Two tech schools dismiss early due to staff shortages

Tech schools face staffing shortage
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:03 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2023 at 11:19 AM EDT
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - Tech schools across Connecticut are struggling to stay open heading into final exams.

Two schools had to dismiss early on Friday.

Officials said it’s because they can’t get enough teachers or substitutes.

W.F. Kaynor Technical School in Waterbury dismissed at 11 a.m.

It’s frustrating for parents who had to rearrange their day to pick up their kids.

Even students admitted it’s irritating when they show up to learn a trade and teachers don’t.

It started with a rumor.

“First my substitute teacher was like there might be a half day like we saw them talking in a group,” said Hannah Peitler, freshman at Kaynor Tech.  “We got an announcement that was like school’s going to be dismissed at 11 due to the teacher shortage.”

It was a similar situation at A.I. Prince Tech in Hartford, where they dismissed at 12.

A spokesperson for CTEC schools blames the disruption on: “…a combination of staff illness, staff professional commitments outside of the school building, and pre-planned personal days.”

“She was here at 7:20 and now 11 o’clock she’s gotta go home,” said Maria Cavalleiro, a grandmother. “Something has got to be done.”

The frustration goes beyond families needing to scramble to pick up kids from essentially a free day of hooky.

“We go in for specialized classes,” said Abbey Cianciolo.

Cianciolo is a stylist. In addition to teaching cosmetology demos at CTEC schools, she’s also the product of one.

“How can you expect them to have any kind of proper education or relationships with teachers and administration when it’s not consistent?” Cianciolo said.

The CTEC system is looking for substitutes amid the shortage, paying $155 a day according to their website.

Candidates for academic subjects need a bachelor’s degree and four years of work experience for trades.

Those are qualifications that students claim are lacking among current subs.

“We’re in the midst of getting ready for tests and stuff so it’s really important that you have a teacher in the classroom,” said Lauren Huffman, Oliver Wolcott cosmetology student. “Because the subs don’t know about the trade they’re just there to watch over us.”

Last Friday, school officials reported that Howell Cheney Technical High School in Manchester closed that day due to the shortage.

Earlier this week, Gov. Ned Lamont and state education officials announced new initiatives aimed at hiring and retaining teachers.

If you are watching this and interested in applying to be a sub, you can find the application details HERE.