“Our goal is zero (vacancies) and to have a certified teacher at the helm of every classroom, if we can do so,” Gregory said about the start of the new school year.
Gwinnett County Schools officials say they are dispatching employees to their college alma maters to recruit.
“We’ve been strategic about aligning people who graduated from UGA or Auburn to go and support recruitment efforts at those schools,” said Chandra Walker, Gwinnett’s executive director of human resources and talent management. “We really do believe that someone right in front of them who can say ‘I am a graduate as you will be very soon’ … has a lot to do with the small number of vacancies.”
The district also saw success from a special-education teacher internship program, done to encourage prospective teachers wanting to go into that specialty, where candidates often are hard to find. The district also is using a diverse recruiting team as it seeks to have its workforce better reflect its community.
In Clayton County, officials say paying attention to the schoolhouse environment, as well as content-specific job fairs and advertising, has helped with retention and recruitment. The district is still looking to fill about 140 teaching positions, about 4 percent of its teaching staff, Chief of Human Resources Jamie Wilson said.
“During the past year, the superintendent and district administrators placed an enhanced focus and attention on ensuring the culture and climate of our schools and school system is one such that employees would desire to remain,” Wilson said.
Cobb County School District Deputy Superintendent and Human Resource Officer John Adams said the district has stepped up its strategic recruiting efforts over the past few years to include increased social media efforts as well as sending its more than 60 trained recruiters across the country to find the best talent.
The district also helps its retention efforts by distributing teacher contracts in February each year. “We find that issuing contracts early increases teacher retention and allows our principals to hire as early as possible, including doing so on the spot at our job fairs in March,” he said.
Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Ian Smith said the district had just 67 vacancies, having filled 87 percent of its vacancies before July. No information was given on recruitment efforts, and officials said no job fairs are upcoming.
Fulton County Schools officials said the district had about 167 teacher vacancies at the end of June.
Teacher vacancies as of July 1:
Atlanta Public Schools — 67
Clayton County Public Schools — 140
Cobb County Schools — 120
DeKalb County School District — 325
Fulton County Schools — 167
Gwinnett County Public Schools — 150