Schenectady middle school dismisses students for the day

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, October 14, Mont Pleasant Middle School dismissed students at 11:30 a.m. due to a school staff shortage. Bus transportation schedules were adjusted to meet riders to be transported home.

“We apologize for the inconvenience but we do not have the necessary staffing or sub coverage,” said school officials.

According to the Schenectady school district, 17 teachers were out today, with no reports of COVID and not enough subs to cover.

The school’s principal found out yesterday 7 teachers called out for personal reasons, while 10 more teachers called out today, totaling 17.

Lines of cars and buses waited outside the school to pick up the kids. Many parents say they weren’t told much information just that there weren’t enough subs, and kids were dismissed for the day.

“It’s a little frustrating to know the kids are not in school a full day. They already have been out of school so long,” said Maria VanDyke, a parent at Mont Pleasant Middle School.

VanDyke came to pick up her daughter and a friend. She says luckily she was off from work otherwise it would have be an issue on such short notice.

“I was able to do pick up today, but there are days that it is a little tough to just be able to come and pick up them up,” said she. 

“It was a little inconvenient just because it’s raining out and I have little ones I have to take care of as well,” said Julia Melvin, grandparent at Mont Pleasant Middle School.  

Melvin says she hopes the shortages don’t lead to school going back virtually.

“It’s really no learning and the kids are not really getting the learning they need when they are home alone,” said Melvin. 

“We are now at crisis levels when it comes to staffing of teachers and support staff across New York State,” said Jolene DiBrango, Executive Vice President of New York State United Teachers.

Many school districts in the Capital Region rely on Capital Region Boces to get substitute teachers from.

DiBrango says they are working on short-term and long-term solutions.

“We are working with teacher candidates who are not quite through the programs and not completely fully certified, however they are studying or on their way to becoming a fully certified teacher. This will be an opportunity to get them into classrooms to sub, and when that happens it’s mutually beneficial,” said DiBrango.

Schenectady School District says they plan to be back in the classroom on Monday. 

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