Teachers wanted: District 518 hopes to fill a slate of open positions
“There’s things that have changed in the educational world,” Landgaard said. “It is much different than it was 20 years ago.”
WORTHINGTON — District 518 needs teachers and staff for a variety of subjects and grade levels in every one of its schools, and may need to offer hiring incentives and recruitment bonuses to find them.
During Monday morning's meeting of the Instructional Committee of the District 518 Board of Education, school board member Tom Prins asked if the number of open teaching positions was normal.
“No. It’s a high number, and (there’s) not a lot of applicants,” said Superintendent John Landgaard, “And actually, I don’t think my list is completely done.”
He told the committee he will likely be asking the full board for the authority to offer hiring and recruitment incentives.
Prins asked why turnover seemed high, and Landgaard offered a list of reasons, including teachers hoping to stay closer to their hometowns or stay home with their children, as well as some not meeting expectations for the district.
“There’s things that have changed in the educational world,” he said. “It is much different than it was 20 years ago.”
So far, one out of four preschool teacher positions have been filled for District 518’s planned expansion to its program for 4-year-olds.
The committee also reviewed a request to make Worthington High School’s esports club a district-sponsored school event, like speech or basketball.
About 20 to 30 students are involved in the competitive video-gaming group, which has done well at region and state competitions in the past.
Josh Noble, director of instruction for the district, and Tony Hastings, WHS principal, both agreed the activity is growing and becoming more popular. Colleges are even offering scholarships for students who excel at esports.
The committee seemed to reach a consensus that though esports would likely become a fully school-sponsored activity in the future, it had not quite gotten to that point yet for Worthington.
In other news Monday, the committee:
- Approved the second reading of a policy on overdose medication, detailing requirements for use of Naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses. The policy, which provides additional protection for school nurses or others utilizing the medication, will go to the full board for approval.
- Advanced three professional development requests involving out-of-state travel for teachers for full board approval.
- Discussed a potential hockey collaboration agreement for middle school students from St. Mary’s School, Round Lake-Brewster and Worthington Christian School.
- Discussed a potential hockey cooperative agreement request from Adrian.
- Discussed the addition of two more days to the end of the school calendar due to severe weather events.