Virus relief to hire teachers
15 Jun 2021 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

Fort Wayne Community Schools is increasing its instructor roster with help from federal coronavirus relief dollars.

About a dozen of the 45 teachers hired Monday will be paid with the third round of temporary funding, which can be spent through fall 2024.

The investment in people is part of a strategy to narrow student learning gaps, Superintendent Mark Daniel said, telling the school board the district has added 40 positions.

With more personnel, FWCS can reduce class sizes and focus on students especially in need of help, Daniel said.

The district, which employs about 1,900 people, has filled 204 of 289 open teaching positions for the upcoming academic year, indicating it's on track to meet the looming needs, Daniel said.

Nevertheless, he urged people to apply. The district's needs also include bus drivers, substitute teachers and classroom assistants, primarily for the elementary grades.

"If there are people who are listening that are interested in positions, go to our website," Daniel said. "We need caring adults in these classrooms to help our kids."

FWCS has used signing bonuses to attract talent. For instance, six speech language pathologists and 13 teachers who accepted early offers each received 2,500. That adds up to 47,500.

Employees are being told whether their salaries are supported by the temporary federal funding, Daniel said. He doesn't expect they should worry about job security once the dollars run out given normal attrition and turnover.

FWCS is continuing to market its jobs through billboards, radio ads, social media and district newsletters, he said.

"We have some early indicators of success, but more time will be needed before the final results will show," Daniel said. "If nothing else, we are now much more competitive to the private market."

This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"Virus relief to hire teachers" Journal Gazette 15 Jun 2021: C1