Districts still seeking teachers to fill district positions

Meghan Flynn
Kayla Thomas, left, carries a laptop with a remote learning logged in to it Monday morning as she and students in her fourth grade class at Florence Wilson Elementary School prepare to tour the school to see changes for this year with the COVID-19 pandemic on the first day of school for USD 457. Temperature checks when entering the school, wearing face mask and social distancing are part of the new school experience.

Garden City and Holcomb school districts are at different ends of the spectrum in terms of staffing for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

Holcomb is at full staff, while Garden City has 36 open positions.

Heath Hogan, Garden City Public Schools Human Resources Director and Deputy Superintendent, said to help fill the gaps left by the open positions 19 long-term substitute teachers and five advanced students teachers are being used.

“We will utilize long-term substitutes as we have in years past to fill open, unfilled positions,” he said. “We will also continue to use days-to-day substitutes to fill positions when teachers are sick and unable to fulfill their duties.”

Garden City Public Schools hired 48 new teachers this school year.

Holcomb School District hired 12, which filled all of their open positions for the school year.

Scot Myers, superintendent of the Holcomb School District, said there are 18 substitute teachers on their roster.

Subbing will mostly be the same as any normal school year, Myers said. Subbing will continue as normal for those who have returned to the school buildings, but for remote learning it will be a little different, Myers said.

In the Holcomb district, there are 56 students signed up for remote learning.

They district has brought on a special K-5 remote learning teacher and four home-bound instructional liaisons, Myers said. They also have a dedicated teacher at the middle school to serve as the point person for remote students and a risk coordinator for the high school.

“The subs have very little to do with it, they just need to come in and teach the class and the kids who are remote, they’re zooming in ... if they have questions they’re directed back to those dedicated people,” he said. “Then we'll work back through the content teachers ... where the kid happens to be and we'll get back to them, to make sure that we're right on pace and having school.”

Katherine Orozco, center, helps a group of students find where they need to go Monday at Florence Wilson Elementary School as the 2020-21 school year begins. Face masks and social distancing are the norm now as USD 457 begins its year.