Gaithersburg, MD

MCPS daily staff shortages affecting teaching and learning

Heather Jauquet

Numbers reported for Monday, January 10, 2021

Across the county, individual schools are struggling to keep up with the number of staff members who have to call out. Open and available substitute jobs are not being picked up for in-person instruction. Too many substitutes are concerned about becoming sick. Central Office Personnel is receiving requests from principals to cover the open classes, lunch and recess duty, and front office. At last count, there are 59 schools requesting support and coverage from Central Office.

The information regarding staff absences and coverage has been provided anonymously. Important to note is that class coverage does not necessarily mean that curriculum is taught. It means that an adult is in a room supervising the students.

Bayard Rustin Elementary School—Absences: All four 1st graders teachers

Bethesda Chevy Chase: Absences—10 staff members without substitutes including staff and administration. It is taking 29 staff members to cover those classes with additional support from one person from Central Office who covered five classes. Six bus routes are not running.

Blair High School—Absences 19 staff. 2 Substitutes

Captain James E. Daly Elementary School: Absences—12 staff. 1 substitute. Special education, art, music, PE, focus teachers, and counselors are covering lunch as well as classes. Dinner bag distribution was canceled due to staff shortages.

Albert Einstein High School: Absences—Approximately 27 teachers

Fields Road Elementary School—Absences: 14 staff members

Gaithersburg Elementary School: Absences: 19 staff. Four substitutes

Greencastle Elementary School: Absences: 6 teachers and 6 support staff. 1 teacher substitute and 1 substitute for a paraeducator

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School—Absences: 20 teachers and support staff. 1

substitute. There are 3 teacher vacancies.

Lakeland Parks Middle School—Absences: 32 Staff members. 8 substitutes, which may have included central office staff. 1 bus route not running

Joann Leleck Elementary School—Absences: 19 staff members and 1 secretary. No substitute teachers except for two long-term substitutes. Two Central office personnel supported the school, teaching kindergarten and teaching first grade.

A. Mario Loiderman Middle School—Absences: 14 teachers, 2 secretaries. 1 substitute. Loiderman MS has block scheduling which means that 27 84-minute block need coverage. Additionally, 9 homeroom classes all needed coverage.

Colonel Zadok Magruder High School—Absences: 17 teachers, 4 paraeducators, 9 support staff. 5 substitutes

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Middle School—Absences: 9 teachers. 2 substitutes. Most paraeducators are pulled to cover classes, and all teachers must cover their own indoor recess because remaining paraeducators are monitoring the lunchroom. One class was split at the end fo the day for dismissal.

Mill Creek Town Elementary School—Absences 13 teachers/staff, including the cafeteria manager.

Montgomery Village Middle School—Absences: 14 teachers in addition to supporting staff. Zero substitutes. The administration is all hands on deck to help with coverage.

Northwood High School—Absences: 15 teachers/staff. Everyone who is out is covered by others, including combining classes and filling classrooms.

Olney Elementary School—Not enough coverage for indoor recess and students played outside in sub-freezing weather

Paint Branch High School—Absences 27 staff. 9 Substitute teachers were present. 18 jobs covered by staff= 90 classes covered. In addition to staff absences, 47 students and 12 staff members were notified on Monday morning that their Wednesday’s PCR test was positive. This means that staff and students arrived before being sent home. The results were reported to the school at 8:55 Sunday night and then the administration had to contact the teachers and students to send them home. Also, 30% of the LFI program, including teachers and students, tested positive and the program will be taught virtually for a week.

Rockville High School—Absences: 18 teachers/staff 3 substitutes

Sherwood High School—Absences: Approximately 16 staff absent. 10 teachers, 1 paraeducator, 2 counselors, 1 administrator. 6 teacher substitutes, no paraeducator substitute. 4 bus routes not running.

Silver Spring International Middle School—Absences: 13 teachers/staff. 0 substitutes.

Westover Elementary School—Absences: 2 teachers, 5 paraeducators, 2 building service personnel. Zero substitutes.

An elementary school located in Gaithersburg has 5 classes sent home and quarantined due to an outbreak. The 5 classes have transitioned to virtual learning

Teachers are saying, “We are not okay!”

This article is a multi-part series on how MCPS is handling the pandemic in its school system.

Heather Jauquet has a Masters degree as a Reading Specialist from Johns Hopkins University. She holds a highly qualified certification to teach grades 1-8 and specialized reading instruction for grades K-12.

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.


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