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Houghton High School temporarily goes virtual due to lack of substitute teachers

Face-to-face instruction is scheduled to resume Monday, November 2.
Houghton High School.
Houghton High School.(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 6:32 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Houghton-Portage Township students have spent the majority of the academic year in the classroom. This week however, a shortage of substitute teachers caused the high school to go virtual from Wednesday to Friday.

“Often this is difficult in our area,” Superintendent Doreen Kramer explained. “We have thirteen school districts and we’re all drawing off of the same pool of substitute teachers. But especially this year, there seems to be a little bit more of a shortage.”

Kramer says while several teachers are out due to causes other than COVID-19, she thinks the virus may be preventing substitutes from coming into the building.

“Given our situation with COVID and having people stay home if they’re feeling any sort of symptoms, even if it’s the flu, we want people to do that,” Kramer said. “We want our students and our staff to make sure that they’re healthy when they come to school.”

According to Kramer, because of the pandemic, students are accustomed to virtual learning, allowing the school to more easily adapt to the situation.

“I do think it is a little bit smoother because we have used remote learning in the past,” said Kramer. “We were really hoping that we were going to be able to get through the school year without having to use remote, but it seems like it’s going to have to be an option for us throughout the school year.”

The high school plans resume in-person instruction on Monday. Going forward, Kramer says the situation will have to be monitored week to week.

“We hope it doesn’t happen again, but given the shortage of subs in our area, it could happen again,” Kramer said.

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