COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - School is just around the corner for students and teachers in Muscogee County and the district is working to make sure every need is met when students walk through the doors.
According to communications director Mercedes Parham, the district is currently in need of an additional 60 teachers, but Parham says they are processing up to 5 new teachers each day as the school year approaches.
At the most recent school board meeting, MCSD Chief Human Resource Officer Kathy Tessin admitted that they are seeing a high turnover rate in elementary school teachers, but that they are hoping to have at least half of the open positions filled in the coming weeks.
Parham says they will use substitutes, live-streamed teaching, and additional teacher coverage schedules until they can get those positions filled.
In other good news, leaders say the school district’s first-ever Police force will be sworn in next week, helping to make sure the community’s children are safe and protected throughout this school year.
The district is also optimistic about transportation this year.
The MCSD transportation director says the past couple of years haven’t been the best in regards to staffing, and that has caused issues. However, he says that they have heard the concerns and are hoping to have many problems solved this year.
Leaders say that this time last year there were double-digit openings for bus drivers in the county. However, this year there are only 4 remaining openings and still a list of applicants to possibly fill them.
They say they’ve also changed their training program to accommodate more applicants and open the selection process. However, they say this hasn’t lessened emphasis on child safety.
Finally, Leaders say that an interesting new app will also help parents and students this year. Using the app, parents can schedule a transportation pickup right from their mobile phone.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, WTVM incorrectly attributed an update to MCSD bus driver staffing to Ms. Parham. It has since been deleted. WTVM regrets the error.