FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 2020-21 school year is wrapping up for school districts across Allen County and statewide, and human resources departments are already looking ahead to next Fall.
Teachers are in dire need throughout the state. However, a pair of Allen County school districts find themselves in good shape when it comes to filling open jobs for teachers. Southwest Allen County Schools Director of Human Resources LuAnn Erickson says they have filled all but four teaching positions. East Allen County Schools Director of Human of Resources Tina Grady is also pleased with the state of open jobs in their district.
“As far as general education, we’re doing really good,” said Grady. “We had a really strong hiring season this year.”
With teachers and students navigating through an altered classroom experience, many remain concerned about a potential wave of retirements or teachers leaving the profession entirely. It is still early, but Grady and Erickson are optimistic they will not see a wave of teachers leaving their respective school districts over the summer.
“We’ve done a good job of staying in touch and staying close, making sure that we were addressing needs and responding to them as they would occur,” Grady said.
The biggest need for both of these districts is support staff for roles like substitute teachers, instructional assistants, bus drivers and cafeteria staff. Filling these positions is a common challenge throughout school districts, and it was exacerbated this past year due to the pandemic.
“We struggle in those areas,” said Erickson. “This has been a hard year to get people to come in and we tend to see a little more turnover in those areas.”
Representatives from Fort Wayne Community Schools and Northwest Allen County Schools declined requests for interviews at this time, adding they are focused on finishing the current school year.
As of Thursday, FWCS has over 200 jobs listed on the school district’s website. Most of the listings are for support staff roles, but there are also links to apply for the district’s talent pool of certified teachers. NACS has 22 open positions listed on their district website. Similar to FWCS, most of those positions are for support staff.