More substitutes for District 51 needed in 2013

Substitute teachers are in higher demand this year in District 51, but the district says it is not yet at the point of needing to recruit more subs.

The district needed substitute teachers 2,817 times between the start of school and Nov. 30, 2012.

Substitutes were called in 3,103 times during the same period in 2013, a 10 percent year-over-year increase.

There were fewer substitute teachers available to cover those days in 2013, with 608 active substitute teachers to call in 2012-13 and 521 substitutes available during the first four months of school this year.

Ten more names are being added to the list of available substitutes later this month, according to District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee, along with spring semester student teachers.

McGee said the district is not actively seeking more substitutes at this time because the current members of the pool of substitutes may each be working more days, but not so many that the load has become overwhelming.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why more teachers are requesting substitute help because they do not have to specify reasons for taking a personal day, McGee said.

But she did note that there were more instances this year of athletic leave for teachers who are coaches, for jury duty and for teachers leaving the classroom for school-related training.

Also, school started one week earlier this year.

There were 33 instances of long-term placements for substitutes between the start of school and the end of November this school year, up from 17 during the same time period in 2012.

Thirteen of those assignments in 2013 were for teachers who took time off for something such as maternity leave.

Nine placements were for positions that were not filled in time for the start of school, and 11 long-term substitutes were needed because a class turned out to be too large and needed to be split with another teacher.


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