By Dedra Cordle
South-Western City School officials say that while the district is still looking to hire additional employees to fill a variety of positions, the overall employment numbers are stable and there will not be a negative impact to the daily operations as a new school year gets underway.
According to Dr. Susan Hayward, the assistant superintendent of personnel, the district has approximately 2,700 employees, a majority of which are certificated staff members.
The certificated staff consists of teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, psychologists, and tutors. Hayward said at the Aug. 22 board of education meeting that these employment numbers will allow the district to efficiently run its normal operations.
“We will be fully staffed with our certificated staff,” she said, noting that there are roughly 1,600 certificated employees in the district.
Where the district is running into some trouble is with the classified employees, which consists of aides, bus drivers, cooks, interpreters, mechanics and school office workers, to name a few.
Hayward said the district is still “working toward being fully staffed” with its classified positions, but added their overall numbers are nearly 1,000 strong.
Of particular concern to her regarding employment is the number of substitute teachers the district has on hand. Although she says the district is in better shape at the start of this year in comparison to last year, they are still having difficulties getting commitments for long-term substitute teaching positions.
“Long-term substitute teachers have additional responsibilities such as making lesson plans, grading and overseeing Parent Teacher Conferences,” she said.
In order to attract and retain long-term substitute teachers, Hayward requested their pay be increased from $145 per day to $155 per day. She also requested that the district’s retirees who come back to sub long-term be paid $165 per day, an increase of $10 from the current standard.
Board member Lee Schreiner said he was in favor of those requests, adding that their work is necessary.
The board did not have to move on that item at the meeting; instead, Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise said it can be grandfathered into the pay increase that was approved last year.
He said he hopes this action can help the district recruit for this important role, especially since many of the substitutes in their substitute teaching pool turned down requests to move into the long-term position last year.
“Substitutes are a vital part of our ability to run a district so we want to value that and also recognize the job market that folks are in as well as the extra work these long-term subs take on.”
To apply for open positions, visit the district’s webpage at www.swcsd.us and click on the ‘Careers’ tab for more information.