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LRSD superintendent worried about substitute capacity amid coronavirus pandemic

The official start to school was last Monday, but last minute changes created an introduction week where students attended for only two days.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — This week beings Little Rock School District's five days a week of classes.

The official start to school was last Monday, but last-minute changes created an introduction week where students attended for only two days.

When asking LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore how things are going, he said it's going great, but patience will be needed for this year.

"Our teachers are stressed and I hope everyone can give them a little patience. This is a 'new day' so to speak with having 50% of kids in theory back in the classroom and also starting to do virtual," said Poore.

Students have the option to be in the classroom or at home on a computer. Poore says classes are smaller with no more than 10 students in each class.

The pool for teachers and substitutes is also smaller. 

"We had some resignations and retirements, probably more than in previous years," said Poore. 

"Our district and other districts end up with the substitute pool shrinking because we've hired those people to back-fill for that."

Poore said Monday alone, 22 subs weren't available for absent teachers. That meant teachers who were at work had to fill-in for those gaps. Poore said he is growing more concerned about the capacity for substitutes.

Plus, while Poore commends teachers and students for doing a great job with social distancing and wearing masks, there isn't tolerance for not following the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.

One LRSD teacher is being recommended for termination after refusing to wear a mask at school.