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Struggling for staff: A growing problem across Northeast Ohio's school districts

Some area districts are warning that they may be forced to transition back to remote learning if they can't find more replacements.

EASTLAKE, Ohio — Northeast Ohio is not immune to staffing shortages that we've seen across the country due to the pandemic. This includes in our area's schools.

Some districts are warning that they may be forced to transition back to remote learning if they can't find more replacements. It's all part of the scramble to juggle the ABCs of pandemic related problems.

"We just simply have a shortage of staff across the board," says Willoughby-Eastlake Superintendent Steven Thompson. 

And all across Northeast Ohio.

We caught up with parents parked outside of Stow-Munroe Falls High School. The school, along with the rest of the district, was closed on Monday as a direct result of staff shortages. 

"I was kind of like 'wow, ok.' Shocked," says Cathy Leonardo, a mom of two students.

Other districts are fighting the same battle to stay open.

Lakewood City Schools tells 3News' Marisa Saenz that from teachers to custodians, they're short nearly every day. 

Akron Public Schools says hires are very slowly, but surely coming. But they're forced to operate only 72 of its 100 school bus routes, doubling up where they can. 

Back at Willoughby-Eastlake, parents and staff were hit with an email warning remote learning may become a reality again. Superintendent Thompson says of its 540 teachers in the district, nearly 90 are out every day with no one to substitute. He adds that remote learning will only happen for the grades that are struggling for subsitutions most, if it does come to that. 

On Thursday night, Euclid City Schools announced that due to high incidents of staff illness, Shoreview Elementary School will shift to virtual learning for this Friday and for next Monday and Tuesday. Euclid Middle School will also be on remote learning for Friday.   

School districts are sending out posts on social media pleading for applicants. Many are offering incentives, like benefits, in hopes of hiring more people. 

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