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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

DMPS says teacher shortage possible if district returns to in-person learning

The Des Moines Public Schools board is meeting 5 p.m. to vote on a compliant Return to Learn plan.

Des Moines Public Schools could face a teacher shortage if students return to classrooms, the district tells Local 5.

The district has been virtual since the beginning of the school year, but if classes transition to in-person, the district says there may not be enough teachers and staff due to medical exemptions. 

DMPS allows teachers with underlying medical conditions to apply for exemptions to teach virtually.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video originally aired on Sept. 16, 2020

78 teachers have been approved and another 30 are being considered.

Some conditions taken into consideration are cancer, severe asthma, Type 2 diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease and doctor-ordered pregnancy restrictions.

5,000 DMPS employees participated in a survey earlier this summer, with 1,500 indicating they have a health condition that could put them at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

The district had already faced a substitute teacher shortage earlier this year before the pandemic hit.

You can watch the school board's 5 p.m. Monday meeting by clicking/tapping here. The district is expected to vote on a plan to offer an in-person option with 50% of classes in school or a voluntary, all-virtual option.

RELATED: 'Unacceptable': Gov. Reynolds says DMPS faces 'biggest consequences' without compliant plan

RELATED: Some parents advocate for alternative to all virtual learning at DMPS