Breaking News
More () »

Teachers needed in several Hampton Roads school divisions

Some divisions are short more than 100 teachers.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Hampton Roads public school divisions need more teachers to answer the call to educate students.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools says right now there are teacher vacancies at every grade level.

“We’re fluctuating right around 100. We’re hiring and then we might lose somebody. We’ve been right about a 100 for the last six weeks," said VBCPS Chief of Staff Dr. Don Robertson. 

Dr. Robertson said at this time last year, they had just 20 vacancies.

Robertson says the shortage of teachers has led to larger classes.

“Instead of classes at 25 to 27. It might be classes of 28 to 30 because of the additional kids in a class because of not having an instructor," said Dr. Robertson.

Some vacancies in Virginia Beach are for teachers with special skills.

“Just like any other school division we’re struggling with finding teachers in special education, math, English Tech Ed those are high needs areas," said Dr. Robertson.

Virginia Beach isn't the only school division with teacher vacancies.

Norfolk Public Schools has the highest number of teacher vacancies. School division leaders sent the following statement.

"During these unprecedented times with restraints on recruitment activity, Norfolk Public Schools has a 94% fill rate of licensed and endorsed teachers with 125 vacant teacher positions across the division. Norfolk aggressively recruited teachers throughout the year, and was among the first in the region to develop and successfully host virtual teacher career fairs to vet, interview and hire staff. Additionally, in 2019 NPS used a $10,000 grant to provide support for provisionally licensed teachers to attain full certification with aid for exam fees and study materials. NPS will pursue a similar grant for the coming year."

Newport News Public Schools officials said they also have more than 100 teacher vacancies. 

"As far as substitute teachers, NNPS has approximately 747 active subs. We strive to have 850 active substitute teachers. NNPS hosted a job fair on Saturday and our recruiters gave 38 pending offers. In regard to teachers, NNPS currently has 119 teacher vacancies. We have hired 211 so far for the 2021-22 school year. Areas of greatest need are special education and elementary teachers," NNPS said in a statement.

Portsmouth Public Schools representatives said according to their human resources department, they have 46 teach vacancies.

Chesapeake Public Schools need 40 teachers.

Hampton City Schools says they're only short 23 teachers and are 98.5% staffed. 

"In regard to substitutes, we outsource our substitute teachers through ESS. Additionally, teachers who teach an extra class and/or cover a class during their planning bell receive extra earnings, and part-time instructional assistants may work a full day if needed to assist in coverage for absences and are compensated for the extra hours worked," said Hampton City Schools in a statement.

As for why there's a teacher shortage, Robertson said the loss of teachers can be attributed to military deployment changes, retirements and resignations. 

Robertson said there's also a shortage of substitutes in Virginia Beach. He said the COVID-19 pandemic safety measures like wearing a face mask are also impacting that.

“For those who are not used to doing it; many of them have decided I'm not going to come back and substitute until that's been lifted.”

To address the shortage of teachers, Robertson said they are creating a faster hiring process to get help quicker. 

They have also increased working with local universities for recruitment and took to social media to advertise positions.