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How school districts plan to fill positions over the summer of 2022

The number of open positions in Charlotte and the surrounding area varies between 25 to 1,000 per district.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many school districts in the Charlotte area are ending the school year with thousands of open positions for school staff. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is among the districts with the most unfilled positions, with more than 700 openings alone for instructional staff -- 331 of those positions are specifically for teachers.

School districts say early summer is slow for recruiting, but a need to fill positions still remains. Districts are mostly turning to social media to get the word out about jobs until late summer and fall recruiting starts. 

At least once every two days you can find a new post on the CMS Jobs Twitter page, part of the district's recruiting efforts. They’re looking for teachers, bus drivers, and specialized teachers. 

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Some departments, like the exceptional children department, have vacancy rates of 10%. 

"They don't need substitutes or people filling in for rotating coverage, they need a teacher that's going to be there every day to build that relationship with them and to understand how they learn best," Ann White, Associate Superintendent of Student Services at CMS, said.

Mooresville Graded School District is also seeking teachers to staff their program for exceptional children, as well as math and science teachers.  

"Although we have already had our virtual recruitment fair, we are still actively seeking math, science, and Exceptional Children Teachers for our secondary schools along with school bus drivers who would like to serve as teacher and instructional assistants at the elementary school level," Ingrid Medlock, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at MGSD, said.

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As school staff reevaluates their priorities, some are citing low pay as one reason to leave the profession. Increased violence at schools, heavier workloads, school culture, and mental health concerns among staff are also key factors for those leaving the classroom.

At least on the pay front, many districts are waiting on state legislatures to take action on teacher pay directly. 

"We got to pay teachers and we got to pay them well so that North Carolina will be the state that they want to come to," state Sen. Joyce Waddell (D - Mecklenburg) said. "The state would have more to not only have a job but a career path."

Union County Public Schools is also heading into the school year with more than 300 positions open according to its website. You can find new “open position” posts on their Twitter page frequently- sometimes even three times a day. The district is hosting a virtual information session on teaching on June 16.

What jobs are unfilled? 

WCNC Charlotte reached out to multiple school districts in both North and South Carolina to see what positions are currently unfilled and which school districts need the most attention. 

Note: Openings on school district websites vary based on what part of the hiring process potential candidates are in. This means there may be more or fewer positions shown online than what's currently available

North Carolina 

Alexander County Schools says it's in need of teachers. They currently have no job fairs scheduled for the summer. The district's job application page has 29 open positions.

Hickory Public Schools is looking for several teaching positions, including band, Spanish, carpentry, math, science, and for Exceptional Children. A district spokesperson says the openings are on all levels. Additionally, child nutrition specialists,  bus drivers, and substitute teachers are in demand. The district also has executive-level positions open including the Director of Student Accountability and Secondary Education. The district is looking to fill about 32 positions

Stanly County Schools is working with university systems in both North Carolina and South Carolina for recruitment. The district currently has a position open for a Teacher Support & Recruitment Coordinator who will develop and lead recruitment initiatives to attract and ensure high-quality certified applicants for Stanly County Schools. The district has 81 job openings posted and say they anticipate adding more before the new school year. Some of the job openings include teachers, exceptional children assistants, child nutrition specialists, substitutes, bus drivers, media specialists, CTE instructors, custodians, bookkeepers, psychologists, principals, and more. 

Lincoln County Schools said it has no job fairs planned this summer. Although they are looking for exceptional children, math and science teachers. The district's website had 96 open positions.

Burke County Schools also has no job fairs planned this summer. They are in need of licensed teachers in a variety of grades and specialties. Their open classified positions include bookkeeper, painter, data manager, and custodian. The district anticipates at least 100 new teachers for the new school year. The district has 42 openings on its website.

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Mooresville Graded School District said it's still actively seeking math, science, and exceptional children teachers for secondary schools. In addition, bus drivers can also serve as a teacher and instructional assistants at the elementary level. The district's website shows 81 open positions. 

Catawba County Schools said it completed all job fairs in the spring. The district is focusing on social media to get the word out.  Its schools are in need of visual arts, exceptional children, and school counseling staff. The district has 131 open positions on its website. 

Avery County Schools said it's looking to possibly hold a recruitment fair with other neighboring counties. As of right now, no job fairs are scheduled. They are looking for strong middle school math teachers and elementary reading teachers. The district has seen a number of retirements. In addition, the high school is currently looking for a band director, which they say is a hard position to fill. The district is also boosting English as a Second Language teachers by adding two positions to work with multilingual students. They included two other major areas of need: school psychologists and exceptional children teachers. You can find 25 open positions on the website. 

Newton Conover Schools will also not hold a job fair this summer. They have 27 open positions. 

The Union County Public Schools website shows they are in need of teachers and teacher support staff, mostly in grades K-5. There are 338 open positions on its website. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has previously said they need exceptional children teachers, bus drivers, and teachers on all levels. CMS is planning a virtual job fair on July 20th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The district's website show 763 open instructional positions, 3 administrative openings, 39 non-instructional and operations jobs, and 393 non-instructional support roles.

South Carolina 

Rock Hill School District is in need of math and science teachers at the middle and high school levels, in addition to Exceptional Student Educators at all levels. The district is having a recruitment fair at Clinton College on July 14 from 1 p.m.to 4:30 p.m. The district's job application page has about 180 open positions. 

Chesterfield County Public Schools has a number of high school teaching positions open. Its website shows 79 open positions. 

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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