Hundreds of Spotsy students learning online because of teacher vacancies

Hundreds of Spotsy students study online because of the tutoring opportunities
More than 600 students at Chancellor High School in Spotsylvania County are using Edgenuity’s online math and English courses because no teacher has the ability to teach them in person.

“At Chancellor, more than 600 of our students use the Edgenuity program to study math and English because of three opportunities in math and English,” Principal Abe Jeffers wrote in an email sent Thursday. morning with parents of Chancellor High School students. Jeffers said the school has filled the position in English and is scheduling an interview with someone else to attend.

“For math, however, we do not have enough people to fill our three math levels, so we are forced to have our students use the Edgenuity curriculum, which is supervised by a substitute teacher. , to learn math,” Jeffers wrote. People also read…

The mother, Katherine Miller, emailed Jeffers to The Free Lance-Star. She said her daughter is a freshman at Chancellor and the family recently moved to Spotsylvania from Chesterfield County. “(My daughter) reported that on the first day the Algebra II teacher didn’t show up,” Miller said. “After the first week of school, he said, ‘Well, we don’t have a teacher. We watch the recorded videos and learn by ourselves.

Miller said math was the most difficult subject for her daughter. She emailed her daughter’s counselor asking if she could attend class with the teacher. The counselor replied, “Right now all of our Algebra II and (Statistics) sections are in Edgenuity,” according to Miller’s email to The Free Lance-Star.

In an email to Miller, Jeffers apologized for not being able to “provide the math teacher (your daughter) and the hundreds of students we need at this time.”

He said he checks in on new applicants every day and “looks forward to every opportunity.”

When asked if every high school in Stafford County uses the same online system, department spokeswoman Sandra Osborn said, “We don’t use Edgenuity to balance employees. »

In an interview, Miller said he has four children in public schools in Virginia and Louisiana and has never seen anything like this. He said: “I never asked for a teacher. “I don’t understand what’s going on.”

According to Virginia Code Section 22.1-253.13:2, which sets the state’s quality standards, school boards “shall hire teachers who are licensed and qualified in relevant fields” and “shall assign teachers to means to create a ratio of students in general schools. an average of 21-one full-time enrollments per day in middle and high schools.

School districts across the state and nation are struggling to recruit and retain teachers, and qualified math teachers are among the hardest to find, according to a 2019 survey of 10 years of national data. In Virginia, 4% of all math teachers were dissatisfied last year, according to data reported by the Virginia Department of Education.

Spotsylvania, however, reported that 15% of mathematics positions – 15.5 of the 102 positions in the division – were not filled last year. Stafford County reported that five of its 334 math teachers were unfilled last year.


According to VDOE data, Chancellor High was one of the 10 schools in Virginia with the most teaching vacancies last year. Sixteen of the school’s 85 positions remain vacant.

As of July 24, three weeks before the start of the 2023-24 school year, the president has yet to fill 13 of the 94 teaching positions. In his email, Jeffers told Miller that the school is looking for ways to support students’ math learning by “finding teachers at our school or other schools to assess and even counseling students.” Students are working on the content.

Miller told the Free Lance-Star that she is considering hiring a personal trainer for her daughter.

“But not every family can afford a personal carer, and I don’t think they should have,” he said. Adele Uphaus: 540/735-1973


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