Sioux City School Board to vote on using staffing company to fill substitute teacher openings

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City Community School District leaders said the shortage of substitute teachers has put the district on the verge of acquiring outside help.

District leaders met Friday with a staffing company called ESS, and the school board will vote on Monday to decide if they will offer a contract to ESS to resolve the substitute shortage. School District Human Resource Director Dr. Jen Gomez said the extra work is taking its toll.

“There’s teachers that are working during their plan time to cover classes and they’re working together,” Gomez said. “They’re working as a team and they’re supporting one another but they’re getting tired and we need to really help them out.”

The district has 230 substitute teacher openings. Gomez said they don’t get enough applicants for the positions and thinks ESS can help with that dilemma.

“They are going to be able to dedicate the time and the attention that’s needed to address the substitute coverage,” Gomez said. “We essentially don’t have the man power to do that at this time.”

School Board President Perla Alarcon-Flory said ESS has a 95% fill rate and they won’t take any shortcuts to solve Siouxland’s substitute shortage.

 “We’re going to be hiring local people,” Alarcon-Flory said. “There’s no one that is coming from other places just to fill in the sub positions.”

The seven school board members will vote on Monday whether or not to sign a contract with ESS. The potential partnership needs four votes to pass. The terms of the contract will be decided at that meeting.

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