Craig A shortage of qualified substitute teachers, bus drivers and classified staff is an ongoing issue at at Moffat County School District.
“It sounds like there are only about 20 subs for the entire school district and at least twice my daughter has had to go in sick,” said Dorcas Albaugh.
Her daughter, a teacher for the district, hasn’t been able to take sick leave and has had to try to recruit substitutes herself.
“It’s crazy that our teachers have no help,” Albaugh said.
The school district would like to hire more substitutes for a number of positions.
“We need subs for all grade levels,” said Renae Dove, executive director of staff services and personnel.
Temporary personnel are also needed to fill-in for bus drivers and classified staff such as paraprofessionals, custodians, food servers, secretaries and health aides.
“We are always looking for subs,” said Superintendent Dave Ulrich. “We can never have enough good quality subs and substitute bus drivers. ”
The shortage is something most school districts face , he said.
“I have yet to be involved, in my educational leadership career, in any district that has solved the need for substitutes and that is no different here on the Western Slope,” Ulrich said.
A shrinking list of substitute teachers could be a good sign for the area economy.
“As the economy improves the number of available substitutes decreases,” Dove said.
Licensed substitute teachers receive about $80 per day. Substitute bus drivers, after training, are paid a little more than $13 per hour. Compensation for classified staff starts at $10 per hour and varies depending on the position.
Low rates of pay may be a factor in attracting more people.
“I think that making sure we remain competitive with our neighbors is something that we have to evaluate,” Ulrich said.
To qualify as a licensed substitute to teach requires a minimum of 49 college credits or an approved assessment test (available at the Colorado Workforce Center) with a passing score of four or higher along with a background working with children.
Qualifications for classified staff and bus drivers vary depending on the position.
All candidates must complete a background check before working in the school district.
While the district seeks to increase the substitute pool, Ulrich said, “We are meeting the needs of staff and students as best as we can.”
To learn more, visit the employment page at Moffatsd.org or call the school district personnel office at 970-824-3268 or the transportation office at 970-824-5511.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.