Like most school systems in the commonwealth,the Dawson springs Independent School System is struggling to keep its doors open as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in Hopkins County.

Superintendent Leonard Whalen said one of the main issues facing the school is finding substitute teachers to fill in for staff who or either sick or have been quarantined.

“We typically have a very small substitute pool anyway, even pre-COVID,” he said. “With all the things going on with COVID, it has gotten worse. We have more of a need, and our sub-pool hasn’t really grown any.”

Whalen said some of the shortage is due to people being concerned about their health and not wanting to serve as substitutes.

Dawson Springs Schools suspended preschool last week until Tuesday, Sept. 7 because of a potential exposure to COVID-19 in one of the classes, said Whalen. There was also non-COVID-related sickness in the other class, so it was deemed safer to have both classes move to virtual learning for a while.

The plan is still for the preschool classes to resume in-person learning on Sept. 7, he said.

While all levels of the school are being affected, the elementary school has been hit the hardest, Whalen said. The school does have a handful of students in quarantine each day, and there have been a few students who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“We might have four or five or six going into quarantine and one or two test positive, then we have the same amount coming out,” he said.

The positive tests seem to be among family units in the school and are not traced back to a specific class, group or meeting within the school, he said.

“When we are seeing quarantines, it is a family situation where you have multiple students in the same household or siblings,” said Whalen.

Dawson is still requiring masks in all of its buildings and social distancing to the maximum amount when possible, he said. The classrooms also get sanitized at the end of every day and throughout the day.

“We have the fog machines where we fog classrooms to disinfect,” said Whalen.