How is WCSD doing in filling teacher openings?

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV)-- It's back to school in Washoe County. This year, schools across Nevada are again starting the new school year with a teacher shortage. Over the past several weeks, the WCSD has been looking to fill hundreds of open teaching positions. We did some digging, and here is what we discovered on this first day of school.

Emily Ellison, WCSD Director of Teacher Recruitment, said, "I think we are in a much better position this year than we were last year." New Superintendent Traci Davis said the district has been very busy over the last several weeks. She said, "Last week we kicked off new teacher orientation. We hired more than 200 teachers and as of Friday, we only had 53 openings."

Ellison said that number dipped even lower on the first day of school. She said, "Fifty-three was the number at the end of the day on Friday but now we're at 47." She added, "I think it's important to give some context too when we say open positions because we're not talking about classrooms full of children sitting unattended."

Substitute teachers are filling in where needed. On the start of the school day, Ellison said there were 41 substitutes in the district. Ellison said, "I really feel good about that number. I wish it were zero of course but the vast majority of those 41 folks will be fully licensed and have their teaching credentials in the next few weeks."

The minimum requirement for a substitute is 60 hours of any college credit, background check and $161. Ellison said most substitutes in Washoe County go well above the bare minimum. She said, "The vast majority far exceed the minimum requirements so they are folks who have full teaching licensure soon or they have a degree in another area. It's not just any old person who has 60 credits and meets the minimum qualifications that are filling a vacant position."