POWAY, Calif. — A staffing shortage at Poway Unified School District has schools there scrambling to figure out how to fill hundreds of roles. On Tuesday, the district put out a plea for parents to help fill open positions.
"It's really desperate right now. Our schools are open but, it’s pretty tenuous," said Chief Communications Officer, Christine Paik.
In a letter to parents, the district said they are in desperate need of not only bus drivers, but also aides as well as substitute teachers. The district said that for the first time ever students are on waitlists for buses, they added that some schools have lunch lines that are so long, students don’t have time to eat before having to go back to class.
Most of the positions available are classified, meaning they're not teaching jobs.
"We are talking about bus drivers, instructional assistance, program aids, food and nutrition assistance, noon duty, even crossing guards," said Paik.
Applicants to the district do not need a teaching credential to be a substitute teacher, however, they do need to have a Bachelor’s degree.
In addition to posting signs at all district schools and sites, positions are being advertised on Poway Unified's website. The district has also taken monthly ads out in the paper and is inquiring about running those same ads at the local movie theatre before each showing.
"We're trying to be aggressive in our marketing and reach people who might not have thought that schools might be a place for them to work,” said Paik about the email that went out Tuesday. "If you're a stay-at-home parent, if you're a retiree, come out of retirement help us out in our schools."
Depending on the position, the pay ranges from $14-25 an hour. Substitute teacher pay has increased from $130 a day to $180 or $200 if you're long-term.
"Because of the staffing shortage, we recognize there's are some financial incentives that have to be put in place," said Paik.
Still, despite how desperate the district is to hire staff, Paik says background checks are required.
"We know the safety and security of our kids is number one, and that trumps everything including a staff shortage, so we have to do our due diligence."
If you are interested in applying for any of the positions, click here.
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