Seven Oaks School Division struggling to fill teacher absences


The Seven Oaks School Division has said it is struggling to fill teacher absences, even though the school division continues to hire additional substitutes.

In a letter sent out by assistant superintendent Verland Force on Friday, it said there is "increased absenteeism" because Public Health is advising people to stay home when they are sick.

"At the same time, our substitute pool has been depleted as we continue to add staffing to schools to reduce class sizes and to provide remote learning during the education Restricted Orange level," the letter said.

Due to the current problem, the school division is asking all high schools to "cover absenteeism internally."

The assistant superintendent said in the letter that starting Monday, high schools are to fill in their absences as "no substitute required" and instead request coverage internally.

"We are asking that all K-8 schools refrain from all substitute requests for teacher release time," the letter said.

This request is asked to be done over the next several weeks.

In an emailed statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for the province said an announcement to help schools, teachers, students and parents is expected early next week.

"The Manitoba government has already committed $100 million in Safe School funding and schools are investing this funding in their priorities," the spokesperson said.

They noted that $14.2 million of the $100 million has been used by school divisions and independent schools to cover everything from enhanced cleaning to staffing.

"The federal funds for education will be used to support schools and our priorities and keep schools open and children learning. The entirety of the $85.4 million in federal funding is not expected to flow to the province until next year."

CTV News has reached out to the Manitoba Teachers' Society for comment.