Devine I.S.D. Superintendent Dr. Todd Grandjean took a little time to answer a few questions about some of the affects COVID-19 has had on our school system staffing and absences since coming back from the holidays in January.
There are plenty of jobs if anyone is interested in helping solve the staffing shortages at any school district in the area or statewide! School staff shift around and meet the challenges every day to cover shifts, as that is what teams do and are to be commended. But it definitely wears everyone down.
Here are a few examples of needs:
Q&A with Supt. Grandjean
Testing… Is the school doing Covid testing again, not sure if supplies have been acquired or if that is still on hold?
This is still on hold due to backorder of tests. We expect them any day – our program will start as soon as we get tests
Buses are parked at the MS and HSs campuses on a daily basis to shift the demand for bus drivers to the teachers/coaches and principals I have noticed. Are we not able to hire bus drivers or are they all getting sick? Do we need more?
Bus drivers are in short supply due to certifications – randomly they do contract Covid. TEA is actually posting a waiver to relax some stipulations more focused on Over-the-Road truck drivers so that bus drivers can succeed on the process to gain a Class B CDL with passenger and school bus endorsements.
How many custodians do we have and what happens when they all go out sick? Do we need more?
Custodians contract Covid similar to all other employees. We have been rotating campuses as needed. We are currently accepting positions to fill for 2 custodians.
Is there a problem getting substitute teachers this year? Do we need more?
We need more substitute teachers; occasionally substitutes have a preference on which campus they prefer.
What has been our absentee rate for the students? Highest daily number, lowest, average absentee since returning Jan 3?
We are hovering between the upper 80 %and mid 90 % average daily attendance. This is those who choose to self- quarantine, Covid positive, Flu, Strep, and normal absences.