Franklin City Public Schools seeks to fill 20 vacancies

Published 11:05 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

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The Franklin City School Board heard an update during its May 5 work session on the instructional and administrative employment vacancies present within Franklin City Public Schools and the work being done to fill them.

FCPS Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Dwana White listed a total of 18 instructional vacancies as of May 5 across all three schools in the division and two vacancies at central office.

“Currently at S.P. Morton (Elementary School), we have 10 instructional vacancies out of 38 instructional positions,” White said. “We’re currently looking at three applicants for the upcoming school year.”

The applicants are for the roles of inclusion, computer applications and media specialist.

White noted that the SPM instructional vacancies include two for kindergarten, two for first grade, one for third grade, two for fourth grade, two for fifth grade and one for music.

“For (Joseph P. King Jr. Middle School), we have 21 instructional positions with seven vacancies,” White said. “We have actively recruited a history seventh-grade position.”

White and the human resources department are still seeking JPK instructional applicants for sixth-grade history, sixth-grade English, algebra, eighth-grade science, eighth-grade mathematics, eighth-grade inclusion and computer skills.

“Today we actually interviewed, for Franklin High School, a history teacher, and the interview went well,” White said. “So hopefully we will be picking up a history teacher for Franklin High School.”

She noted that the history teacher position is the one instructional vacancy out of 30 instructional positions at FHS.

“And then we have two new vacancies in central office — director of operations and supervisor of maintenance,” she said.

Ward 2 Board Member and Board Chair Amy L. Phillips said that everyone on the board knows that it is not just FCPS that has vacancies when it comes to certified staff, and then she asked White to share details about a job fair she and her human resources staff went to in North Carolina.

“So Friday, we went to Elizabeth City State University, and they have 13 people graduating from the school of education this spring,” White said.

“That’s it,” Phillips said. “Thirteen.”

“Typically they would have about 30 in December,” White said, “and that would be their smallest class, and they would have about 130 for the spring graduation, but this time around they have 13.”

It was noted that this represents a 90% drop.

Ward 1 Board Member Robert Holt said Radford University and Longwood University are down about 25% in school of education graduates.

Phillips said, “It makes you understand why there is that need across the board, because if you’ve got people retiring or leaving the profession, which we know has happened over the last five years especially, and this is all that you’ve got coming out of college now? So I just thought I’d get Dr. White to share that with you all.”

White emphasized multiple times that she and her team are actively recruiting. She noted her team was at a job fair May 3.

“This is our time,” she said. “From May until June 30 is when we are able to grab seasoned, licensed teachers from other divisions, so we are working hard to make that happen.”

She stated that her department’s goal is to have 20 licensed teachers before June 30.

“We’ve broken the rest of this (school) year up into four two-week periods, and so we have a goal of five licensed instructional staff members per two weeks, and we are working hard to make that happen,” she said.

The FCPS human resources department has many recruitment ideas it is working with, she stated.

“Our ‘Welcome Back’ campaign is going to go out tomorrow, and so we are being very creative about our recruitment tactics,” she said.

Another recruitment effort will focus on the Franklin zip code. White said her department will send out postcards to the community, informing community members of the positions available and asking them to assist with recruitment.

“I think that might garner some applicants as well,” she said.