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Emergency teachers to be called out next week

Senior officials say hiring consists of more than brief virtual interview, criminal record checks are done
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Algoma District School Board. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Parents concerned about the Algoma District School Board (ADSB) hiring process with regards to emergency unqualified supply teachers are being reassured that there is no need to worry.

That from ADSB senior administration officials in response to a concern raised by a SooToday reader, who stated such teachers are quickly hired after a brief interview via Skype without going through a criminal record check.

“Algoma District School Board has offered 39 individuals the opportunity to be added to our emergency unqualified supply teachers list. In order to protect the health and safety of those involved and to expedite the process, interviews were completed through Microsoft Teams. Those that were successful in the interview process then went through a reference check,” wrote Marcy Bell, ADSB superintendent of education and Frank Palumbo, the board’s superintendent of human resources, in a statement issued late Wednesday.

“Completed criminal background checks will be required before candidates are assigned to classrooms. Emergency unqualified supply teachers will be placed only after they have completed their training and after they have completed a criminal background check,” the board wrote.

Candidates selected to be ADSB emergency unqualified supply teachers will be completing a full day of training on Oct. 30. 

Successful completion of the training is a must before accepting a position and/or being placed in an emergency unqualified supply teacher placement. 

Training, the board said, will include a review of the Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice and the ADSB Emergency Supply Teacher Handbook, which includes:

  • classroom management
  • professionalism
  • day at a glance
  • duties and responsibilities
  • supporting a culture of learning through proactive and positive behaviours

As well, candidates will take part in health and safety training with a specific focus on COVID-19 protocols within schools.

The board said the trained emergency unqualified supply teachers will be called out to ADSB schools next week, when the current supply teacher list has been exhausted.

In late-September, the ADSB issued an external job posting seeking applications “from interested community members for emergency unqualified supply teachers for both the secondary and elementary panels of the Algoma District School Board.”

The posting is due to the increased numbers of occasional teachers the board has had to reassign to support the new virtual learning reality during these COVID-19 times, and also due to the potential of increased staff absences and a shortage of occasional teachers to fill those absences if some teachers contracted COVID-19 and had to self-isolate.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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