FORTVILLE — The need for substitute teachers across the state is still high as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
Most schools go through an outside organization to find substitute teachers, but with an increase in demand across the state, the administration at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation streamlined the process and was able to hire 19 subs in four weeks.
“I just retired from elementary school so being at the high school was a nice change pace for me and it's really been nice,” said Vickie Rhodes, who has been subbing at Mt. Vernon since November 2020.
“Being a former teacher, I know how important it is to have stuff and you want to have subs that want to be there, that want to follow the lesson plans,” said Rhodes.
The need for subs was so great they were only able to fill about 50% of the need. At one point last year Fortville Elementary School couldn’t keep up with the number of teacher absences and had to close the school for two weeks.
“We just got to the point where we were running about 10 to 12 staff members out per day and it was causing us too much strain on the remaining staff,” said Assitant Superintendent Chris Smedley.
He said that’s when they launched a campaign to streamline more subs into the district.
“We found out that there were several people in our community that wanted to kind of step up and help out however. The process to apply to be a sub was quite honestly a little laborious so we worked with our partners at Kelly Services and really worked hard to streamline the process to make it easier for people to sign up and it worked, because our sub pool increased by 19 subs within a four week period,” said Smedley.
Because of that their fill rate for subs is now running between 70 and 75%, back to how it was pre-pandemic.
That proves to Rhodes she made the right decision to get back into the classroom.
“It feels good. They had to close a school because they didn't have substitutes, then I know that my role is important, and ... especially when I was new to the building when I would walk through the halls so many teachers just said, 'thank you for being here,'” said Rhodes.
They are still looking for more subs, so if you’re a parent looking to get involved this is a good way to do so.