The Langley School District has hired 966 teachers so far this year but that’s not enough to meet the need.
As of the Sept. 26 board meeting, there were still 337 postings open.
“Anyone here secondary French Immersion? I’ll hire you out in the lobby,” Superintendent Gord Stewart joked at the board meeting.
From August until late September, the district had hired 66 new teachers alone, and 261 since Jan. 1.
But there are still jobs open – 19 resource teachers, two learning commons and 25 classroom positions.
Stewart explained that there are teachers in front of the students but they may not yet be their permanent teachers. Administrators are doing what they can to help cover.
“I just know that parents are going to start calling us pretty soon. I’m sure they’re calling you already,” trustee Rod Ross said to staff.
The most difficult positions to fill are for specialty positions such as secondary French immersion, resource teachers and secondary Tech Ed teachers. But there are some core courses that are tough too, namely math and science.
Langley is like every school district in B.C., trying to find the staff to meet the class size and composition requirements that changed when the Supreme Court of Canada sided with the BC Teachers’ Federation over the B.C. Liberal government at the time.
“Restored local contract language has resulted in over 140 new teaching positions in Langley, in addition to the challenges presented by year-after-year growth in student enrollment that continues to exceed expectation,” Stewart said.
So the district has been “maintaining close relationships with post-secondary schools with teaching programs, attending job fairs across Canada and using various technological means to spread the word. The district sent a letter to parents Sept. 28 outlining the teacher numbers.
The scramble for staff has also meant there are fewer people in the teacher on call list and “we haven’t hit flu season yet,” Stewart noted.
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