General

Trouble for Schools in San Francisco

Teachers in San Francisco seemed to be enjoying an extended holiday for Thanksgiving week. Around 600 teachers had taken leave from school and were absent due to several reasons cited, such as bereavement, sick leave, personal work and training. It had become difficult for the district official to manage the situation as the officials could not find any suitable substitute for the classes.

Office staff and central officials with teaching credentials, around hundreds of them had to fill in to watch over the classes but still fell short. Around 432 teachers along with 179 pre-school aides and special educators were not present out of the 3700 teachers which makes for about 12 percent absentee.

This problem was faced by San Francisco alone as teachers in other Bay Area’s came to school as usual. It was very frustrating situation for the district officials as there was no specific reason for such an incident. Just because it was a day before the holiday, teachers took leave. Usually around on a daily basis 7 percent teachers take leave and mostly on Fridays, the percentage goes up to 9 percent.

However the hike in absentee rate during holidays is a usual thing. According to the Principal of John Muir Elementary, Christopher Rosenberg it’s a tricky situation as the teachers have the right to take 10 days off any time of the year out of which 7 are for their personal needs as per the Labour Laws.

But he also acknowledges the fact that providing quality education on a daily basis to the students is very important as the number of days in school is really short. Therefore a balance has to be reached and for this the district should come up with a systematic solution or plan to resolve or combat such situation.

District other San Francisco did not face such a problem as compared to the absentee rate on Tuesday in San Francisco. South San Francisco, Berkeley and San Carlos was working as normal as teachers came as usual for their classes. Several other districts like Oakland Unified avoided such absentee rate by giving week long extended holidays.

San Francisco’s School Board President was concerned and suggested changing the school calendar. It was also suggested by district officials as this happening quite usually. They suggested that schools should give week long holidays as teachers usually do not turn up around this time. The year before this recorded 9.9 percent absentee as compared to this year’s 11.7 percent.