Baltimore seeks to fill 800 teacher vacancies


11 TV Hill: Baltimore schools seeks to hire 800 teachers



JASON: THE START OF A NEW ACADEMIC YEAR IS JUST WEEKS AWAY. BUT BEFORE KIDS GET BACK IN THE CLASSROOM, CENTRAL MARYLAND SCHOOLS FACING ANOTHER PROBLEM. FINDING TEACHERS. >> I’M ALWAYS CONCERNED WHEN WE HAVE VACANCIES BECAUSE IT EFFECTS THE EDUCATION OF OUR STUDENTS AND THIS YEAR, ACROSS THE STATE, ACROSS THE NATION, IT’S EVEN MORE VACANCIES THAN USUAL. JASON: THIS MORNING WE TALK WITH BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL CEO SONJA SANTELISES ABOUT HOW THE DISTRICT IS ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE. PLUS, WHAT THE UNIVERSITY IS DOING TO TRY TO ATTRACT THE NEXT GENERATION OF EDUCATORS. THAT’S ALL AHEAD ON “11 TV HILL.” HELLO, EVERYONE. I’M JASON NEWTON. WELCOME TO “11 TV HILL.” WE’RE JUST A FEW WEEKS OUT FROM THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. FINDING TEACHERS, BUS DRIVERS AND OTHER SCHOOL STAFF PROVING TO BE A CHALLENGE FOR MANY DISTRICTS. HERE ARE THE NUMBERS. BALTIMORE COUNTY NEEDS AS MANY AS 435 TEACHERS. ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY NEED TO FILL 418 POSITIONS. HOWARD COUNTY TRYING TO HIRE 175 TEACHERS WHILE CARROLL COUNTY WANTS TO ADD 52. ANDUJARFORD NEEDS — AND HARFORD NEEDS 40 TEACHERS. MORE THAN 800 EDUCATORS NEEDED THIS ACADEMIC YEAR. EARLIER THIS WEEK I SPOKE WITH CITY SCHOOL CEO SONJA SANTELISES ABOUT WHAT’S BEING DONE TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE. JOINING US NOW IS DR. SONJA SANTELISES. THANKS FOR COMING BY. IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU. SONJA: IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU. JASON: THIS IS AN INTERESTING SCHOOL YEAR. WITH THE NEED FOR TEACHERS, WE GOT THE LETTER AT HOME, WE TALKED ALL ABOUT IT IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. WHAT’S IT LIKE RIGHT NOW FOR CITY SCHOOLS? SONJA: RIGHT NOW IN CITY SCHOOLS, WE’VE GOT KIND OF THIS CONVERGENCE OF HAVING MORE DOLLARS, SO BEING ABLE TO HIRE FOLKS THAT WE HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO HIRE BEFORE WE HAD ABOUT 1300 OPENINGS WHEN WE STARTED BUT A LOT OF THAT WAS DRIVEN BY NEW POSITIONS. SO WE STARTED EARLY. PRINCIPALS DID AND HUMAN CAPITAL STAFF DID A GREAT JOB. WE HAD HIRED ABOUT 500 OF THOSE POSITIONS, THOSE TEACHING POSITIONS, EARLIER THAN WE EVER HAVE, ON JULY 4. THE CHALLENGE STILL IS, THOUGH, WITH THE NEW POSITIONS WE WERE ABLE TO ADD DUE TO THE DOLLARS, WE’RE STILL LOOKING AT ABOUT PROBABLY 600 VACANCIES RIGHT NOW. JASON: PEOPLE SHOULD UNDERSTAND, THIS ISN’T JUST A CITY PROBLEM. DISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE DEALING WITH THIS. AND WE WERE TALKING WITH THE UNIVERSITY IS THE ALLURE GONE, DO YOU THINK? WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I’M GOING TO BE A TEACHER. DO WE NOT HEAR THAT AS MUCH? SONJA: TEACHERS HAVE JUST GONE THROUGH THE LAST TWO YEARS, RIGHT? THEY WENT FROM BEING CELEBRATED WHEN WE WENT VIRTUAL TO REALIZING THAT THIS LIFT, RIGHT THIS LIFT WE’VE ASKED THEM TO DO FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS, HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING. WE