Some Gilroy Unified students begin school year with no teacher

Although the academic school year started Wednesday in Gilroy, some students are without a teacher.
Five-year-old Clara Carrasco was poised for her first day of kindergarten at Luigi Aprea Elementary School. Excitement turned to disappointment after her mother found out there was no teacher.
“The school district has not assigned a teacher to her class. So there are approximately 20 students with no teacher. No platform to work on. And who are just sitting, waiting to start their first day,” said Melissa Valdez, Clara’s mother.
The first day of distance learning didn’t start on the second day of the school year. Clara and the others are still waiting for a teacher.
Two other kindergarten teachers at Luigi Elementary in Gilroy offered to temporarily take in the 20 affected students.
“Kindergarteners need routine. So you don’t have those first two weeks, you still have to teach that. But now you’re encroaching on academic time. So needless to say, it really sets the students back,” said education expert Tammy Cabrera.
Luigi’s principal sent a text apologizing, and explaining two potential candidates are being interviewed this week. But, “…There is no teacher as of yet…The next step is to assign a long term substitute to the class.”
“It’s detrimental to children. They have no sense of stability or security,” said Valdez. “It’s really frustrating that our children are being left out in the lurch to sit and wait.”
The wait for a substitute could take longer than normal, because of a shortage locally and nationally. Many subs lost the few days they did work, during the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring. Now they’re leery of leaving the back-up employment.
“I know teachers in the substitute teaching field who’ve had to leverage their side skills, start entry-level somewhere. Go for that minimum wage job because that was better than having no calls,” said Cabrera.
Late Thursday, Gilroy school officials sent an email saying two teaching candidates have accepted positions with the GUSD.
Additionally, a long-term sub begins teaching Monday, until the permanent teachers pass background checks and are up to speed.