kids are behind academically, and so we’re just trying to give all our kids the support that’s needed.
“Really they’re there to help our kids academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally too. It’s not just a shortage, but we’re just trying to respond to the needs we’re seeing in the buildings at this time too.”
According to Assistant Superintendent Kiya Hunt, the district finished interviews the week of Jan. 17 and filled the positions that week.
The positions included an academic intervention specialist at Winchester Trail and Indian Trail elementary schools, a behavioral intervention specialist at the middle school and an academic intervention specialist at the high school.
“It’s so we can support the students where they’re at,” Hunt said. “Our students came to us with some mental health concerns, behavior issues more so than they have in the past.”
With the positions leaning toward academic support, Hunt said math is a subject where students need additional assistance.
“That’s a subject matter where students are struggling, and we need to get them extra help,” Hunt said.
Sotlar said the positions are being funded through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which provide funds for elementary and secondary schools nationwide to assist schools with circumstances surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
These moves come as the district also is looking to fill bus driver positions.
As of Jan. 20, the district had 38 full-time drivers and two substitute drivers on its staff, compared to a normal school year where the district has 42 full-time drivers and two permanent substitute drivers.
This shortage has caused the district to make some minor adjustments to the school day. The high school, middle school and Winchester Trail have been starting at normal times but getting out an hour earlier, and students at Indian Trail have started an hour later but are being released from school at the normal time.
This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Canal Winchester Schools adds faculty to address issues caused by pandemic