Why are 11,000 MSD Pike Students Out of School Again?

We’ve heard the stories from the parents of students who are a part of the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township. Earlier this fall, schools were closed and students participated in virtual learning due to bus driver shortages, contract disputes, and other reasons.

The crisis is not over and it’s likely that the situation will not be limited to Pike schools in the future.

On Wednesday, November 10th, the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township again closed their campuses to students due to “instructional staff absences.” Students will use this day as a day off and e-learning will not be offered. It will be made up with a built-in flex day in March.

Other local schools have indicated that staff shortages and substitute teacher shortages have left them in precarious situations. We’ve seen bonuses and recruitment rewards for the staffing agencies who fill the substitute teaching positions at many local Indy area schools.

In the neighboring school system, Washington township, District staff members, including Dr. Nikki C. Woodson Superintendent, MSD of Washington Township have been seen filling the role of a substitute teacher. It’s clear that times are tough and finding enough adults who want to work in the classroom is nearly impossible.

With over 11,000 students unexpectedly out of school today with very little notice, local businesses can also expect staff shortages from parents calling off of work today.

If you want to be a part of the solution, call the township office for the schools in your neighborhood and ask where you can apply to be a substitute teacher.

Here is the letter that the parents received this morning:

“Based on the number of instructional staff absences today, Wednesday, November 10, all Pike Township schools, including the Early Learning Center, and Loving Care, will be closed for in-person and virtual learners. We understand that this is a serious hardship for many families and do not make this decision lightly. Offering in-person instruction for our students who selected that learning option is a priority.

Students will not participate in classes via Zoom or have assignments that they are expected to complete via Canvas today. This decision is based on the feedback we have received and acknowledges that the two experiences, remote and in-person learning, as they are currently being offered are not perceived to be equivalent by many of our families. We will make up for today on the built in Flex Day scheduled for Friday, March 25th.

We will continue to keep families updated on school calendar changes and we will do everything that is appropriate to address these disruptions. We apologize for the short notice, and thank you for your understanding as we keep adequate supervision and safety of our students and staff a priority.”

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