Fort Wayne school systems trying new ways to recruit teachers, other staff

Fort Wayne-area school districts are trying some new approaches to recruiting teachers and staff, including two upcoming job fairs. (Courtesy of FreeImages.com)

Two Fort Wayne school systems are taking their job needs right to the community.

East Allen County Schools (EACS) will hold its second annual Job Information Fair 2-6 p.m. Wednesday in the New Haven Community Center, 7500 Indiana 930E in New Haven.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend plans its first-ever teacher recruitment fairs in early April, with one event in Fort Wayne and one in South Bend.

The efforts are part of new ways school districts are trying to fill teaching and other staff vacancies in a competitive job market.

Fort Wayne Community Schools hasn’t held its own job fair in recent years, but the school district has taken some new approaches to recruiting talent, said Kody Tinnel, a recruiter for FWCS’ Human Resources department.

“Last year was our first year trying this, and it was a huge success in not only hiring teachers but bus drivers, food service workers, etc.,” Tamyra Kelly, EACS public information officer, said via email.

People interested in employment can meet Wednesday with EACS school principals and staff from departments including Human Resources, Special Education, Health Services, Transportation, Food Service, and Facilities and Maintenance, an event announcement said.

EACS officials will accept resumes, and interested people can learn more about jobs and the application process, the announcement said.

The Catholic diocese’s Catholic Schools office will hold teacher recruitment fairs 5-8 p.m. April 11 at St. Joseph High School in South Bend and 5-8 p.m. April 17 at the Archbishop Noll Catholic Center, 915 S. Clinton St. in Fort Wayne. The diocese is seeking qualified and licensed teachers to fill “numerous positions” at its 39 elementary schools and four high schools, a news release said.

The diocese has explored a lot of options for hiring teachers, including going to area job and career fairs, said Stephanie Patka, head of the diocese’s Secretariat for Communications.

The teacher recruitment job fairs will allow people to use time the most efficiently for meeting and interviewing potential candidates, Patka said. Teachers attending also can see all of the job opportunities available, including positions they may not have been aware of or considered previously.

Openings include pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school teachers, as well as instructors for special classes such as music, Spanish, physical education, special-needs students and gifted-and-talented students, the event news release said. In addition, the diocese also is looking for school administrators.

Teachers and administrators interested in jobs can sign up for 20-minute interviews in advance at www.diocesefwsb.org/teacher-recruitment-fairs. Interview opportunities for walk-ins will be limited, Patka said.

Applicants are asked to bring a copy of their resume for each interview. Any job candidate will have to pass background and records checks before starting employment, Patka said.

Any teachers who are interested but who can’t attend the recruitment fair can go to the diocese’s website http://www.diocesefwsb.org/Job-Openings to see what jobs are open for next school year. Under “2018-2019 School Year Teacher Positions,” click on the link for “application procedures” to apply.

Fort Wayne Community Schools takes many different approaches to recruiting teachers and staff, Tinnel said.

During the past few school years, FWCS has averaged from 800 to 950 new hires processed each year, Tinnel said. The averages include all external hires for teaching, support, administrative, coaching and substitute positions and all new hires over the course of the academic year.

In addition to teachers, FWCS faces its greatest challenges filling jobs for bus drivers; staff working in specialized areas, such as speech pathology; and part-time instructional assistants, including those serving children with special needs.

To recruit people for its job vacancies, FWCS goes to 12 to 25 community and college job fairs each academic year, Tinnel said. The district also uses an online jobs board and social media to attract potential employees.

FWCS tries to stay connected with student teachers and guide them toward job openings after they graduate from college, he said. They also work with substitute teachers to encourage those who believe they are ready to seek full-time teaching work.

FWCS also is trying to connect with college students earlier than their junior and senior years, Tinnel said. That has included talking with them about the possibility of working as classified substitutes, who fill in for classroom assistants.

Substitutes must have earned a college bachelor’s degree, but substitute classroom assistants don’t need a bachelor’s degree to work in the classroom, Tinnel said. By working as classified substitutes, college students can earn some money as well as gain valuable classroom experience.

Tinnel said FWCS also has been promoting its support program to help new teachers through their first few years and the quality of life benefits of living in Fort Wayne.

LEARN MORE

Here are links to job openings at several Fort Wayne-area school systems:

• Fort Wayne Community Schools: http://fwcsjobs.org

• East Allen County Schools: http://www.eacs.k12.in.us/departments/human_resources/employment_opportunities

• Northwest Allen County Schools: https://www.nacs.k12.in.us/domain/22

• Southwest Allen County Schools: http://www.sacs.k12.in.us/cms/one.aspx?pageId=449262

• Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: http://www.diocesefwsb.org/Job-Openings

• Fort Wayne-area Lutheran Schools: http://thelutheranschools.org

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