Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to consider reducing requirements for substitute teachers amid shortage

Piedmont Triad News

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School may make it a little easier to become a substitute teacher as the school district struggles to find staff to fill in when teachers are out.

WS/FCS, North Carolina’s fourth-largest school system, currently requires substitute teachers to have at least 60 college credit hours. On Thursday, the WS/FCS Board of Education will consider reducing the required number of credit hours to 48, the same number of credit hours currently required of teacher assistants.

“This year, the district has the highest number of requested substitutes when compared to the last two years,” the school district said in its agenda ahead of the Thursday meeting. “As a result, it has been challenging to fill more than 60% of the requested substitutes. We need to recruit more substitutes to fill these roles and the current educational requirement for substitutes is narrowing our pool of candidates.”

School officials compared WS/FCS’s substitute teacher requirement to districts across the state and determined that this change would increase the number of candidates while maintaining a high standard for substitute teachers.

“After implementing this change, we will track the number of candidates that we hire under this new policy to see how much it increased our substitute pool by the end of this year and survey principals to ensure this change did not negatively impact the schools,” the school district said in the agenda.

Guilford County Schools, N.C.’s third-largest school system, already has a 48-college-credit-hour requirement. GCS requires substitute teachers to have an associate’s degree or 48 college credit hours with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Alternatively, substitute teachers can have a bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Yet, despite having a lower number of required college credit hours, Guilford County Schools is also struggling to fill spots. On Monday, the GCS human resources department informed all 9,800 employees they need to be at work on Oct. 29, even if their time off was previously approved. The district cites an “extreme shortage of available substitutes” behind the move. 

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher or teacher assistant for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, visit WS/FCS’s website.

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