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Walnut Grove, Unable to Find a Science Teacher, Switches to Online Learning

Unable to hire a middle school science teacher for the fall, the Walnut Grove district had to get creative.

The 270-student district of Northwestern Greene County recently sent a letter to parents notifying them that all 60 middle school students will take an online science course offered through the Springfield Public Schools Launch Program.

The online course will be taught by a qualified science teacher during the regular school day. Additionally, the district has hired a student teacher to be in the classroom to help students learn online.

In an Aug. 11 letter, Superintendent Adam Willard told parents, “We believe this is our best option at this point.”

“We are facing a nationwide teacher shortage and we are feeling it here in Walnut Grove as well,” he wrote.

In an interview Tuesday, Willard said the district has long felt “sheltered and protected” by having a seasoned teaching staff with limited turnover. He said the inability to quickly find a college science teacher was a red flag.

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