Teacher shortage forced Vallejo to cancel 7th grade math class for days

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Vallejo Unified School District says it has fixed the goof up that led about 150 7th graders at one of its middle schools to miss math class for most of last week. Instead, they got an extra helping of physical education.

Wednesday means the kids get out at 1:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. at Solano Middle School. It also means tomorrow their 7th grade math teacher comes back.

"We had a math teacher who had to go out on leave for a couple of weeks," said Dr. Adam Clark, superintendent of VUSD.

But her subtraction added up to a major headache when the district ran out of substitute teachers.

"There were a few days when there was not coverage for the class and then kids were in fact sent to the gym during those days" Clark said.

Specifically three days last week, administrators at the school decided to give about 150 7th graders an hour of extra gym class because there was no one to teach math. Clark says that was a mistake.

"That's not part of our policy to send kids to the gym. Once we became aware of that, we put in some corrective measures to address that," he said.

Trina Celestin, the mother of a 7th grader, says that's not the only mistake they made.

"Kind of surprised to find out from my son. I thought it would probably be best to get an email to let us know what is going on with our students," she said.

"That is an area that we dropped the ball on and we're working to rectify that situation to ensure it doesn't happen again," Clark responded.

From now on, when there's no substitute available, other teachers will give up their one hour prep periods to cover when teachers are out, or administrators will have to go back into the classroom for the day.

Dr. Clark says no one will be reprimanded for this incident, but he's making sure that this campus and every other one in the district will use the proper policies.
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