The St. Vrain Valley School District is ready to start the school year despite the staffing challenges that schools across Colorado have been navigating.
As of Wednesday, St. Vrain’s online job portal advertised 23 vacant teaching positions out of 208 total openings including 23 charter school openings.
“We have had a strong hiring year, and are ready to welcome students on Aug. 17,” district spokesperson Kerri McDermid said.
Colorado has been tracking teacher educator vacancies since 2018 in an effort to address the state’s educator shortage.
According to the Colorado Department of Education's annual educator shortage survey, last year’s school year started with 2,561 vacancies statewide. That included 38 at St. Vrain, according to the data.
Districts filled these positions with long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative and emergency candidates, but 844 positions remain unfilled in Colorado. For St. Vrain last year, 28 positions were filled by long-term substitutes and 20 with alternative candidates.
Approximately 7,000 teaching and special service provider positions needed to be hired for last school year, representing 10% of all teaching and 16% of all special service provider positions in the state. Over the last three years, the state has noted that there has been an increase in the percentage of positions that remain unfilled or are filled via a shortage mechanism.
The state survey also found that in core teaching subject areas, shortages were greatest in special education, mathematics, science, world languages and early childhood education. In special service provider categories, shortages of school psychologists, school occupational therapists and school physical therapists were most common statewide.
Notably, while the number of educator vacancies across the state have increased — up by more than 1,000 from the 2019 school year to 2021 — St. Vrain’s overall vacancies have been decreasing. The district reported 60 vacancies to the state in 2019, 47 in 2020 and 38 in 2021.
“St. Vrain Valley Schools continues to be a destination district, attracting teachers and staff from across Colorado and nationally, due to a strong culture, focus on innovation, regular increases in salaries for teachers and staff and numerous other supports for our approximately 5,000 employees,” McDermid said.
On St. Vrain’s employment portal, paraeducators see the most openings followed by custodial services and charter school positions, along with 33 openings for coaching positions.