Last week, Superintendent William R. Hite announced that the School District has filled 99 percent of its current teacher vacancies and that it is on target to have all teaching positions filled by the beginning of the school year. By the end of this week the District is scheduled to have approximately 45 teacher vacancies left. “Our classrooms are empty right now for the summer, but come September, they will be full of teachers. Last year there were too many vacancies in our schools. We recognized the problem, we took action with an aggressive recruitment and hiring strategy and we set the bar high to solve the issue of teacher vacancies,” Hite said. “We made a commitment to fully staff all of our schools by the start of the school year and we plan to meet our goal. Families can rest assured that schools will be ready and completely staffed to welcome students in September.”
Earlier this year the District announced a new recruitment and hiring effort in order to fill all teaching vacancies before the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Under the new recruitment effort, the District received applications from nearly 1,700 candidates. Approximately 1,150 candidates were made eligible for site selection and there are still over 600 external candidates eligible to be hired. In total the District has hired 531 new teachers.
At the press conference, Hite introduced three newly hired teachers, Courteney Jones-Moody, Dawayne West and Aashita Batra, who shared their thoughts on why they decided to join the School District. “I was proud to serve my country for 20 years in the U.S. Army, I am just as proud to start a new commitment to service as a public school teacher here in Philadelphia,” West said. “I grew up here, attended Dobbins H.S. and I chose to teach in Philadelphia to help give back to my community.”
“I am excited to teach in Philadelphia but I am especially honored to be teaching at Bryant Elementary, where I attended Elementary School growing up,” Jones-Moody said. “I remember the school pride we had and how my 5th-grade teacher Mrs. Moore taught us like we were her own children. I can’t wait to start in September and bring my excitement about learning to my very own classroom.”
“This is a great time to become a teacher in Philadelphia. We will be making over $440 million in new investments across the district over the next five years,” added Hite. “These new teachers – many of which could have gone anywhere are choosing to teach in Philadelphia. They are the future of our schools and the future of our city.”
During the next two months, the District’s Office of Talent will continue its efforts to recruit and hire more teachers in order to fill all current vacancies and also be ready for teacher attrition that may occur in the summer and into the new school year.
Individuals interested in more information regarding the job opportunities at the School District of Philadelphia may visit www.jobs.philasd.org.