It is currently flu and cold season in the Magic Valley, and these diseases are causing many to miss school and work. There have been plenty of snow days this month already to cancel school days, as well as even a holiday sprinkled in. There are many reasons to miss school this time of year, but one that is happening on Monday, January 29 is not as common as most. What school is closed, why is it closed, and what can be done to prevent the closure from happening again going forward?

School Closure in the Magic Valley

Late Sunday night, it was announced by the Jerome School District that all classes for Monday, January 29 would be canceled. Normally in January, it would seem like that is due to weather or perhaps COVID or illness outbreak, but it is actually due to a teacher shortage. They are now calling the day an all-staff workday. It isn't often that a whole district is forced to cancel school due to lack of faculty, which raises questions, is this something to be concerned about going forward, and how serious is the situation?

Teacher Shortage in Jerome, Idaho

Credit: MChe Lee on Unsplash
Credit: MChe Lee on Unsplash

The teacher shortage comes less than a week after the Jerome School Board voted against 4-day school weeks. It has been a busy month with Jerome schools, between multiple snow days, the unanimous vote, and now a teacher shortage. Teacher shortages are nothing new to Idaho, as less than two years ago it was reported that over 900 vacancies needed to be filled in Idaho schools. While that number has come down, some schools struggle more than others to fill the staff daily. One question that has been raised, is who is filling these vacancies. They have not been filled by certified teachers, but instead, those who are often still working towards their certification. Will this school stoppage be a one-day thing, or could it continue for many days? 

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Continue to check back, as we will update you if any further news comes out, or if any other days are cancelled moving forward this week. For the sake of the students, hopefully, things will be back to normal and school will resume on Tuesday.

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