Wake Board of Education approves pay incentive for substitute teachers :: WRAL.com

— After staffing shortages in the first semester, Wake County Public School System is ramping up efforts to recruit substitutes.

School leaders said in the last two weeks of December, on average 825 teacher absences were reported daily in over 800 schools and 256 staff members were reassigned each day to fill in for those absences.

On average, 509 substitute requests were submitted daily in the last two weeks of the fall semester. 322 of those requests were filled, while 187 were left unfilled.

School leaders said there was double the number of requests for substitutes in December than in October.

A survey was sent out to around 3,000 substitutes about picking up shifts for the spring semester. Over the 1,400 responses, 958 substitutes said they were willing and available to pick up shifts beginning in January while 506 said they were not currently picking up substitute jobs.

457 substitutes said they would begin picking up jobs when they received the vaccine while 443 substitutes said they were currently picking up jobs and would continue to do so.

The school district suffered staffing shortages during the first semester as teachers were forced to quarantine from possible coronavirus exposures.

A student reads a textbook wearing a face mask. Photo from Pixabay.

Board members passed the financial incentive 7-1 to help maintain and recruit substitute teachers. The increase, which will begin on Jan. 6, ranges from $100 to $425 a month depending on how many days teachers work.

WCPSS will also launch a new recruitment campaign for substitute teachers with the theme: “We need you. They need you.”

In a meeting on Dec. 15, the board agreed that all K-12 students should stay in all-remote learning until at least Jan. 15 because of the staffing shortages.

pandemic classroom

The current plan for the spring semester, which begins in mid-January, would bring pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students back to full-time, in-person instruction. Middle school students would stay in a three-week rotation, with one week in the classroom and two weeks in remote learning, and high school students would transition into a similar mix of remote and in-person learning.

The board also discussed the record number of cases North Carolina has seen since the holidays.

In the state, one in every six people tested for coronavirus is receiving a positive result, and 16.5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} of tests are coming back positive, which is more than triple the 5{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} rate state health leaders want to see.

On Monday, the rolling, seven-day average number of new daily cases in North Carolina reached an all-time high over 7,000.

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