SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland School Department is in need of some extra hands. South Portland schools have been short staffed due to a higher than normal amount of teachers and staff out sick.

The department has asked parents and members of the community for help finding substitute teachers and volunteers. Numerous schools all over the state have been facing a higher-than-normal number of teachers out sick this winter. Due to the absences, ed-techs have been left to fill in as teachers, leaving no one to fill the ed-tech duties.

Elizabeth Wasilewski, a nurse with Northern Light Health, administers a Pfizer vaccine to a student at Memorial Middle School during a clinic held in November. Gregory Rec photo/Press Herald

“Every district in the state is probably looking for substitute teachers right now,” said South Portland Superintendent Timothy Matheney. “There is a shortage of substitutes and all of us are eager to sign up substitutes whenever possible.”

The school department is also looking for those in the community that have a medical background to help with the pool testing program, which is available for students pre-K through sixth grade. Volunteers can help with supervision during pool testing, as well as swabbing and other administrative duties.

South Portland schools have seen a decrease in the amount of COVID-19 cases and have stated that pool testing has been very effective with trying to decrease the surge of the Omicron variant within their eight schools.

“We are seeking volunteers, adult members from the community to support in three different areas,” Matheney said. “One is we’re looking for individuals with a some form of background in the health professions to support our pool testing program. The second role is to serve as lunch and recess substitutes, so, supporting the supervision of our students. The third role is to support our classrooms that have significant amount of English language learners.”

The school district will hold a vaccine clinic at South Portland High School, located at 637 Highland Ave. The walk-in clinic is in partnership with Northern Light Health Care and will be held on Feb. 10 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Registration is not required.

South Portland Superintendent Timothy Matheney has asked those who are interested in volunteering with the schools to reach out to his office directly at

For those who are looking to help as substitutes, applications are found at the South Portland School Department website,

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