KYLE, Texas (WTVO) – Parents in a Texas school district are receiving requests to become substitute teachers as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.

The Hays Consolidated Independent School District (Hays CISD) sent out email and social media flyers with the request, according to Fox 7 in Austin. While they typically have 500 subs in a school year, they started with 100 “because of [the] Delta [variant].” With nearly 300 sub requests on Jan. 11 alone, the district said the new requests are helping.

“So far we have been able to cover our classes,” Hays CISD said. “Also, we are paying teachers to cover classes if they wish to use their off-duty period.”

While parents would need to apply, pass background checks, and undergo orientation, the requirement of 30 college hours can be waived upon the school principal’s recommendation. The school district said other teachers and staff would be on hand to help the parents, too.

“We believe that having someone in class…is better than the alternative of having to close schools,” Hays CISD said. “Having schools open is important for student academic success, but also for their social and emotional well-being.”

Hays CISD said that despite the sub shortage being “challenging,” it is important for people to stay home and recover after exposure to COVID.

“It’s a sign that people who have either tested positive, are showing symptoms, or who have had close contact, are heeding the call to quarantine,” Hays CISD said.