KNOW THAT MARYLAND HAS LONG NOT HAD ENOUGH TEACHERS TO FILL THE STATE’S NEEDS. AND THEN, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE WONDER, WAIT A MINUTE, WITH SOME OF THESE CHALLENGES, WITH SOME OF THE RHETORIC THAT WE HEAR, DO WE STILL WANT TO DO THIS? SO YOU’VE GOT A REAL CHALLENGING LAST TWO YEARS. YOU HAVE A COUNTRY WHERE TEACHING IS BEING CAUGHT UP IN THINGS THAT TEACHERS DIDN’T SIGN UP TO BE ON THE FRONT LINE OF POLITICAL BATTLES. THEY SIGNED UP TO EACH YOUNG PEOPLE. JASON: DO DISTRICTS HAVE TO GET CREATIVE IN ORDER TO SAY, LISTEN, THIS COULD BE A GREAT CAREER FOR YOU, NOT JUST A JOB, BUT A CAREER? SONJA: ABSOLUTELY. WHAT WE’RE STILL FINDING IS THAT OUR TEACHERS ARE THE BEST RESOURCES. WE HAVE NEW TEACHERS COMING IN FROM OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE CITY. AND IT’S OUR OWN TEACHERS THAT ARE THE BEST PUBLICITY. BUT WE’RE ALSO NEEDING TO START EARLIER. AS I KNOW YOU WERE TALKING TO MY DEAR FRIEND OVER AT THE UNIVERSITY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’RE FINDING IS YOU’VE GOT TO REACH YOUNG PEOPLE EARLIER. WE HAVE REALLY BEEN HITTING A LOT OF DIFFERENT VENUES FOR TEACHING. WE’VE ACTUALLY BEEN WORKING WITH BTU TO REVIVE OUR PARATO TEACHER PROGRAM. BECAUSE SOME OF THE FOLKS WHO ARE REALLY GREAT WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE PARAPROFESSIONALS. SO WE’VE HAD TO BE MORE CREATIVE. WE’VE HAD TO USE MORE KIND OF ON THE GROUND OUTREACH TO POTENTIAL CANDIDATES AND FRANKLY TO START EARLIER. JASON: ARE THERE CATEGORIES THAT STAND OUT TO YOU WHERE YOU THINK WE’RE IN DIRE NEED RIGHT NOW? SONJA: YEAH. WHEN WE LOOK ACROSS THE DISTRICT, STILL OUR HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT AREA TEACHERS, SO TRADITIONALLY MATH AND SCIENCE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CHALLENGING. BUT I WILL TELL YOU, THIS YEAR I WAS SURPRISED AS A FORMER HUMANITIONS TEACHER WHEN I SAW ENGLISH TEACHER POSITIONS OPEN. WHICH IS NOT — WHICH IS NOT COMMON FOR US. THE OTHER PLACE, SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS, TEACHERS THAT REALLY SERVE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIONS, ARE STILL IN GREAT NEED THIS YEAR. SO WHAT WE’RE SEEING IS ONE TRADITIONAL VISA — ONE, TRADITIONAL VACANCIES, BUT ALSO UNUSUAL AREAS WHERE WE USUALLY DON’T HAVE VACANCIES. JASON: AND TRANSPORTATION AS WELL. YOU’RE ABLE TO GET NEW POSITIONS, THAT’S GREAT. YOU GET KIDS TO SCHOOL ON TIME. SONJA: WHAT A LOT OF FOLKS ARE LEARNING IS THAT WHILE TEACHING IS CLEARLY A PRIMARY FOCUS, WE NEED BUS DRIVERS, WE NEED LUNCH MONITORS. SO WE HAVE KIND OF — WE HAVE WORKED WITH, FOR EXAMPLE, L-44, LOCAL UNION 44, TO GIVE INCREASED SALARY FOR OUR FOOD AND NUTRITION WORKERS, WHICH WILL GO INTO EFFECT. AND WE’VE REALLY HAD TO DO A BETTER JOB ADVERTISING. SO THOSE ARE POSITIONS WHERE USUALLY YOU JUST HAD PEOPLE COMING IN. NOW WE’VE GOT COMMUNITY FOLKS HELPING US RECRUIT FOR THOSE POSITIONS. AND MUCH BROADER MARKETING CAMPAIGN AS WELL. JASON: IS THERE A THEME FOR THIS YEAR? