Oswego School District 308 Superintendent John Sparlin is calling on the community to come work at the district and help fill close to 200 vacant positions.
“As we all know we have a number of unfilled positions within our district. I would like to ask for the community’s help in spreading the word about the many job opportunities that we have in District 308. We have positions open for teaching assistants, bus drivers, monitors and a number of different areas, along with custodians and nurses,” Sparlin told the district’s Board of Education during a meeting at Oswego East High School Oct. 12.
“Our team is using creative ways of recruiting, but we are still faced with a staffing shortage in a number of areas,” he added.
As of this writing, OSD 308 has 196 job vacancies across 18 departments. Departments including athletics/activities and the Special Education department currently have more than 30 vacancies each, from coaching positions to Special Education teacher assistant roles. The district also has more than 20 vacant positions for substitute teachers and over a dozen vacant custodian positions.
Vacancies in key departments have affected the district since the start of the school year in August, especially in the transportation department. Shortages in bus drivers and monitors from the bus company that the district contracts with forced a delay of the first day of school for Brokaw Early Learning Center students in Oswego and the consolidation of bus routes across the more than 60 square mile school district.
Each position in the district directly affects a student’s education and plays a crucial role in the district, Sparlin said following Tuesday’s meeting.
“All the positions that we have vacancies for are very important,” he continued. “Each position plays an integral role in the education of our kids...there isn’t one position that I think affects the education of our kids more than another.”
District staff have stepped up in the face of the job openings, Sparlin said, working “incredible numbers of hours to fill the needs of these vacant positions within our school buildings.”
Those staff are the reason why he made his request, Sparlin said, “to ask the community to please spread the word that we have these wonderful positions, benefits included, insurance benefits as well as retirement benefits.
“We need these positions filled in schools so that we are not overworking the current staff.”