The official trustee for the The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has weighed in on the subject of using non-teachers for on-call work.
Mike McKay has heard the criticism but says there is not enough back up when teachers are absent.
“Currently, there are some days where there are between 10 and 20 plus classrooms that we cannot fill with qualified teachers on call, substitute teachers. And that means that everyone else in the school is shuffling their assignments.”
In many cases, special needs teachers are pulled away from their classes to help out and that leaves their students without help.
McKay says the priority is to use certified teachers when they are available.
“We will use our teacher on call list fully but we cannot keep having kids programs interrupted because a teacher is away sick.”
He says that disrupts momentum.
McKay gives examples of mechanics or chefs whose skills could make them good replacements on an emergency basis.
Her stresses that all these people would be vetted and screened.
McKay says no one has been hired yet and the results of the call out are being analysed right now.