THORNDIKE — Mount View High School pivoted Monday, Jan. 31, to a day of remote learning because of teacher absences and a lack of available substitute teachers.

In a Sunday evening message to the MVHS community, Principal Zackary Freeman said that because of a recent COVID-19 surge across the area, “we have numerous staff members that must be out of the building.” He added that the district continues to experience a substitute teacher shortage “which has compounded this situation to result in a remote school day.”

Freeman reminded students and parents that a remote day is a school day, and that students would be expected to log onto their Google Classrooms for the day and complete the necessary assignments. Teachers would be reaching out to students through email, he said, and those who could provide classes through Zoom would do so, with students expected to continue their classwork.

Freeman said students who attend Waldo County Technical Center could attend the high school. “We will provide them a study hall location during the portion of the school day at Mount View High School,” he said. 

After-school activities would run as previously scheduled, he said. For more information, call the high school main office at 568-3255.

Lisa Letourneau, human resources director for RSU 3, said many potential applicants for substitute teacher jobs are being turned off by the $70 background check and fingerprinting fee. In order to recruit badly needed subs, Letourneau said previously, the district is reimbursing applicants for the fee once they work for five days.

Letourneau said teacher subs are paid $105 a day, while ed techs, coaches, custodians and secretary subs receive $13.50 an hour. Bus drivers receive base pay depending on experience. Teacher and ed tech subs must  have at least a high school diploma.

To apply for certification and fingerprinting, visit the Maine Department of Education website at  maine.gov/doe/home. For online sub applications in RSU 3, visit rsu3.org/page/employment-opportunities and hit the “Start an application for employment” link. Paper applications are also available and can be obtained at the RSU 3 Central Office, 84 School St., Unity. For more information, email lletourneau@rsu3.org or call 948-6136.

Contacted toward the end of the school day Monday, Freeman told The Republican Journal that sufficient substitutes had been secured to hold school in person for the rest of the week.