WCSD Looking to Fill 160 Teaching Positions Before School Starts - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

WCSD Looking to Fill 160 Teaching Positions Before School Starts

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It's a hiring race for Washoe County Schools as district leaders get ready to fill 160 teaching positions before classes begin in less than two weeks. Most of those are for special education at 110 open spots, followed by 30 math teachers that need to be hired and 20 science teachers.

We talked with Denise Hausauer, the principal at Damonte Ranch High School. She says the school needs to hire four full-time positions and one part-time spot before school starts. “It's definitely fast-paced. You're putting a lot of things together for a lot of people to come for the first time for their first day and you want it to be great,” said Hausauer.

We’re told some of the most difficult jobs to fill in schools across the country are the same jobs that need to be filled here - with a primary focus on secondary math and science and special education. 

Many schools in Washoe County started the hiring process in May. In some cases, finding someone to fill a position can take a full year. “The challenge is just having people apply for the job even. We're going through and if we're not interviewing every candidate, we're hiring them,” said Hausauer. 

Washoe County schools started off looking to hire between 350 to 400 teachers to add to their 4,000 teacher workforce. Director of Talent Acquisition, Emily Ellison, says now that schools are in the final stretch for hiring, they're optimistic it will all get done soon. “We're working with our principals every day to make sure they've got those covered so the number is every changing but we're feeling really good about the upcoming school year,” said Ellison. 

Ellison says incentives passed through the Nevada Legislature earlier this year should help. New hires could get between $4,000 to $5,000 as a new-teacher bonus. “We're working out the details in terms of how that plays out for individual teachers and how much incentive money they will each receive,” said Ellison. 

With around 1,750 students getting ready to attend Damonte Ranch High School this year, Denise says no matter what --- there will be someone standing at the front of the classroom on August 10th. “They'll be somebody there for sure!” said Hausauer. “We'll go to retired teachers that will come in so they're very qualified to do their job or we do have substitutes that are qualified in some cases to take some of these positions.”

Channel 2 News is doing a Back 2 School news special on all things you need to know to get your kids ready. It will be airing August 6th at 7:00 p.m., on Channel 2.

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