Moffat schools asking for help amid staff shortages
Staff shortages at Moffat County School District have led to a scenario where the district is concerned about potential school closures, according to a letter sent to MCSD parents. These shortages are affecting day-to-day operations at each of the district’s schools.
“When we add the impact of isolations and quarantines due to COVID, we are at risk of school closure due to the lack of staff to appropriately teach, supervise, feed, or transport our students,” the letter read. “Our transportation department has had to consolidate routes and use administrators and maintenance personnel to cover routes on a daily basis.”
Last week, director of facilities and maintenance Jarrod Ogden told the Craig Press that in addition to fewer routes and using administrators to drive buses, the district has raised pay for drivers significantly since 2018. With more students coming into the district, it’s stretching already tight resources even thinner. Currently, the district has about 70 to 75% of its usual fleet, Ogden said.
“Our drivers are doing all they can do,” Ogden said. “We’re on the cusp on a few routes where we have to consider expanding those back out (because of an influx of new students). I have a couple of maintenance crew that help out when they can. I myself drive when I need to. Portions of the administrations have stepped up on smaller routes.”
In addition to bus driving, Monday’s letter to parents also detailed ways in which current staff members — paraprofessionals, maintenance staff, teachers, instructional coaches and administrators — have had to step up in order to cover necessities in each of the schools.
According to the letter, administrators and paraprofessionals are also stepping into cafeteria roles to make sure lunches are served to students. The letter also says that MCSD administrators have been “very close” to cancelling school at a number of MCSD schools this year due to not having enough staff and substitutes for running a school. If that were to happen, parents would be notified the night before a closure.
“Currently, staff has been asked to fill in and support additional duties well beyond their job description in order to maintain and sustain schooling as we know it,” the letter continued. “We are experiencing growing levels of burnout across all levels of the district, from bus drivers to paraprofessionals to teachers to administrators. We are at risk of being even further short-handed as a result.”
As a result, MCSD is asking everyone interested in working in the district to apply. Currently, the letter asks those interested to sign up as a substitute or apply for a full/part-time position available. All positions are paid. To learn more, go to moffatsd.org, call 970-826-6261 or stop into the district offices at 600 Texas Avenue.
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