Richmond Schools to utilize long term substitutes to fill up open teacher positions

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:31 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With just two weeks until school starts and 144 open teacher positions, Richmond Public Schools will utilize long-term substitute teachers to fill 100 positions.

“We will have every single class covered on the first day of school,” division superintendent Jason Kamras said. “So the team is working diligently to close out every last one of those vacancies, either with a long-term substitute or a full-time teacher.”

Some schools with the most vacancies include George Wythe High School with 11 open positions and River City Middle School with 17.

Some school board members suggested creating a stipend to bring teachers to some of those hard-to-fill schools.

“I certainly understand the point Ms. White, some schools are harder to teach in and so I’m open to any additional support or proposals that the board has on that front,” Kamras said at the meeting.

Kamras told the board there is currently there is no funding in the budget to provide a stipend but the board would have to move around federal funding to make it happen.

In an outside-of-the-classroom position, an increase in pay has helped bus drivers.

Kamras told the board the division currently has zero open positions and attributed it to a pay increase made earlier this summer.

“We’re now doing some over hiring just in case we lose any folks for various life circumstances,” Kamras said.

Also Monday night the board discusses the division’s COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year.

One of the changes is that masks will not be required outside of RPS property for staff and students.

While masking is optional inside school buildings for students, it will still be required by all adults due to Richmond’s high transmission rate.

School board member, Jonathan Young, felt that the policy was too strict and unnecessary.

“I move a motion that the school board instead adopt a policy that provides for optional masks in our schools,” Young said.

The motion failed to pass but the school board will revisit its policies in early November and will make a decision based on the city’s transmission rate.

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