WVDE Creates Critical Needs Tool for Schools

Posted: March 14, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. The West Virginia Department of Education has created an online tool to match teacher candidates and prospective teachers with counties experiencing critical personnel shortages.

The West Virginia Critical Needs listing webpage is posted at http://wvde.state.wv.us/forms/critical-needs/view.php. Personnel directors can add or update their county’s needs for the 2013-2014 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/forms/critical-needs/admin/login.php. In addition, prospective teachers can visit www.teachwv.com to access the critical needs listing as well as the K-12 Job Bank. Critical need areas are defined as subjects or locations that do not have sufficient numbers of teachers to fill vacancies. Although counties may experience shortages in any subject, many struggle most finding math, science, special education and foreign language teachers.

“Educators and policymakers are continually searching for new ways to recruit and retain excellent public school teachers,” said state Superintendent Jim Phares. “This online tool will allow counties to find the best candidates to meet their local needs.”

West Virginia has a highly experienced teaching corps. However, many are quickly reaching retirement age. Of the 24,559 teachers working in West Virginia public schools, 10,806, or 44 percent, have or will have reached retirement age within the next five years. The critical needs listing is one way the state Department of Education is working to address the issue.

Additionally, the West Virginia Board of Education has endorsed Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s educational agenda, which allows non-traditional teachers through programs such as Teach for America to be placed in critical need areas with a shortage of educators. Teach for America is an AmeriCorps-style service program that recruits new college graduates to teach in mostly rural and urban school districts in the country.

For more information, contact Robert Mellace at 304-558-5325 or rmellace@access.k12.wv.us, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

 

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