An initiative launched by Fairfax County Public Schools aims to remedy staffing shortages by getting qualified individuals with bachelor’s degrees into the classroom.
The teacher residency program, crafted by the county’s human resources department, will be available to select teachers, who, until now, would have been unable to teach without statewide certifications.
Now, those same teachers will be able to fill positions while following “a fast-tracked educational route to qualifying for and obtaining a VDOE teaching license,” the residency’s job posting reads.
In a July letter to families, FCPS Superintendent Michelle Reid acknowledged that, while the county’s classrooms are approximately 97 percent staffed, schools are still “grappling with an educator shortage.”
“We, here in FCPS, have plans in place to address the remaining vacancies,” Reid wrote. “We are working hard to continue to fill those remaining vacancies and to ensure that we will have a licensed educator in every classroom.”
As part of the program, qualified teachers will be given one year from their first day of employment to fulfill licensing requirements in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education.
School officials are hoping that bridging the certification gap for those previously waiting in the wings will fill vacancies that otherwise would have been staffed by substitutes or other professionals with subject matter expertise unrelated to the topics being taught.
The initiative, Reid said, is another indication “that we can succeed when we join together to support each other and to care for our future — our students. … Every future, every path, is guided by an educator who opens the doors to possibilities through education and opportunity.”
According to the posting, qualified personnel can expect an annual salary of just over $48,000 and may be eligible for benefits.
Learn more about the teacher residency program here.
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