The Reading School District is closer to filling numerous vacancies

A recent job fair attracted more than 100 potential applicants for various auxiliary positions in the Redding School District.

Dr. Jennifer Murray, the district’s superintendent, said Wednesday at an event at Central High School, 215 N. 12th St., that the hiring focused on teaching assistants and other paraprofessionals, safe schools staff, and food service, custodial and service positions. . at a school board meeting.

“There were 158 total job fair attendees and 85 applications were initiated and submitted that day,” Murray said, noting that more than 100 on-site interviews were conducted and 42 conditional offers were made during the four-hour event. “Fifteen of those were for safe schools staff.”

Representatives of the state program of migrant education; Berks County Intermediate Unit, which provides replacement services; and Durham Transportation, Illinois, which provides bus service to the area, also attended the event.

“One of the things we saw at our job fair was that the GED or high school diploma requirement was a barrier for some of our applicants,” Murray said. “So I think going forward we’re going to have to have some resources for those people to help them with that requirement for us to move forward.”

Thanks to the latest strategies, the district is getting closer to filling the vacancies in various positions.

As with other US school districts, Reading was difficult find a sufficient number of teachers, their substitutes, catering workers, assistants and other workers.

But in less than two months, the number of joint vacancies for all vacancies has significantly decreased to 65 is posted on the district’s website as of Thursday of over 200 in July.

The need for teachers remains the greatest.

Thirty-one, or nearly half, of the current vacancies are for teachers: six in elementary schools, nine in middle schools and 16 in high schools in the district.

A lack of adequate staffing left certified teachers, aides and other professionals out of work and some students out of school last school year, according to members of the district’s teachers and support professionals union, who addressed the school board in January.

At the time, there were about 100 faculty and 150 support positions.

Since then, the county has come a long way in filling vacancies, largely thanks to hiring and retention incentives introduced at the end of 2021.

They include a $1,000 Retention Bonus paid to existing staff later that year and a $450 bonus for new recruits approved by the school board earlier this year.

The district recently announced an hourly pay increase for current security personnel by $4 an hour. The district also increased the starting pay for all newly hired security officers to $22 an hour for the 2022-23 school year.

In response to last year’s request from district students to increase the number of safety officers in schools, Added 56 safe school jobs for the new academic year.

Only one part-time police officer and one full-time school policeman are still needed, the district official reports site.

Collective agreements have also been approved in the district agreements with catering and reading paraprofessional associations which raised all current and starting rates to at least $15 an hour.

To apply for a job, visit Redding School District site.

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