Keller school district asks community member volunteers to fill COVID staffing shortages


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Keller ISD has asked its community member volunteers to fill staffing shortages in the district as schools across the Fort Worth area struggle with spikes in COVID cases.

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Staffing shortages in North Texas schools have prompted some school districts to ask for volunteers in order to fill positions. Keller ISD is the latest to make such a request.

According to an email sent out to school district families on Friday, Keller ISD is short on available substitute teachers and operational staff members as positive COVID numbers continue to rise while the omicron variant spreads in the region.

Tarrant County reported a pandemic high of 9,001 COVID cases Wednesday. The COVID-19 positive test rate in the county increased to a pandemic-high 39.66% from 39.32% in the latest available seven-day-average data. The rate has increased since Dec. 12.

In the email the district asked for community members and parents to consider volunteering on campus to help mitigate staffing shortages in classrooms, cafeterias, front offices and other areas. Volunteers are required to undergo a background check and all those interested should visit kellerisd.net.

On Friday, the school district closed Bear Creek Intermediate School and North Riverside Elementary School because of the staffing shortages.

Mansfield ISD has also experienced staffing shortages and announced Thursday all its schools would be closed through Tuesday, Jan. 18. Students in Mansfield ISD will not have to log on for virtual learning during the closure.

Mansfield ISD Superintendent Kimberley Cantu said the high number of staff out sick along with a shortage of substitute teachers put a high strain on day-to-day operations, making it impossible to provide a safe, productive learning environment for students and staff.

More: What we know about COVID-related school closures in Fort Worth, Tarrant County region

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Megan Cardona is a service journalism reporter at the Star-Telegram covering policy, government programs, community resources and more to help residents navigate everyday life in Tarrant County and North Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where she worked at the campus paper, The Shorthorn, for two years.





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