Chesapeake Public Schools aim to fill more open teaching positions

Chesapeake Public Schools aim to fill more open teaching positions

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Summer vacation is over for kids and parents in Hampton Roads.

“First day of school yesterday went great,” said Matthew Castillo, who has three kids in Chesapeake Public Schools.

Castillo said one thing discussed as the school year began was classroom and teacher assignments.

“They were all interested in knowing if the kids were all going to be in classes together,” said Castillo.

He said he’s glad teachers are ready to educate kids in Chesapeake amid nationwide teaching shortages.

“I think the idea of a teacher shortage would be concerning. We didn’t experience that with our kids,” said Castillo.

Empty teaching slots are an issue Chesapeake Public Schools wants to prevent. That’s why they hired 340 educators this year and have just 2% of teaching positions open.

“We do have our classrooms covered with certified teachers,” said Mindy Green, the assistant director of human resources for recruitment and diversity for Chesapeake Public Schools.

Green said if there are openings, TAs with bachelor’s degrees sometimes step in if they are properly qualified in the subject, but some positions are consistently tough to fill. She said they’re always looking for math, tech ed and special ed teachers.

“It’s a very difficult area because it’s so specialized,” said Green.

Brandon Roberts, who’s a new hire helping with recruitment for the district, said it’s important to fill the open spots.

“You definitely want to hire quality people when you’re dealing with the youth because you want someone who’s impactful to them,” said Roberts.

On Wednesday, September 6, Chesapeake had 45 open teaching positions.

As of August, others in Hampton Roads were looking for teachers too. Virginia Beach had roughly 51 teacher openings, Newport News had 52, Suffolk had 105, Hampton had 18, and Portsmouth had 62.

As of April 2023, the Virginia Board of Education reported more than 3,500 teacher vacancies across the commonwealth.

To keep classrooms full of qualified educators, Green said Virginia’s partnered with online certification program iTeach. The program allows schools to employ teachers on a provisional license as they work towards a full license.

Chesapeake is hosting several job fairs too: On Thursday, September 14, CPS is looking for school nutrition workers. On Sept. 16, CPS is looking for bus drivers, custodians, IT specialists, and teachers. Chesapeake staff said they’re looking to fill roughly 90 bus driver openings after 10 drivers left last week.

For more information on the job fairs, click .

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