Fairfax County Public Schools will host a virtual job fair from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday (Dec. 18) as part of its search for classroom monitors and substitute teachers to support the potential return of additional students to in-person instruction in early 2021.
FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand reported to the Fairfax County School Board on Dec. 10 that the school system still needs approximately 730 classroom monitors to provide in-person assistance to students. So far, FCPS has filled 235 of the 966 total monitor positions that it says are necessary since first advertising the position on Oct. 31.
“Employment of classroom monitors is critical to standing up in-person instruction,” Sean McDonald, the interim assistant superintendent for FCPS’ Department of Human Resources said.
To fill its staffing gaps for classroom monitors, FCPS is considering letting schools compensate teachers who serve as classroom monitors during their planning periods, though workload concerns present a challenge to that strategy.
“Our goal remains hiring classroom monitors to fill the in-person coverage needs,” McDonald said. “However, in the near-term, schools may be in a position where it’s necessary to ask for teacher volunteers to serve as classroom monitors during their self-directed planning period.”
The county is also looking for substitute teachers, who can work either remotely or in-person.
According to FCPS, 30 teachers and 24 instructional support staff members have chosen to resign or retire as of Dec. 4, and 62 teachers and 13 support staff members have taken a leave of absence this year.
2,933 employees, including 2,020 teachers, have requested Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, which are open to individuals with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. As of Dec. 3, FCPS had processed 2,359 ADA requests.
FCPS has suspended its Return to School plans for phasing students back into in-person classes, which are now only open to about 1,340 students after consistently high COVID-19 case levels in Fairfax County prompted 4,100 students in special education and English-learning programs to revert back to virtual learning on Monday.
However, FCPS hope to resume bringing students back into school buildings starting on Jan. 12 with special education, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten students. Elementary, middle, and high school students would follow in groups between Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.