As classes get underway at Allegany County school districts, it appears that most have weathered having the large number of vacant positions which are plaguing many other educational institutions in the state and nation, but still have found that obtaining candidates has been a struggle.
An Allegany Hope survey of the dozen public school districts in the county finds most positions reported to have been filled, although a few specialties still were vacant during the past 10 days. Canaseraga Central School was the only district not responding to either our informal survey or our followup Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests.
School superintendents at Andover Central School District, Belfast Central School, Genesee Valley Central School, and Whitesville Central School reported all positions have been filled with qualified personnel, but the labor pool was thinner than before.
Belfast Superintendent Wendy Butler advised that although all positions are filled the district only received two applications for a recent teacher posting, and an advertisement for a bus driver, posted since last March, has not resulted in a successful candidate.
At Andover, Superintendent Derek Schuelein reported that the district is “extremely fortunate to be fully staffed for the upcoming school year; however, that was not accomplished without considerable effort and at least some good fortune.”
He noted the schools “personnel shortage is real and despite everyone’s best efforts, shows no signs of abatement.“
Special education and social worker positions, which are in short supply, are being filled at Whitesville through shared services agreements with BOCES, according to Superintendent Tammy Emery.
Other reports of openings at the time of our information solicitation include:
— Alfred-Almond Central School District: A Spanish teacher.
— Bolivar-Richburg Central School District: Positions not filled are being able to be scheduled with in-house faculty, according to Superintendent Michael Retzlaff,
— Cuba-Rushford Central School: In the interview process for a special education director and food service helper.
— Fillmore Central School: A school psychologist.
— Friendship Central School: A seventh through ninth grade English teacher.
— Scio Central School – Home of the Tigers: A certified family and consumer services teacher, described by Superintendent Jennifer Cappelletti as being “more difficult to fill as there are few colleges in the state that offer this program.”
— Wellsville Central School District: A certified career and technical education teacher in grades six through eight, along with a head custodian and a cleaner.
“I would characterize this year as one of the most challenging in terms of hiring,” says Wellsville Superintendent David Foster.
Several school chiefs also report a need for substitute teachers and most note that any vacancies are posted on district websites.
Published reports indicate many school districts have been struggling to fill vacancies, with several hundred reported in the Rochester and Buffalo areas alone.
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