While desperately trying to keep COVID out, there’s one thing school districts are trying to attract -- more teachers.
Quite a few are taking a leave of absence, possibly because of the pandemic.
“It’s very tough, but we’ve come a long way,” said Superintendent Doctor Kenneth Hurst, adding that the West Contra Costa Unified School District had 200 teaching positions to fill.
Now, it’s down to 50 openings. But with school already back in session, parents and students are noticing the teacher shortage.
“At high school level, math, history, science, that’s the need across the district,” said Hurst.
At Bayview Elementary School, five teachers were hired within the past week after the school reopened.
“I’m in the classroom, district personnel too so we’re making sure classrooms are covered,” said Theresa Williams, Bayview Elementary School Principal.
With substitutes, high schools must be creative, for example with a software program called ingenuity.
“So imagine sitting in the classroom, having the teacher there, student is doing an online math lesson, working on the computer, that’s what ingenuity is,” said Hurst.
Edjoin.Org is the site where you can find teacher openings in different districts. Even Morgan Hill said they're looking for more teachers as well as bus drivers and school psychologists.
Superintendent Hurst says his school district is offering bonuses of up to $6,000.
As long as you have a Bachelor’s Degree, you can start as an intern and the district will help you become a teacher.
He hopes to fill the positions soon despite the pandemic.
“I understand the fear, I need to continue to share this is a safe environment,” said Hurst.
The district is now requiring masks be worn indoors and outdoors at school.