FILER, Idaho — Editor's Note: The video with this story is about school districts struggling to find substitutes. It aired earlier this month.
A south-central Idaho school district with about 1,600 students is temporarily closing its schools due to not having enough teachers or substitute teachers.
The Filer School District on Wednesday announced on its website schools will close Friday and reopen on Oct. 4. The school board made the decision at its meeting that morning.
The announcement includes a note saying that anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher should contact the district. So far, a number of people have come forward to fill out applications.
Superintendent Kelli Schroeder says they didn't see this coming so soon. By comparison, last year there were 67 COVID-related absences for the entire school year. So far, in the first 12 days of school, Schroeder says there have been 65 absences due to COVID.
There will be no remote learning while school is not in session. She says they tried that last year and it was not very successful.
Student may have some homework assignments to do next week. As for sports and other after-school activities, the district is working to reschedule most of them. Football will likely go on as scheduled. Schroeder says fans will be required to practice social distancing or wear a face mask.
There are five schools in the Filer School District. When not in session Schroeder says the district plans to clean and sanitize all the schools before students return.
School officials say the lack of teachers is only partially due to COVID-19 issues.
The Times-News reports that the Gooding School District with 1,300 students has also been struggling to find teachers. That district's school board on Tuesday voted to end a mask mandate at schools.
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