Faculty retirements add to CCSD substitute shortage Outsourcing recruiting of new employees a possibility

After a hectic process with her teaching license, new English teacher Amy Boyett is now in the classroom. With the shortage of substitutes and teachers, Boyett’s absence was rough on the staff. “I love being inside the classroom,” Boyett said. “This is what I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I am super excited to finally be here and I really truly enjoy teaching.” Photo Credit: Gurleen Swaich
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With schools struggling to keep COVID-19 cases at a minimum, the lack of substitute teachers to fill vacancies has made returning more complicated.

“We don’t have subs. We have teachers covering classes so the kids who have these teachers wind up having just a rotation of people going through that classroom, instead of just one person to be their teacher,” Principal Donna Levy said. “It’s just an awful situation and not ideal for education.”

With the substitute shortage, Office Manager Tracy Taylor has been dealing with trying to find coverage for classes without a substitute. 

“I am always trying to find prep buyouts from regular teachers here and sometimes that’s kind of hard too because a lot of them, during their preps, have other things like scheduled meetings for parents,” Taylor said. “It has been extremely hard for me because I can’t find anybody to cover these jobs. I just shoot an email out to all the teachers just to see if they’re going to accept this fourth or fifth period and wait for which one’s going to come back to me and say, ‘Oh, I can do it.’”

The Science department is currently being impacted the most, due to the open position that is being covered by teachers with prepratory periods.

Currently, we are short one science teacher. Before the start of the school year, one of the newer science teachers resigned. Unfortunately, this left six chemistry science classes without a teacher,” Science teacher Mary Breslin said. “A long-term substitute was covering those classes but this is not the best solution for any subject area. Therefore, a few of the science teachers, myself and Mrs. Sager has been asked to sell our free period(s) to cover three of the chemistry classes. For me, I now have an additional course to plan and teach which is always challenging especially when it is a completely new course.”

To help combat this issue, an incentive plan developed by CCSD will give substitutes working 44 consecutive days between August and October $1,000. CCSD is also trying to waive teacher license renewals as well as speed up the process in order to become a substitute. Boyett went through a huge struggle with the hiring process and instead of being hired as a teacher, she was given the license to be a substitute. 

“It was an absolute mess. They gave me the wrong license and so I am starting out as a substitute until I can get my actual license so I can be a professional teacher,” Boyett said. “I am actually still in school, but the licensure process was an absolute mess and it’s been longer than it should have.”

Along with the incentive plan and the waiving of licensure requirements for substitutes, CCSD is hoping to recruit ESS, a third party to staff more substitutes. Many are hoping to fill in the vacancies so students and faculty can have a consistent routine with one teacher or long-term substitute. 

“We know that [CCSD] they’re trying to recruit everywhere. They’ve waived some requirements to get more subs and are pushing them back to bring more people in,” Levy said. “I am helping right now by doing some interviews for them so that they can get people through their interview process. I know a lot of my peers are doing something I’ve done, like I’ve subbed English here because there was nobody else.”

Should CCSD adopt the substitute recruiting company?