Staff facing COVID impacts

How teachers and admin feel about the possibility of online and the staff shortage due to COVID.


Sofiia Znakharenko, Co-Editor

“Some days it’s very hard, some days not so much, lately it has been pretty difficult and we have a lot of wonderful teachers in the building that come to me because they know it’s been rough and offer their off periods to help cover a class,” AP assistant Jeanice Elliott said.

As more and more people get sick and COVID numbers surpass a million the staff is facing a large teacher shortage making it harder to find people to cover classes. 

“I usually reach out to teachers in each department to cover for the teachers in that same department so that it’s easier for them to teach. But even today I had to reach out to the administration to help cover classes. It’s a pretty rough day today so [we] didn’t have enough teachers that were able to cover just because of their off periods and so I’ve got a couple of admin covering today.” Elliott said.

 With the possibility of closure looming teachers are worried about working from home and how that will affect their personal and family lives. 

 “Well, me personally, I have 5 children at home so working from home while they are also home is very challenging.” Librarian Jen Radosevich said. “So I would say for teachers who have small children at home, it becomes very challenging to both be their teacher and teach the students at Smoky.”  

Cases being on the rise has impacted how teachers and admin approach precautions to keep COVID free. Having resources to keep themselves and others safe has become an extremely important priority. 

“The district has a connection with COVID Check Colorado where we can get free testing, I have one later today, so I think that’s super helpful because of so many asymptomatic cases that I’ve heard about, we also just got N95 masks, I’m not sure if they’re from the school and the district or the governor but we got them so I think that helps,” English teacher Megan Beach said. “I’d love to see students get those and I know I personally, and I see a lot of other teachers do it, we ask students to wear their masks over their mouths and noses cause that’s the best way we know how.” 

Anxiety increasing over the risk of getting sick has caused staff opinions on school shutdown to be pretty mixed, with some feeling it would be for the best for health while others hope to have the ability to stay in school to decrease the chance of badly impacting the learning of students. 

“I think for most of us we would prefer to be in person but there’s then the stress that goes with dealing with shortages and covering classes and perhaps some of that would be alleviated if we were remote so I think we’re just ready for an answer either way, either lets stay in or let’s go out but let’s make a decision… the hanging over your head is kind of hard,” Radosevich said.