Bismarck Schools working to provide substitute teachers during COVID-19 | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Bismarck Schools working to provide substitute teachers during COVID-19

Sep 14, 2020

Schools across North Dakota are experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers, partially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the substitutes are retired teachers.

But the Bismarck Public School District has come up with some ways to work around the shortages.

"We have looked at our student enrollment numbers in each of the schools," said BPS Human Resources Manager Stacy Geiger. "And we have offered to the schools that they could assign permanent subs for a few weeks."

Geiger said this has now be extended through Oct. 2nd.

"And if we have a school that is not utilizing all their substitutes one day, we will have another school call, and the original school is able to help them out," Geiger said.

Geiger says many of the substitutes have “interim substitute licenses."

"You have to have completed 48 college credits," Geiger said.

Geiger also said it used to be that a substitute could serve no longer than 10 days for the same teacher,.

"Gov. Burgum has now issued an executive order to lift that," Geiger said. "There is no longer a restriction, and that will help bring some of those individuals in."

Geiger said there are about 359 substitute teachers active between Bismarck and Mandan Public Schools. She said many are shared between both districts.