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District still needs substitute teachers as CPS returns to five-day weeks

CPS Hickman High School on April 5
CPS Hickman High School on April 5


Most Columbia Public Schools students returned to a five-day-a-week, in-person learning schedule Monday, but the district still doesn't have enough substitute teachers to fill their classrooms.

According to CPS's substitute teacher fill-rate tracker, the district filled about 81% of its substitute slots from March 22-26, the most recent data available.

CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said substitution rates are increasing. The district uses a contracted substitute provider EduStaff to fill their substitute spots.

"Substitute numbers are far better than what they were this winter when we also saw a spike in cases," Baumstark said.

In early February, the substitute teacher fill-rate percentage was around a 65%. Since then it has fluctuated week-to-week between 77.2% and 93.2%.

"They (substitute teacher rates) have been steadily improving, which can also be looked as a direct correlation to a reduction in case rates and increased access to the vaccine," Baumstark said.

The CPS 14-day COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people was 8.7 on Friday. That day the district reported one new coronavirus case in its boundaries. CPS reported about 53.4% of staff had been vaccinated as of March 24.

CPS Vaccination Rate Tracker on April 5 at 11:30 a.m.

The district reports 17 students in isolation because of a positive test or in quarantine because of exposure. Two staff members are on leave because of coronavirus, the district reported Monday.

Baumstark said vaccination numbers have not been updated because of last week's spring break. She said she expects the vaccination numbers to be updated on the site later in the day on Monday.

Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.


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