‘We’re not alone’: Martin County Schools staying positive amid staffing shortages

School Watch

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Like most school systems, Martin County Schools officials say they are seeing major shortages in teachers and bus drivers.

Sarah Hodges-Stalls, the public information officer for Martin County Public Schools, said the school system says they’re doing all they can while still managing to stay positive.

“First of all we know we’re not alone,” Hodges-Stalls said. “We know this is something everyone is dealing with. It’s pretty much an all-hands-on-deck approach right now.”

Hodges-Stalls said teachers don’t have planning periods for the entire day, and they end up planning on their own time. She says some teachers will also shift their schedules or central office staff will go out and cover classes as needed.

“Teachers are doing an unbelievable job at shuffling their schedules,” Hodges-Stalls said.

The school district is also facing bus driver shortages. Hodges-Stalls says the school system’s transportation director has a network of people to fill in to drive the bus routes and will merge schedules of routes if need be.

“Like in every county, they’re doing what it takes right now, they’re exhausted, but they’re keeping the mission first and foremost and that’s keeping the educational and instructional time for our students in the forefront, and I see that every day and they amaze me,” Hodges-Stalls said. “We’re just fortunate in Martin County to have some of the professionals we have in every room because it takes everybody.”

Hodges-Stalls says the school system stays in planning mode for the future and that planning ahead is important. However, they say they don’t want to get ahead of themselves as well.

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