I want to update you on teacher staffing. While there are currently 386 teacher vacancies, I have developed and am implementing a bold plan to ensure that every student begins the school year with a certified teacher in all core content areas. We are going to accomplish this by doing the following:
- Working with principals to ensure that campus-based staff that hold teacher certifications are placed in classrooms until a high quality teacher is hired.
- Deploying about 250 central office staff members with teacher certifications to all campuses that have teacher vacancies that they cannot fill. These employees will also remain in the classroom until a high quality teacher is hired.
We will be deploying these individuals to campuses this Friday so that they can plan and prepare for the first day of school. I don’t want any of our students to begin the school year with a permanent substitute or non-educator in a core content area.
In addition to ensuring that every student has access to a certified in-person instructor, we are also launching a virtual academy for students who need to quarantine to ensure they do not miss out on instruction. This academy will cover all core content areas across grades Pre-K through 12 and will be taught by about 80 additional teacher-certified instructors from central office. With these measures, the district will begin the school year more fully staffed with certified teachers than perhaps ever in its history, including pre-COVID.
Given the detrimental effect that COVID has had on student learning, it is critical that our students have access to quality instruction. I am confident that this plan will go a long way in helping us accomplish this.
Millard House II, HISD Superintendent