Local school districts scrambling to fill teacher vacancies

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Keeping classrooms staffed has become increasingly challenging as the omicron variant continues to keep teachers out sick or in quarantine.

Clovis Unified has several hundred employees out on any given day due to COVID-19.

The district has increased pay for substitutes and is asking anyone who has an appropriate background for help.

Everyone from the top of the organization to the very most entry level position is willing to step up and do what we can to make sure that our kids are able to come to school and get the learning that they are so in need of," says Kelly Avants with Clovis Unified.

Fresno Unified has also been hit hard. On Friday alone, there were 600 vacancies and 380 subs.

Last week, the district had to close 40 classes and it closed another 25 classes over the weekend.

Superintendent Bob Nelson says the district is making modifications to keep kids in the classroom.

They're adding more subs, bringing back retirees and they've even dispersed their entire Central Office administration to the school sites.

"It's not a sustainable model, we can't do this into perpetuity," Nelson said. "We can't have 600 vacancies a day, every day and try and keep this thing up and running, but we will do it as well as we can, as long as we can, as hard as we can, for as many kids as we can support to try and do that for our community."

Sanger Unified officials say they're also doing everything they can to keep certificated staff leading classes -- that includes pulling teachers from special assignments and even utilizing student teachers.

The district has also put elementary music classes on pause to address the absences.

Clovis Unified leaders are actively working to hire a variety of positions right now.

They will be conducting interviews for general education teachers, subs, school psychologists, transportation technology and campus catering.

The job fair will be this Wednesday at 9 am at the district's professional development building. For more information, click here.

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