Jacksonville School District 117 is doing its best to attract new people to education and keep them. Currently, the district has 9 spots open for paraprofessionals and two instructional aides across the district.
Superintendent Steve Ptacek says anyone who is interested should get on the district’s website and apply: “Without a doubt, finding quality staff is the most challenging thing, I think, for any employer right now. A couple of years ago we worked on a new teacher’s salary structure, and it’s proven, we’ve had many more teaching candidates each year [since]. Well, we are in dire need for all [types] of employees but paraprofessionals is one of our number one areas. We absolutely need paraprofessionals. If you are [reading] this, please come talk to District 117 about a paraprofessional position.”
Ptacek says the district is already out ahead of the $15 per hour minimum wage requirement by two years. He says that the district has also raised pay for substitutes and aide substitutes to help fill the district’s dire need for help: “I do know that last year our first year paraprofessionals were making $12.80 an hour. I think the number for them is $15.10 or $15.15 an hour this year. Immediately, we are two years ahead of the curve of our starting pay for paraprofessionals on $15 per hour. We also did increase the wages of other members of that contractual group, and their starting pays. They are all valuable employees. Right now, paraprofessionals and subs – huge needs. For substitutes, we went from $100 a day to $125 a day for the first 19 days that one subs with us, and then, $150 a day for Day 20 and beyond. Those aren’t consecutive. It just tallies up to that. Our paraprofessional subs, that was our teaching subs, their wages go up to $90 a day to $105 a day. We are really trying to respond to this staffing need by making us a much more attractive place to come work.”
The district is also in need of full time teachers at the high school in science, math, P.E., and special education. ESL, Pre-K, and Special Ed have needs at the elementary level, and special education at the junior high level. To find out more about these positions, visit this link.