Blaine schools in need of substitutes


The Blaine school district is looking for substitutes in all positions. Superintendent Christopher Granger is encouraging anybody who thinks they may have an interest in education or would like to lend the school district a helping hand to reach out to the district’s human resources department.

Granger said the district had an average of 23 jobs open on any given day.

Schools nationwide are having similar staffing shortages. According to an EdWeek Research Center survey, 77 percent of district leaders and principals say they’re experiencing at least moderate staffing shortages. Fifteen percent said shortages are “very severe” and 25 percent said they’re “severe.”

Covid-19 protocols require teachers and staff to stay home if they have Covid-19 symptoms when they may have otherwise come to class. This leaves positions open that need filling. Granger said the goal is to keep as many kids as possible learning in the classroom. To do so, he said the district needs more people available in its substitute pool.

The school board recently voted to increase the daily rate for substitute teachers from $125 to $157.50. This is the second highest rate in Whatcom County behind the Bellingham school district, which offers substitute teachers $158 a day.

Administrative staff is covering for teachers in classrooms when needed. “We all just chip in where it makes sense,” Granger said. “So we can keep kids in the building.”

When asked whether he’s been driving school buses, Granger responded, “No, hah, I don’t have a [Commercial Driver’s License].” Otherwise, he might be.

Communications director Lisa Moeller said Blaine schools are especially in need of support secretaries.

“We could really use support in that area,” she said. “A lot of our secretaries have been left alone because one is out and we do not have many people in our substitute pool who have secretarial experience.”

Other positions include teachers, bus drivers, classroom support, custodial support, food service, maintenance, health room assistant, specialized associate and student supervision. Registered substitutes can block out times when they are unavailable and turn down any assignment, according to the district.


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