"How are your Substitutes fitting into your back to school plans?"

Posted By: Kelly Coash-Johnson AASPA Blog ,

The utilization of our school workforce is top priority these days as we look at reopening schools this year. AASPA recognizes the importance of using substitutes in both our in-person classrooms as well as virtually. AASPA asked our members, "How are your Substitutes fitting into your back to school plans?" We want to know what you are doing differently with your pool, how you are training them and what creative ways are you using substitutes in your workforce planning. We hope you enjoy their answers.


In Saline, MI we are planning to provide in-person instruction to the more than 70% of our families who have indicated that as their preference. Assuming that happens, we intend to dedicate specific substitutes to specific school buildings to limit the number of exposures to our students as well as the substitute pool. In addition, our substitutes will be eligible to participate in staff training with regard to safety protocols and the use of personal protective equipment in the school setting. Finally, we have placed a temporary moratorium on all school business absences leaving our substitute pool available to cover for faculty and staff who may be ill or caring for loved ones who are. – Curt Ellis, Assistant Superintendent, Saline Area Schools – Saline, MI

Working closely with Advantage xPO our contracted substitute provider to help us to fill the classroom with a sub if a teacher is quarantined and able to teach remotely.  They are also helping us to fill our interims and do not charge us a fee if we hire their subs as teachers, EA, Cafe workers, or custodians. – Dr. Andrea Anthony, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Support Services – Rutherford County Schools – Murfreesboro, TN

Some of our schools are hiring floating substitutes that will work as a full-time employee for this school year.  In other buildings, we are using our substitute pool and asking for their school building preference.  We are assigning substitutes to 1-2 buildings to ensure each building has coverage but to limit cross-building exposure as much as possible.  Vermont has mandatory training for every employee in regards to COVID-19 precautions and regulations, so every employee, including substitutes, must complete this in order to begin work for the 2020-2021 school year.  The combination of all of these are our ways of mitigating risks while still providing substitute coverage within each of our 8 buildings. – Melanie Elliott, Director of Human Resources, Orange East Supervisory Union – Bradford, VT

Due to the pandemic we have created and provided training virtually for both our teachers and our substitute teachers.  All of the district training regarding the pandemic and remote learning was made available to our substitute teaching pool.  Substitute teachers are also provided with a district email and receive all district communication to stay informed and up to date.  Our district started school in a rotational hybrid learning model split into two student groups (A&B).  In addition to our normal substitute management procedures and processes, some of our substitute teachers are helping supervise remote learning for staff students during their remote learning days. -  Brian White, Executive Director of HR & Operations, Auburn-Washburn USD 437 - Topeka, KS