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Local school districts offer incentives to fill teaching and sub-staff positions

ROANOKE VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) — Staffing shortages have seemingly impacted nearly every industry as we continue to recover from the pandemic, and education is no exception.

“We’re not where we want to be, but our plan is to successfully open once students return,” says Dominick McKee, human resources director for the City of Roanoke Schools..

District officials believe they are on the luckier side of the teacher shortage, saying they have enough staff to open and operate.

They attribute this to a few major factors.

“We make sure we have an organizational structure in place, ie we offer professional development, we offer the salary increase,” he adds. “We also want to make sure that we offer the support and that they have a place to voice their concerns. These are the top three things that really retain teachers and staff, so we want to focus more on retention as well as recruitment.

Roanoke City Schools is offering a $500 referral bonus and up to 14% salary increase for teachers.

Lynchburg City Schools is also offering a financial incentive for teachers, including a signing bonus of up to $2,500 that could apply to full-time and part-time staff, which they say has been a factor, as well as other retention tactics, to help them prepare for school. year.

“Despite challenges across the country, we managed to fill vacancies. We have also found creative and innovative ways to fill some of these vacancies, so we are offering hiring incentives,” Lakrisha Scott, Director of Human Resources for City of Lynchburg Schools, presented at the meeting. Tuesday evening school board.

Both school districts have also found benefits in hosting job fairs to attract candidates to their district.

“We are also looking for retirees,” says McKee. “The VDOE just sent this year only, we can bring back full-time retirees who have had a 12 month break in service. We try to do different things, you really have to think outside the box.

Roanoke City Schools says the biggest challenge it faces is having fewer applicants for vital teaching positions.

“They serve as a gateway to education for our students,” he adds. “We have to have the right person in place; we cannot choose anyone. We are in good shape at the moment, but we are still working to fill some of these vacancies. We’re still interviewing, we’re still reviewing applications, we’re still making offers. We will make offers until the first day of school.

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