Shawnee Mission staffing shortages made worse by Omicron — How that’s impacting classrooms

A teacher at the front of the classroom

Shawnee Mission is reporting the highest number of active teacher exclusions for isolations this year — and nearly 150 teacher absences require a substitute. But a shrinking substitute pool is causing other teachers to step in during planing periods, and even leading to administrators providing classroom support. Above, a Shawnee Mission South teacher in class. File photo.

The Shawnee Mission School District started the 2021-22 school year last August understaffed with at least 20 teacher vacancies at the beginning of the fall semester, according to district officials.

But the transmissibility of the Omicron variant in recent weeks has exacerbated staffing shortages in Shawnee Mission to a new acute pitch.