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Substitute Shortage: How you can help!

Like other districts in Washington and across the nation, Bethel SD is experiencing substitute shortages in both certificated and classified coverage.

Taking a look at the chart below on the left, employee absences reported to our district substitute system doubled from September 2015 to September 2016. In addition, the district saw 17%, 37% and 67% increased absences when comparing October, November and December from 2015 to 2016 respectively. Of the reason types, sick leave makes up the majority of the reported absences with over 5,500 absences reported this school year through December 20.

The right side chart, shows how we continue to support staff with professional development opportunities. You can see the certificated district release tallies for September through December 2016.
 Charts referenced in the article
Our solutions...
We have already implemented the following strategies designed to overcome the elevated absences reported, as well as staffing shortages:
  1. Human Resources increased the Substitute Office staff from one to two. Staff include: Patricia Christensen, Substitute Coordinator (x6025) and Savannah Elms, Substitute System Operator (x6018).
  2. Substitute Office duties were realigned to provide additional handling of screening classified substitute applications.
  3. Approximately 100 substitute office clerks, over 135 substitute paraeducators, 70 substitute teachers, and more than 80 emergency substitute teachers were approved over the past 12 months.
  4. Substitute Office staff have persistently worked to update the Absence Management (AESOP) system to better align substitutes with open sub assignments.
  5. We have opened an alternative route to teacher certification for employees that hold bachelor's degrees and are interested in teaching.
  6. District administrators and Human Resources staff will attend at least nine educator career fairs, plus we will hold our 2nd annual Bethel SD Educator Job Fair in February.
Here's how you can help!
To balance our substitute coverage with Absence Management's suggested ratio, we should have one substitute for every three employees requiring a sub when absent. As a result, we plan to hire more than 100 more substitute teachers and over 50 substitute paraeducators and office clerks to strive to cover employee absences. All Bethel employees are invited to recruit on behalf of the district by telling your friends, family and acquaintances about our employment opportunities at You can also have them contact Human Resources at 253.683.6000.