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OUSD needs more substitute teachers: Here’s how you can apply

1 28 subsGrant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter

Ojai Unified School District needs more substitute teachers as staff shortages continue due to COVID-19.

Ojai parents, teachers and other qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for open positions via the OUSD website at: www.Ojaiusd.org

On the www.ojaiusd.org website, there is a button titled “Job Openings,” which directs people to all job openings, along with links to descriptions and online applications that can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/35rdiRD. 

Current requirements for substitute teachers throughout the state include: 

1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

2. A negative TB test administered within 60 days of hire 

3. A completed Live Scan test and background check 

4. A Basic Skill Requirement which can include: a passing CBEST score, CSET score, CSU Placement Examination, qualifying ACT or SAT score, AP examination or several other options that can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3u8efIZ

5. Application processing fees range in price up to $100 and can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3HgZxCQ

The 30-day permit can be obtained from the Ventura County Office of Education at: https://www.vcoe.org/subs

During the Jan. 12 school board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to increase the rates for substitute teachers, creating an added bonus of $100 for every 40 hours worked by classified substitutes through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. 

This is the second time OUSD trustees voted to increase the rates for substitutes this school year. At the Oct. 13 meeting, trustees voted unanimously to increase the daily rate from $125 to $140, adding an additional $500 quick-start bonus after completing five assignments with a positive evaluation. This includes a retention bonus or stipend of $50 per month for those who work at lease one day per week for the entirety of the month. 

The additional costs will be paid through OUSD’s COVID funding. 

“We want our substitutes to come back. So what we’ve learned from that is having ongoing bonuses helps to retain them for longer,” said OUSD Superintendent Tiffany Morse, who noted that around 20% of OUSD staff have been out. “The situation is difficult, countywide and statewide.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Jan. 11 making it easier for schools to hire substitute teachers and retired staff. The temporary order lasts through March 31 and lowers several state barriers that delay the hiring of qualified short-term substitutes. It permits substitutes to have their assignments extended and provides additional flexibility to support retired teachers who have returned to the classroom. It also eliminates several barriers that may prevent additional retired teachers from returning. 

“Schools nationwide returning from winter break are experiencing short-term staffing shortages that are putting a strain on operations,” said Newsom in a written statement. “We’re working closely with local education officials to cut red tape to allow qualified substitute teachers to help maintain safe learning environments.”

On Jan. 24, the governor of New Mexico opted to fill in as a substitute teacher amid steep staff shortages. 

“We have been able to fill most spots on most days,” said Morse. “During those rare occasions we cannot, administrators have stepped in to provide teaching and classroom support.”All state enforced COVID-19 protocols are enforced throughout the district, with an assurance that all substitutes should feel safe within the classroom setting. 

 

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