PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – The Pulaski County School Board has announced two scheduled virtual days due to staffing shortages.

The decision will affect all Pulaski County elementary schools with the exception of Snowville Elementary.

The board says the shortage is due to SOL testing administration sessions as well as a shortage of teachers.

“In previous years, we’ve been able to bring in substitutes to help cover classes during SOL testing, but this is no longer a viable option given the number of unfilled substitute jobs that we are still experiencing on a regular basis,” Dr. Kevin Siers, Superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools said. “SOL tests are the metric by which public schools in Virginia are measured and we want to make sure we provide our students the best possible opportunities for success. Staffing shortages in public education have forced all school divisions to consider creative solutions that provide the best possible learning and testing environments for students.”

The virtual days will be for Pre-K through second grade, the first one will be Friday, May 6, when the third through fifth graders take their reading SOL. The second day will be Wednesday, May 18, on this day the third through fifth graders will take their math SOL.

“After considering multiple possible solutions to address the need for additional testing proctors, it became evident that Snowville Elementary would be able to conduct their testing schedule without the use of Pre-K- 2nd grade virtual days, so they are not included in this schedule,” Dr. Siers said. “The enrollment at our other elementary schools is significantly higher, so additional assistance is necessary. Our goal for next year is to have enough substitute teachers on hand to avoid making this type of action necessary as we understand it poses an inconvenience for our families. We purposely scheduled the dates that were selected because they corresponded with already scheduled asynchronous virtual days for Pulaski County High School.  It is our hope that this might be of some help to families who depend on older students to assist with childcare for their younger siblings.”

District officials are requesting that parents help their children be well prepared for test days.