Bartlesville Public Schools

Posted: Jan 13, 2022 3:28 PMUpdated: Jan 13, 2022 4:41 PM

BPS Superintendent Teaches Class Amid Staff Shortages

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Garrett Giles

In the midst of pandemic-related staff shortages and a lack of substitute teachers, Bartlesville Public Schools Superintendent Chuck McCauley steps up to the plate.

Superintendent McCauley says he had a blast teaching a second grade class at Wayside Elementary School on Thursday. McCauley says he was happy to be around the kids. He says he was with a great class and the teacher left him a great plan to work with, which was a recipe for a great day.

Wednesday night is when McCauley reached out to the principals at Ranch Heights and Wayside as they had the highest percentages of staff members listed as "out."  McCauley says Mr. Copeland at Wayside reached out first, so he made plans and changed his schedule to be at the school bright and early the next day. He says most of his past teaching experience has consisted of math, business and coaching at the secondary level, so leading an elementary class was a new experience for him.

McCauley says the class he taught did just about everything. He says they held their morning meeting, they ate breakfast and lunch in the classroom, they went to gym class taught by Alan Godwin, they went through English fluency work and reading groups, they learned math and they went over vocabulary words. They even had recess.

Normally McCauley goes by each district site throughout the week to check on things, but it was a different experiencing being in the classroom all day. McCauley says their teachers go through a lot and that they are a hard working bunch. He says he was happy to help where he could to keep them in-person.

Bartlesville Public Schools currently sits at a Red COVID-19 Alert Level. McCauley says the district's cases of illness have climbed. He says they are doing their best to remain in-person, but that may have to change due to staffing issues.

All options are on the table as they continue to monitor case numbers. McCauley says they have had to quarantine two classes: one elementary class at Ranch Heights and another elementary class at Wayside. He says they have the ability, if necessary, to quarantine/close a specific class or school site as opposed to shutting down the entire district.

Classes are out of session on Monday in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. McCauley says this day will be used as a Professional Development Day. He says the hope is that the extended weekend will help them with their current COVID-19 situation.

McCauley says the plan is to still be in school on Friday. He says they will do everything in their power to keep up with in-person learning.

McCauley plans to be back in the classroom to chip in on Friday.

To keep up with Bartlesville Public Schools' COVID-19 Alert Level, you can visit their website here. You can also find this information on the BPS phone app.

Photo courtesy: Amy Dickey and Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation

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