Officials from Delaware City Schools and Buckeye Valley Local Schools say both districts are facing a substitute shortage for the upcoming school year and are encouraging interested parties to apply.
Brian Orrenmaa, director of Academic Achievement at Buckeye Valley, and Jerry Stewart, the executive director of Human and Material Resources for Delaware, said Thursday that needs include substitute teachers as well as classified substitutes for positions like bus drivers, food service workers, administrative assistants, classroom assistants, library assistants and custodians.
“Each year we need substitutes to fill in for staff when they are participating in professional development, when they are on leave due to illness, personal reasons, or … vacation,” said Orrenmaa and Stewart in a joint email Thursday. “We look at the data and trends both compared to state and national averages. While district substitute needs have remained consistent for the past several years (not considering COVID quarantines), the number of available substitutes has decreased.”
The pair added many factors have impacted the number of available substitutes, including a competitive job market within education and fewer retired educators returning to the classrooms. Both districts make use of the substitute pool of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio’s Council of Governments for teacher substitutes, and both districts have been listing openings on various job posting websites. Stewart added that Delaware will be participating in Main Street Delaware’s “Back to School” First Friday event in September in order to increase awareness of the issue and find more applicants.
“We look forward to meeting people interested in serving our school communities that night,” they said. “Both districts are always accepting applications online and interviewing candidates for substitute positions.”
Both districts have also been displaying banners trying to recruit bus drivers.
“Being a substitute has many advantages,” they said. “It is a way to give back to your community and support students, teachers, and other school staff. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing students learn and grow, or hearing about their accomplishments in school. Substitutes are able to work in a variety of settings with a diverse group of people.”
The pair said added substitutes have open schedules, along with the ability to determine when they are available to work.
“You have a flexible schedule to determine your availability, and work when you want,” Orrenmaa and Stewart noted in the joint email. “The compensation may be modest, but the satisfaction is priceless. We love it when our substitutes are part of the local community. Many find that they love working in our schools and often become full-time employees with a job that they love.”
Substitute teachers need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and must be able to pass a background check as well as be eligible to work in the United States. An education degree is not required. Classified substitutes need to be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, must pass a background check, and must be eligible to work in the United States.
Bus drivers must be at least 21 years old with two years driving experience and must pass a physical examination, along with a drug and alcohol screening, agility test and background check. Potential drivers must have an acceptable driving record and must have or obtain a valid Ohio CDL license Class B or better with SP endorsement. Training will be provided to qualified candidates, officials said.
For information on becoming a substitute teacher at Buckeye Valley Local Schools or Delaware City Schools, visit www.escco.org/Substitutes.aspx.
Prospective substitute teachers can also call 614-445-3750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals interested in serving as a substitute in any area other than teaching can contact Mary Barr at Buckeye Valley at 740-369-8735, Lori Stewart at Delaware City Schools at 740-833-1118, or apply online at dcs.k12.oh.us/Page/136.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.