About 1,000 new Palm Beach County teachers will be on staff come the first day of school Aug. 15.
Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa said the push is to ensure that they are abiding by state classroom regulations.
Right now there’s a 1 percent to 2 percent vacancy that won’t be filled until the first few weeks of school. Avossa said depending on enrollment, the district will determine how many teachers they need.
"A lot of times as kids come in and register, we think we're fully staffed and then all of a sudden we're above the classroom acceptable limit, and we have to add new teachers," said Avossa.
During a news conference Monday, Avossa voiced concern about teacher retention and recruitment,"moving forward this is going to be a huge challenge for us.
"As our teachers age out based on retirement, we’re really concerned about the number of people who are going into public education as a career.”
To help with teacher recruitment, the district has started a program where they identify employees capable of becoming full-time teachers. Avossa said eligible ones are trained and encouraged to become teachers.
"Grow Our Own," another program for high school students, promises graduates of the teacher academies to have a job when they return from college.
Palm Beach County Holds Teacher Orientation
Last Friday new teachers were hosted at Park Vista High School for Teacher Fest.
An animated crowd got them pumped up for the start of the school year. Teachers were greeted with a band and cheerleaders.
Human Resources Chief Gonzalo La Cava says this is part of their plan to show their appreciation to teachers. In Palm Beach County, retention is at 94 percent, but that's a statistic the district would like to increase.
With the average teacher lasting 11 years, the district is having to pull in more teachers from a pool that continues to grow smaller.
PBCSD says they are expanding their search nationwide to find the best candidates, some of them however are unconventional ones like Cody Russell, a soccer player turned teacher.
“A lot of kids are not going into the field, so we have to think of different ways to bring teachers in," La Cava said.