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TUSD officials say substitutes ready to get back to work

New virtual trainings for teaching in new normal
Teacher classroom
Posted at 6:18 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 09:18:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Even with so much uncertainty with substitute teaching during a pandemic, Tucson Unified School District substitutes are ready to get back to work.

Interim Director of Human Resources Renee Heusser said when the pandemic hit back in March and learning went online, many substitutes were out of work for months.

"We haven’t had a lot of jobs in the system yet," Heusser said. "Our absentee rates drop significantly when people are working from home."

TUSD has three different ways substitutes can work in this new school year. They can go substitute in-person with the at-risk students, teach remotely or become a proctor and monitor the students coming in to learn remotely.

All these options require new virtual training.

"Gives them to skills to log into the system, log attendance and some of the other platforms that we’re using to provide that instruction," Heusser said.

If they decide to go in-person, there will be a COVID-19 cleaning training in place.

Heusser said with a pool of between 600 and 700 registered substitutes ready to work, she's confident the school districts won't have a problem filling spots if needed.

"They’re excited to hear that there is an opportunity," Heusser said. "They were also excited to hear that there is a training opportunity for them, because often subs don’t get to take in the professional development that we provide for our teachers."

The majority of TUSD students will continue doing remote learning until at least October, but some at-risk students are back on campus now.