Fort Wayne Community Schools is “pulling out all the stops” to ensure positions are filled when the district welcomes its almost 30,000 students to classes next month, a central office administrator said Monday.
The district needs people across departments, including in classrooms and transportation, administrators said after the school board meeting.
“We've had a surge of resignations,” Superintendent Mark Daniel told the board. “Hiring, however, is keeping pace with these demands.”
The board approved four teacher retirements and 24 teacher resignations, but it hired 36 educators, according to the personnel report.
“I'm very pleased with what I'm hearing from (human resources),” Daniel said.
Compared with last academic year, FWCS is planning for 100 additional teaching positions, said Charles Cammack Jr., chief operations officer. This doesn't necessarily mean FWCS added 100 classroom educators, he said, explaining teaching roles include instructional coaches and interventionists. Coaches provide support to teachers, and interventionists provide support to students.
FWCS also is filling virtual positions, Daniel noted. Fort Wayne Virtual Academy is families' online-only option for 2021-22.
Recruitment efforts include billboards, lawn signs and other advertising, Cammack said, noting FWCS is “pulling out all the stops.”
Classes begin Aug. 16.
An all-staff assembly is planned for Aug. 11, and employees will report to individual schools Aug. 12 and 13 to prepare for the upcoming year, Daniel said. He noted federal coronavirus relief dollars will support the professional training.
FWCS employs about 4,000 people, including about 1,800 teachers and about 1,200 part-time workers, according to its website.
Meanwhile, FWCS continues to seek additional sources of new teachers. Daniel updated the board about a visit to Marian University in Indianapolis, a potential district partner.
“We do see it as a viable pipeline,” Daniel said.
FWCS also recently met with Purdue University Fort Wayne about teacher shortages and ways to help teachers with emergency permits, Daniel said.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we're going to see some significant gains in that area as well.”