Teacher absences create issue for FWCS

File Photo.
File Photo.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Students and teachers at Fort Wayne Community Schools were originally scheduled to have Friday off.  That was until  Friday became a make-up day after classes were canceled eight times because of the weather.  But some teachers still wanted the day off anyway.

Believe it or not, some teachers started calling in Tuesday saying they’d need to use a sick day Friday.  Well, FWCS administrators quickly put a stop to that.

“We knew that a lot of people had made plans. It looked like it was going to be a three-day weekend,” FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman said.

FWCS spokesperon Krista Stockman said administrators got a call from the substitute teachers office saying teachers were phoning in sick as early as Tuesday.

“That gave us an indication that we better let people know that we really need to have them here. School is on. We really need to have our teachers here. They are our professionals. They are the experts. They are the ones that need to be with students.”

On an average Friday, Stockman said about 200 teachers have the day off.  That makes up about 10 percent in the district.  It includes those who are on short-term disability, maternity leave or who call in sick.  Stockman said they couldn’t stand to lose any more than usual so they sent out a note telling teachers that if they’d be out sick they would need a doctor’s note.

“When we did send that note out yesterday (Thursday), there were some people who changed their minds and decided they would be coming in today. So, if we hadn’t sent that note out the concern was that we could have hundreds more people out and we just wouldn’t have the substitute staff to fill those spots.”

Stockman said she wants folks to know they have a lot of dedicated teachers.  Many of whom came in on snow days to change their lesson plans.

“I don’t want anyone to misunderstand that it’s just that we did the potential for an issue today, and we wanted to make sure like I said our teachers are the best people possible in front of the students.”

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