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School districts still hiring during a pandemic

Most schools in the state start classes next week, although some districts say they’re still looking to hire dozens of teachers. (PHOTO: Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Most school districts across Northern Utah are starting class next week with strict safety guidelines in place. With the first day drawing closer, some districts are hiring and looking to fill dozens of open positions.

Now hiring

In the Jordan School District, the first day of class begins next Tuesday. According to their HR department, they’re looking to fill around 200 open positions. 

The biggest need is for custodians, says Wyatt Bentley with the Jordan School District. Their plan is for students to attend in-person classes Monday through Thursday, with Friday being an online learning day. Having students in classrooms four-days-a-week obviously creates a huge need for sanitation workers to meet the strict criteria. 

The district is also looking to hire bus drivers, teaching assistants and lunchroom staff.

In fact, more than a dozen teaching positions still remain available this close to the school year starting.

“Normally going into the beginning of a school year with a teaching position, we’re talking about three or four [openings,]” explains Bentley. “I’d say we’re up a little bit. Noticeably up.”

He estimates that around 20 teaching positions remain available, which includes a mix of full-time, part-time and substitute jobs. Depending on the position, there may be an opportunity for signing bonuses.

Addressing apprehensions 

According to Bentley, some applicants have expressed safety concerns about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases, although a majority feel safe teaching in the current climate. He says, no matter the field, most people have at least some hesitations about working right now during a pandemic. With that in mind, Bentley is even more impressed to see educators stepping-up and serving children.

“Whether with you interact directly with the kids or away from them, when you come into a school and work you make an impact on children,” he explains.

Those interested can apply on the district website.