Lonedell R-XIV is facing a “huge” shortage of substitute teachers, according to Superintendent Jenny Ulrich.
The substitute shortage has been a problem for the past three years, but it has become a serious problem this year. During the school board meeting Monday, Ulrich said the district has about four reliable subs out of a total of seven.
“We have done everything we know to do try to drum up business and get applicants,” Ulrich said.
Not having enough subs makes it difficult to conduct trainings for groups of teachers at a time, according to Ulrich, as well as having teachers take personal days.
“We are looking into a contract with a company that will staff substitutes for us. It’s called Kelly Services,” Ulrich said.
Kelly Services is an office staffing company and workforce solutions company.
“The company places employees at all levels in various sectors including the financial services, information technology, and law industries,” according to its website.
Ulrich said she is waiting on a return phone call from the company for more information.
Additionally, she noted that she looked into the pay scale to see if the district’s pay for subs is in line with other school districts.
“We’re right there in the ballpark with St. Clair and other surrounding areas.
“I don’t know that it’s a matter of pay, it might be a matter of location. I mean we’re kind of off the beaten path compared to people who live in St. Clair,” Ulrich said.
With little to no success, she added that the district has placed ads with East Central College, Jefferson College and Mineral Area College in the past, as well as made website and social media posts.
To apply for a substitute certificate, a person only needs 60 college credit hours. Most school districts also require thumb prints and a background check.
Principal Wayne Dierker told The Missourian that he trains new sub hires and along with the district’s technology coordinator.
For more information about becoming a substitute teacher, call Lonedell School District at 636-629-0401.
St. Clair School District
In a phone interview Monday, Assistant Superintendent Nadine Aitch said St. Clair R-XIII has been having a substitute teacher shortage for the past three to four years.
The district has approximately 70 substitutes on file, however some only want to sub for a specific grade and/or they also accept sub positions at surrounding school districts, which limits their availability, according to Aitch.
The district is about one to four subs short on a day-to-day basis, she said.
To make finding available subs easier, St. Clair teachers can use the AESOB computer program. Aitch said the program allows teachers to request a certain substitute in advance.
If a sub does not accept the position, within 24 hours of the day a teacher will be absent, the program sends out an automated call to the listed subs.
Aitch said although AESOB is more efficient than what was done in the past, it is still a challenge to finding a sub.
Since the only requirement to be a substitute teacher is having 60 hours of college credit, Aitch said she would like to have more parent volunteers.
The district also requires a background check and there is a monthly sub orientation to help prepare them for the classroom.
For more information on becoming a substitute teacher, contact central office at 636-629-3500 ext. 1000.