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School districts look to fill variety of positions ahead of next year

Posted at 9:47 PM, Apr 20, 2023

WEST JORDAN, Utah — As we inch closer to the end of the school year, two school districts set up shop at a job fair in West Jordan on Thursday.

The hope is to fill a wide range of positions ahead of next school year, including several open teaching positions.

"We have approximately 300 positions open in Jordan School District alone right now, we have 70 teaching positions open," said Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications for Jordan School District.

The other positions, Riesgraf pointed out, include bus drivers, people in nutrition services and custodial positions.

Riesgraf says they have been able to cut down on their shortage of teachers from where it once was.

"I think at one time, we might have been down by like 300 teachers," said Riesgraf.

She says their 70 teacher openings have been manageable, thanks to their list of substitutes who can pitch in and help.

"We want to provide our schools with full staffs and staffing in the classroom is something that's very important," said Riesgraf.

With a bill passed in the last legislative session making all-day kindergarten an option for all of Utah back in March, Riesgraf says it's something the Jordan School District will be offering at all of their elementary schools.

She says they are starting to train for that and that it will have an impact when it comes to hiring.

The Jordan School District was just one of more than 70 vendors that participated in the Chamber West Job Fair at Copper Hills High School on Thursday. The job fair provided job seekers with a unique opportunity to connect with not just school districts, but a wide range of other businesses and industries as well.

The Granite School District also took part in the job fair.

Wyatt Bentley, the Associate Director of Human Resources for the Granite School District says they have 80 open positions total, right now.

"We have about 32 teaching positions posted, we'll be working through those, that's elementary through high school," said Bentley.

Bentley says it has been a little slower for them to hire this year because they were able to fill some positions last year, even for a short period of time.

"We were able to hire someone year-only teachers last year," said Bentley.

Bentley says they've been able to meet a lot of their needs by taking those one-year-only teachers and adding them in as regular, contract teachers for the year.

He says the district is also in need of paraprofessionals.

Bentley says they are looking to hire anywhere in the ballpark of 50 to 70 paras, before next school year.

"Our goal for today specifically is just to make contact with great individuals," said Bentley.

The Granite School District has 59 elementary schools, 14 middle schools and nine high schools.

Seeing the teaching positions filled is also a hope for parents.

"That they get filled with qualified people and they're not just having to resort to, you know, whoever wants to take the job," said Lisa Barrett, a Jordan School District parent.

Barrett is a mother of four children, all of whom attend school in the Jordan School District.

For those who missed the job fair today and are interested in working with the Jordan School District, you can visit their website here.

For employment opportunities in the Granite School District, you can visit their website here.