NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hundreds of parents with children in Metro Nashville Public Schools had letters sent home this week telling them that their kids were having to take online courses in the classroom due to a teacher shortage.
The district has had a tough time finding teachers for certain subjects, including math, sciences, exceptional education, English as a second language, and world languages.
Because of that, students at Antioch, Whites Creek, and Cane Ridge high schools were told they would be taking online courses through a website called "Edgenuity."
"It's differentiated based on the student's needs. It's based upon where they are with their prior knowledge," Dr. Adrienne Battle, community superintendent for Metro Nashville Public Schools, said, adding that Metro has done online classes before, but never to this extent. "It's not a Metro Nashville specific school challenge, it's what we're seeing across the country in education."
Last spring at Antioch High School, hundreds of students walked out in protest after so many teachers left, among other issues.
Metro said it's aware of the problem and doing what it can to help these students until certificated teachers can be found.
"We're always monitoring that and supporting schools to make sure that our strategies align to what they need," Battle explained.
As of Friday, it wasn't clear how long students would have to take the online courses.
Until qualified teachers can be hired, the schools will have a supervisor in the online classrooms to make sure things work smoothly.
"Our goal is still to recruit and hire highly-qualified educators who are certificated in these particular areas who can come in and still support students on the ground," Battle said.
To help convince highly-qualified teachers to join the school district, MNPS has been offering up to a $6,000 signing bonus.