“Last resort:” FWCS may need to implement e-learning if vacancies are not filled

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Thousands of area students may have to return to distance learning.

This time, however, it is not because of the coronavirus but a shortage of manpower.

While Fort Wayne’s community schools have not reached the point where distance learning needs to be implemented, administrators are examining all options just in case.

“There just aren’t enough people who want to work and who specifically want the kind of jobs that we have,” said district spokeswoman Krista Stockman.

FWCS has hundreds of open positions, including 70 bus drivers, dozens of nutrition service workers, as well as teachers, office staff, etc.

And the district is ready to pay the necessary new recruits in each building.

“We have some positions where we offered bonuses, signing bonuses, retention bonuses. We offered bonuses to retired teachers if they came back to teach full time, even part time, we would take. “said Stockman.

FWCS must hire at least 70 bus drivers to cover all of its routes.

She says Superintendent Mark Daniel thinks outside the box and takes all suggestions, including encouraging candidates who need flexible hours.

There is a desperate need for substitute teachers, and you may not know that parents are now welcome in classrooms and dining rooms to volunteer their time.

Central office staff even go to schools to fill teachers and other jobs, but there are more vacancies than there are people to fill them.

“If we can’t cover the positions that are open and that are essential to the running of the school, then we have to look at something that we really don’t want to do, and that’s going back to some kind of online learning, ”she said.

While nothing has been decided yet and it would be a last resort, she says online learning would be different from last year’s hybrid schedule, but still allow staff across a set of school buildings. go to others to help.

“We have five high schools, five days a week, so you can choose a different feeding system each day and that way the students only miss one day in person,” Stockman said.

She says that to avoid this situation, the district has changed its hiring process to make it faster and more streamlined.

To apply for openings in the neighborhood, click here.

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Norma A. Roth