With students returning to school Monday, the East Baton Rouge Parish school system is taking the unusual step of holding an impromptu teacher fair Saturday morning to fill “immediate vacancies” prompted by what the superintendent is calling a “flurry of last-minute resignations.”
“I think that’s what’s happening — people are being recruited and they are taking those opportunities,” Superintendent Bernard Taylor said.
The last-minute teacher fair was announced Thursday, the same day teachers returned from summer break for professional training before the start of the 2013-14 school year.
The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon at the Instructional Resource Center, 1022 S. Foster Drive, next door to the School Board Office.
Last-minute hiring is nothing new for the parish school system, one of the largest in Louisiana with about 42,000 students and more than 3,000 teachers. Teachers shifting to new jobs right before, or even after, the start of school, has been a frequent occurrence.
The school system, however, has refrained in years past from holding a teacher fair so soon before the start of school.
Taylor said one possible reason for this year’s last-minute job shifting is that other public school districts are letting go of teachers who did poorly on recently released teacher evaluations and are recruiting East Baton Rouge Parish teachers to fill those new vacancies.
Taylor said he is holding a fair partly to generate new applicants, but also to allow principals one last chance to choose faculty. “We want to let principals have a choice, rather than just assigning people,” he said.
This year has already seen a lot of job shifting in East Baton Rouge Parish. School closures and restructurings displaced more than 500 teachers. Some chose to retire or resign.
As recently as mid-July the school system was still hiring only internally. Taylor said all of the displaced teachers who stayed have been placed.
Taylor also said the fair is not connected to the School Board’s decision on Aug. 1 to reinstate 41 positions for deans of students and time-out room moderators, positions he had proposed for elimination.
Those attending the fair are asked to bring multiple copies of their résumés, as well as their teaching certificates or verification from an alternative certification program.
To complete an online application, visit http://www.applitrack.com/ebrschools/onlineapp.