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Education

Indian River School District seeks retired teachers to help as substitutes

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Delaware Public Media
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The Indian River School District is seeking recent retirees to serve as substitute teachers.

Gov. Carney’s recent revision of the State of Emergency issuing a new mask mandate, also eased regulations to allow recently-retired state employees to return to the classroom as substitute teachers.

Now, there’s only a one-month separation of state service instead of the six months, and the Indian River School District is trying to take advantage by calling for retired teachers to serve as subs for the rest of the school year.

The district temporarily increased retired teacher substitute pay to $200 per day after five days with retired paraprofessionals receiving $150 per day after five days of substituting.

Indian River School District personnel specialist Michele Murphy says the move is a response to a serious shortage.

"It's dire, we are looking for substitutes daily to come in and serve in some of these positions," said Murphy. "We have had to combine classrooms at times because we haven't been able to find a substitute so the existing teacher had to kind of pitch in and help. Our paraprofessionals have really been helping out with taking over some classroom responsibilities."

Murphy says it's one way to address a real shortage.

"We need the substitutes in the classroom for various reasons. Some are due to COVID leave, some are due to maternity or paternity leave, and just to have extra hands in the classroom to provide assistance for students that need the extra attention."

She says the district has gotten a good response in asking for retired substitutes, and she’s confident they will get through the school year just fine.

Murphy notes the district isn’t just looking for classroom help. It also needs bus drivers, bus aides, and help in food service.