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KCK public schools recruit teachers, other staff for January hybrid learning

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Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 20:05:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools is trying to make sure it has the staff it needs for hybrid learning in January.

This week, the district is focusing heavily on recruiting teachers, nurses, psychologists and coaches.

Human Resource Recruiter Aaron Watkins said the district wants to make sure all students' needs are met when hybrid learning begins.

"It's all starting with elementary coming back first," Watkins said, "and we want to make sure that every building is fully staffed."

The district is one of many in Kansas facing a teacher shortage over the past few years.

"The overall percentage of teachers coming out anymore is a lot lower than what it was five or ten years ago," Watkins said.

Mischel Miller, director of teacher licensure and accreditation for the Kansas State Department of Education, said there was hope of improving the shortage before the pandemic.

"But evidently not, we just reported that data to the state board and our vacancies continue to be in the same positions," Miller said.

Miller said she'll have a better idea of the coronavirus pandemic's effect on the teacher shortage in the spring.

But currently, high-need areas are math, science and special education, according to Miller.

KCKPS will hold a virtual interview day Friday from noon to 5 p.m. with 45-minute time slots. Watkins said recruiting virtually will allow the district to recruit from all over to find the best people for the job.

"We're trying to get our district to be the top 10 in the nation, and we're making the necessary strides to get there," Watkins said.

Anyone interested in Friday's virtual interview day can visit the KCKPS website for more information.