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Staff Shortages, COVID Testing Concerns Loom As Boston Prepares For New School Year

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston Public Schools are facing two issues just six days before the new school year starts - staffing shortages and parental consent to test students for COVID-19.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said there are more than 150 open positions across the district, including what she called a "significant" shortage of bus drivers and monitors.

"My team is in the process of determining the potential impact of these challenges for our students and exploring every alternative and all possible solutions," she said at a news conference Thursday.

The district is asking for anyone interested in an open position to apply right away. (Click here for details)

All BPS employees will be required to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. Face masks will also be required for all students and staff.

Cassellius is also concerned about getting parents' permission to test students for coronavirus.

"We strongly encourage all of our parents and caregivers to provide consent for their child to get weekly COVID-19 testing at school," she said. "To date we have received affirmative consent forms for 11,000 students."

There are nearly 52,000 students enrolled in Boston Public Schools.

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