Due to COVID-19, many schools, organizations, and companies across the country are experiencing staff shortages. In the Moreno Valley Unified School District, Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora and district leaders go above and beyond to keep classrooms running.
Each night, the superintendent and human resources team review all absences that have been entered into the employee absence management system. Many district administrators are called that same night to support the next day, whether it’s to substitute in the classroom, help with supervision, or any other area that needs support.
This week is the first week back from winter break, and although the human resources team is contacting everyone in the substitute pool, it is not enough.
“I call every director or manager to help in one way or another,” said Superintendent Dr. Kedziora. “Today, I was substituting for a classroom at Hendrick Ranch Elementary School. Although the teacher was on-site, they were not able to be in their classroom today.”
At times, teachers have additional responsibilities beyond the classroom, including running support meetings such as a Student Success Team (SST) meeting and participating in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.
Additionally, the district has expanded its ASTERISK Internship Program through the academic school year as a civic engagement opportunity. Nearly all students are currently enrolled in post-secondary education or are working other jobs as they explore their career interests after graduation. Since October, 15 interns have supported 21 schools across the district in health offices or other areas in need as it relates to COVID-19.
“We have to do what we can to continue empowering our future leaders,” said School Board President Cleveland Johnson. “This is a challenging time for everyone.”
There are also absences that are submitted in the mornings, which may be different than the night before.
“My day begins at six in the morning, reviewing the updated list of absences and seeing where schools need support,” Dr. Kedziora added.
Since the beginning of the school year, the Moreno Valley Unified School District has implemented the following measures to help with classroom and school coverage:
- Increased the pay range for substitutes teachers
- Held several pop-up job fairs
- Held a classified job fair in the fall
- Participated in university several job fairs
- Established district-wide marketing materials to promote job openings
- Established weekly schedule for district administrator support during peak times
Most recently, the district is moving forward with the Executive Order N-3-22 issued earlier this week to provide immediate, short-term solutions by allowing districts to issue temporary substitute credentials to those who qualify. Applicants will be offered professional development opportunities to assist with preparation for supporting in-person instruction. The job posting opened today and will close on Tuesday, January 18 at 4:30 p.m.
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