RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Washoe County School District is all but certain to head into the 2022-2023 school year with a shortage of teachers, district leaders said during Tuesday's board meeting.
According to WCSD human resources director Emily Ellison, the teacher shortage was trending in the right direction a few years ago, but the pandemic prompted a national trend of teachers leaving the classroom.
As of August 9, there were 147 total teaching positions open. However, 60 of those positions will be filled by so-called teachers on special assignment, meaning there are actually 87 vacancies left to be filled.
In comparison, there were 62 teaching openings on the first day of the 2021-2022 school year, Ellison said.
Ellison told WCSD board members that although there will likely still be openings on day one, there will not be classrooms with students left unattended. Instead, the district will use long-term subs or credentialed administrators to fill those gaps until the positions are filled.
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In the meantime, she said they're meeting behind closed doors daily to figure out creative solutions to prepare for the first day of school.
"(We're) triaging those positions, talking about long-term subs, potential retirees, whether or not there are uncertainties around enrollment and perhaps class schedules should be modified," she said.
"We're exploring options with our association around virtual instruction."
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WATCH the WCSD board meeting here: