FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - It’s the final days of summer break and soon students will be set for school, but one South Florida County is dealing with a teacher shortage.

According to Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright, when the first day of school approaches each classroom will have a certified teacher. A new alert system will also in place as a safety measure. Another new enhancement within middle and high schools will be metal detector wands for random searches.

On Wednesday, 7News was given the opportunity to interview Cartwright a one on one, as she gave insight to what is expected this coming 2022 school year in Broward County.

Code Reds will no longer be in place as plain language warnings for students and teachers will be in effect.

“Rather than people just being dependent upon colors and, ‘what should I do or what should I not do,’ this just flat out tells you what you should be doing,” said Cartwright.

For many the color coding was confusing so clear instructions such as:

  • Hold – In your room, office, or area. Clear the halls.
  • Secure – Get inside. Lock outside doors.
  • Lockdown – Locks, lights, out of sight.

The instructions have been put in place to make emergency situations easier to decipher.

The system will go into effect on Tuesday, the day school is set to begin for Broward County Schools.

“I am so excited to see our children coming back from this summer,” said Cartwright, “and getting reengaged into the academic environment.”

This will be Cartwright’s first full year as superintendent of Broward County Schools, and along with safety, another task she has had to face is staff shortages.

“For our vacancy, we are now at 150 vacancies for the classroom instructions that is happening in front of students,” said Cartwright, “so we have some back up plans that we are working on, right now.”

According to the Superintendent, on Tuesday, when school starts, each classroom will have a certified teacher.

“What it will mean, though, is that there’s possibly going to be some of our teachers who are here at the district’s office, having to go in and fill those vacancies until we can officially find the final teacher for those students,” she said.

It is a way to be able to have students begin on the right track.

The superintendent is also asking for help from home.

“Parents, guardians, caregivers, we need your help,” said Cartwright. “Please check their backpacks before they come to school. If they are driving, take a look inside their vehicles, see what’s in there because we take these things very seriously if we find something.”

The school district is hoping students can focus instead of being in fear at being in school.

Cartwright reiterated the severity of school threats.

“Please check out their social media sites. We don’t want to have threats happening,” she said. “If you are making threats or bring something that you shouldn’t bring to school, it can lead to expulsion and a potential criminal record too, so help us help you, and let’s work together on this and make sure we’re providing the safest environment possible.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is also preparing for the beginning of the school year. They are said to have an active shooter drill at Deerfield Beach High School, Thursday morning.

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