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Council Bluffs Community Schools to tap substitute placement service
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Council Bluffs Community Schools to tap substitute placement service

school board meeting.JPG

The Council Bluffs School Board on July 28. From left to right, Troy Arthur, Jill Shudak, David Coziahr, Superintendent Vickie Murrillo and board member Jill Ogg-Gress.

For the first time ever, the Council Bluffs Community School District is contracting with an outside company to line up substitute teachers and paraeducators this school year.

The district’s board of education approved the contract with Teachers on Call during its meeting last week. The agreement begins on Sept. 8 and continues until canceled by either party after a minimum of one year and at least 30 days prior written notice to the other party.

Substitutes are likely to be in great demand this year, said Garry Milbourn, chief of human resources.

“Data from across the country continually suggests that we need to be prepared for increased absenteeism among staff this school year,” he said. “Gov. (Kim) Reynolds’ proclamation expanded the potential substitute pool, which is important during the current recruitment process.

“Our hope is that many people who are currently seeking work and meet the criteria may consider substituting this school year, not only because of the consistent work and competitive pay, but also the important role they can play in ensuring students continue their learning when their teacher is not in school.”

Teachers on Call, part of the Kelly Staffing company, specializes in staffing substitute teachers and paraeducators, according to board materials. The company covers a third of Minnesota school districts and almost as many in Wisconsin, along with Creston, its only district in Iowa.

“TOC does all the recruiting, hiring, calling and paying of substitutes,” materials stated. “They train the substitutes, complete yearly background checks, manage licensure and cover workers comp and liability for substitutes. If we utilize TOC, the district would be the supervisor of substitutes, but TOC would be the employer.”

The district must refer its substitutes to TOC, which will work to expand the local substitute pool, according to the company’s overview. The district will set the pay rate for substitutes. Purchasing TOC’s services will only require a “minimal increase” to the district’s substitute budget, according to the human resources department’s summary.

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