Edmond Public Schools officials said they are looking for applicants to become substitutes at the district.
Right now, the district has just under 200 substitutes in the pool compared to nearly 700 last year.
“We are fluctuating anywhere between 62 percent to 80 percent fill rate, which means on any given day, you could have 30 to 35 percent of the classrooms that need a sub don’t have one,” EPS associate superintendent of human resources Randy Decker said.
When that happens, Decker said they must be creative on how to make sure a teacher is present in the classroom.
“At the elementary [level], sometimes you have to combine classes,” Decker said. “Since we are on an A and B schedule, you have to sometimes divide the class between several.”
Decker noted other districts around the metro are battling the same problem.
“Even though there is more people in the metropolitan area, all schools have the same struggle,” Decker said. “That is why we are trying to get people in.”
Oklahoma City Public Schools has 350 substitutes on hand but would like to have around 500.
OKCPS is enticing potential applicants by offering an extra $40 a day. EPS has also instituted a benefit of its own.
“If they work a certain number of days, we will give them a stipend which is, in essence, an increase in salary,” Decker said.
Stipends are also offered to employees if they recruit others to apply for substitute teaching positions.
EPS officials also said they are looking for more bus drivers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made them lose drivers, so they are looking to fill 15 driver spots as soon as possible.
If you would like to apply to be a substitute in Edmond, click here.