Teachers are in such short supply in the Warren County School System, Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows served as a substitute on Wednesday.
Swallows was at Hickory Creek Elementary working as a gym teacher due to the COVID crunch.
“I’m doing the same thing our teachers have been doing since August,” said Swallows. “It’s been all hands on deck. It’s not really that we have a shortage of substitute teachers. It’s that our subs have been getting sick just like everyone else.”
Like much of the school system, Hickory Creek was hit hard by absences on Wednesday. It was the first day back from a four-day break, two days for the regular weekend, Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tuesday for snow.
“Everybody wants to know if we’re going to miss more time due to COVID and the answer is we’re going to try our best not too,” said Swallows. “I thought coming back with just a three-day school week, we could get by this week, make it to the weekend, and go from there. That was my hope."
Said Swallows, "This pandemic has been like a game of chess. You make a move and then you have to make a counter move. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen.”
The school system only has one inclement weather day left and one professional development day which can be rolled into a bad weather day or a COVID sick day. After those two days are used, adjustments will have to be made to the existing calendar.
Hickory Creek had 18 faculty members out Wednesday along with 125 students. In addition, 12 students were sent home during the day.
Swallows wasn’t the only central office staff member pitching in. Mike Mansfield returned to his old stomping grounds to serve as principal of Irving College on Wednesday and Shea Panter and Carl Curtis both went to Warren County High School.