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THIS YEAR THINK? KNOW YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING IN THE WORKS. SONJA: I KNOW. THIS YEAR WE’RE WORKING ON PIPELINES. WE’RE WORKING ON — WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THINGS EVEN MORE CREATIVELY. CITY SCHOOLS HAS ALWAYS TRIED TO RECRUIT IN DIFFERENT PLACES. BUT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO NOT ONLY DO A BETTER JOB RECRUITING AND BEING MORE CREATIVE, BUT ALSO MAKING SURE THAT WE’RE RETAINING OUR TEACHERS. AND SO THAT MEANS, AGAIN, WE SAW A LOT OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK IN OUR TEACHER SURVEY FOR SOME OF THE WELLNESS DAYS. TEACHERS APPRECIATED THE EXTRA DAY AT THANKSGIVING TO BE WITH FAMILIES AND THOSE THINGS MATTER. AND THEN REALLY STRONG PRINCIPLES — PRINCIPALS. OUR PRINCIPALS WERE OUT THERE AND WHEN TEACHERS FEEL CARED FOR, THEY TEND TO STAY. AND THE SAME IS TRUE WITH OUR BUS DRIVERS, WITH OUR FOOD AND NUTRITION WORKERS. SO IT’S CREATIVITY, IT’S REALLY WORKING TO RETAIN PEOPLE, AS MUCH AS IT IS RECRUITING. EVERYBODY, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, MAKE SURE YOU’RE RECRUITING PEOPLE IN AND LETTING THEM KNOW THAT SCHOOLS AND YOUNG PEOPLE STILL NEED FOLKS TO SERVE AND SUPPORT. JASON: QUICKLY, FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE, WE WERE STILL IN THE THROES OF IT LAST SCHOOL YEAR AND IT FEELS LIKE THIS TIME AROUND WILL FEEL LIKE ALMOST NORMAL. SONJA: YEAH. IT REALLY DID TAKE THAT YEAR FOR PEOPLE TO GET BACK AND KIDS HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO BE IN SCHOOL, TO PUT IT BLUNTLY. SO WE’RE REALLY HOPING FOR THAT. WHICH IS WHY WE’RE REALLY HITTING THE PAVEMENT TO MAKE SURE POSITIONS ARE FILLED. WE’RE THRILLED AND READY FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEA

11 TV Hill: Baltimore schools seeks to hire 800 teachers

The start of a new academic year is just weeks away, but before children return to class, Central Maryland schools face another problem: finding teachers.”I’m always concerned when we have vacancies, yes, because it affects the education of students, and, this year, across the state and across the nation, it’s even more vacancies than usual,” said Cindy Sexton, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.Baltimore City Public Schools needs more than 800 educators this academic year, so 11 TV Hill spoke with Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises about how the district is addressing the issue.

The start of a new academic year is just weeks away, but before children return to class, Central Maryland schools face another problem: finding teachers.

“I’m always concerned when we have vacancies, yes, because it affects the education of students, and, this year, across the state and across the nation, it’s even more vacancies than usual,” said Cindy Sexton, president of the Teachers Baltimore County Association.

Baltimore City Public Schools needs more than 800 educators this academic year, so 11 TV Hill spoke with Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises about how the district is addressing the issue.

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