By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist
Several months ago, the Brown County Schools’ board of trustees approved a contractual agreement that provides for the recruitment, placement and management of substitute teachers through an outside provider, Kelly Educational Staffing.
KES is the national leader in educational staffing and the largest employer of substitute teachers in the country. They have partnered with over 5,400 public and private schools in 35 states.
Brown County Schools, along with the majority of school districts across the state, is having a hard time finding competent and well-prepared substitutes to fill our daily needs. The KES solution is strongly supported by school districts and is desired by teachers across the country.
KES fills classrooms with competent, well-prepared professionals and has achieved 100 percent success improving substitute placement rates in all of their partner districts. Over a quarter of a billion student learning days were taught by a KES substitute teacher to date. That’s a lot of experience!
We believe that a fundamental part component of our difficulty in finding enough substitute teachers to fill our teacher vacancies is that we haven’t been able to provide a comprehensive benefits package to individuals who might be considering substitute teaching for their profession.
The KES solution provides a multitude more benefits for our substitute teachers than we have ever been able to provide before this collaboration. We hope that we will entice individuals to choose substitute teaching through KES as their profession with this significant increase in benefits.
For example, KES will offer our substitutes a weekly pay schedule, 401(k) retirement savings plan and the ability to access health insurance benefits. They also have a service bonus plan where substitute teachers can earn a financial bonus based on the number of days worked. KES pays the substitute teachers for training and also has recognition programs including “Substitute Teacher of the Year.” KES has job opportunities that can be accessed during the summer and other vacation periods, so a substitute could potentially work all year, if interested.
We have never been able to provide comprehensive benefits like this for our substitute teachers before this collaboration with KES. We are very excited to get started!
The KES pay rates are the same that our newly reflected substitute pay raises indicate. If a substitute teacher is a certified teacher, their rate of pay for a full day is $72 and a half-day is $49. If a substitute teacher is not a certified teacher, their rate of pay for a full day is $63 and a half-day is $43.
We are in the process of enrolling our current substitute teacher pool with Kelly Educational Services and are also actively recruiting new substitute teachers who may be considering taking advantage of these new benefit options.
Should you be interested in becoming a substitute teacher for Brown County Schools through KES, please contact KES at 844-491-0101. The office is in Columbus at 810 Brown St., Suite B.
It is important to know that KES mirrors the hiring process for Brown County Schools. Our substitute teachers will continue to be carefully screened and trained to meet all state, local and school district certification qualifications and requirements. Interestingly, nearly 90 percent of the KES substitute teachers have an advanced degree, a college degree or are attending college.
KES provides a comprehensive training protocol that is delivered via an in-person professional training program before working in the classroom. This includes classroom management techniques, information on legal and health issues, teaching strategies, how to be prepared and professional, etc. In addition, the substitute teachers will receive paid training on employment and district policies and procedures. Kelly also offers a variety of free and low-cost trainings, including online educational training courses via the Kelly Learning Center and through their exclusive substitute training provider, Smart Practices.
While we wish that our teachers and paraprofessionals could be in their classrooms every day with the boys and girls, the realities of illness, professional development opportunities and personal business fundamentally impact our need for substitute teachers. We hope that this new collaboration with KES will increase the talent pool of our substitute teachers while simultaneously providing them with employment benefits that have not yet been realized.
We are very excited about this new collaboration! If you have any questions about becoming a substitute teacher for Brown County Schools via KES, please give them a call at 844-491-0101 and you are always welcome to contact me should you ever have any questions at 812-988-6601.
Laura Hammack is superintendent of Brown County Schools. She can be reached at 812-988-6601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.