At Northwood Elementary, food service workers don’t have time to wash silverware because there is no dishwasher, and the school throws more than 250 plastic forks into the trash every day.
It also means more work for other cafeteria employees. They have to go to the cupboards and clean the items while their colleagues ride their bikes and help cover them.
Northwood isn’t alone in its food service shortages, as there are shortages across the Franklin Community Schools Corporation and common shortages in six Johnson County school districts and districts statewide. On Tuesday, he had 3,151 job openings in Indiana schools, according to the Indiana Department of Education’s school officials job bank. This figure does not include non-educated jobs such as transportation and food service, which are also universal problems.
Schools have already reopened, but officials are scrambling to fill hundreds of positions, from teaching assistants in special education to food service and transportation.
According to the Central Indiana Apptrack Consortium, on Tuesday, Franklin’s job board posted eight foodservice jobs, 10 special educational assistant vacancies, and eight educational assistant vacancies, out of 72 overall job openings. showed the post.
Food service vacancies, though not zero, are lower than at this time last year, said Elizabeth Edwards, director of food service.
“I think a lot of marketing, word of mouth, we have great staff who enjoy their work and advocate joining us,” Edwards said. “Social He did media outreach to highlight what was available, but the pandemic landscape is changing. There are many reasons why we lost a significant number of staff a few years ago. People will be more than happy to come back to work.”
If there aren’t enough food service employees like in other occupations, employees have to take on extra work or remove some items from the menu.
Visit classrooms to fill vacancies for Franklin’s teaching assistants, often other staff members, and teachers during break times.
“Sometimes we can find replacement teachers for a short period of time, but most of the time they are in short supply,” says Bright. “Principals, school counselors step in, and other teachers cover each other. It creates stressors in buildings and classrooms.”
Center Grove Community School Corporation needed 11 special education assistants on Tuesday. Filling that gap is a new Indiana Department of Education requirement that special education assistants who do not yet have a full license must obtain a special education license. This gives employees up to three years to obtain a full license.
In such cases, teachers and other instructional assistants are taking their place to reduce the student-to-staff ratio in special education classrooms, said Jason Taylor, Center Grove’s assistant human resources officer.
The strategy of having staff cover areas not covered by the job description applies to other positions if there are vacancies, he said.
“Most of these we cover with other staff members,” Taylor said. needs to be cleaned up later, or if one building is fully staffed and another one or two is understaffed, we change staff from building to building.”
The Edinburgh Community School Corporation has openings for teachers, educational assistants, bus drivers, janitors and food service workers for all three schools in the district. As of Tuesday, the county’s smallest school district had 15 open positions, in addition to the replacement vacancies listed on the district’s website.
Superintendent Ron Ross said in an email, “We are facing shortages in literally every area. We must find creative solutions to how we serve our students.” Principals and managers are looking for talent, but need to recruit because many of the open positions have no applicants. We are proud of the work we have done. We need to find long-term solutions to the staff shortages facing public education today.”
Greenwood Community School Corporation has 50 open vacancies on Tuesday, 6 of which are in transportation and 14 in food service.
The shortage of transportation workers has been going on for at least six years, said Mike Hildebrand, the district’s transportation director.
Double buses occur when there are not enough bus drivers. This means that the bus picks up students and drops them off at school early before the next student arrives. That his second bus is usually about 20 minutes late, he says, Hildebrand.
“We post online and pay employees for referrals,” Hildebrand said. “This year we will have a double bus for elementary and middle school children, so we would like to increase the number of bus drivers.”
According to AppliTrack, Indian Creek has the shortest vacancies of any Johnson County school district, with just 16 students, including alternates.
These vacancies are evenly distributed, with support staff holding the most vacancies in 3 vacancies. Superintendent Tim Edsell believes this has contributed to higher hourly wages and the district’s ability to find and retain employees.
Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation has 46 open positions, 21 of which are vacancies for support staff such as teaching assistants. If school workers are down, things will get worse if there aren’t enough replacements, said John Slowski, head of human resources.
“Educational assistants play a very important role in someone’s life,” he said. “They either play multiple roles or give up roles to fill roles that they may be missing. Let’s say someone is sick. I still need that hand. , you will lose another person.”