The search is on in the region for new emergency substitute teachers.
The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit, IU5, has announced the Emergency Substitute Teacher Consortium program is open to qualified individuals who want to provide substitute teaching services.
According to an IU5 press release, the emergency substitute program is soliciting applications in advance of an upcoming registration and recruitment meeting.
Under the program, individuals with a bachelor's degree are trained to serve as substitute teachers when attempts to find certified substitutes fail.
The Warren County School District (WCSD) has utilized the service of emergency substitutes 39 times so far this school year.
Candidates for the program are required to complete an application with the IU5, provide proof they have obtained their bachelor's degree, obtain criminal and child abuse clearances, pass an FBI fingerprint check and undergo a physical examination and tuberculosis check.
Candidates will then have to attend a screening session at the IU5 offices in Edinboro on Friday, Jan. 18. Two sessions will be held; candidates with last names beginning with the letters A through L will be screened during a session beginning at 8:30 a.m. and candidates with last names beginning with letters M through Z will attend a session beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Candidates who are accepted into the program will then receive information regarding a Jan. 30 training session.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is then forwarded applications and issues emergency substitute permits.
Once approved for the program, emergency substitutes can request to work in one or more of the districts participating in the program. Those include the Conneaut, Crawford, Central, Fort LeBoeuf, General McLane, Harbor Creek, Iroquois, Millcreek Township, North East, Northwestern, PENNCREST, Union City Area, Warren County and Wattsburg school districts and the Robert Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School.
District superintendents are then forwarded the names of eligible emergency substitutes requesting work in the district.
Emergency substitutes can only be placed in an assignment for a maximum of 20 days, but can serve as many days as needed in different assignment areas throughout a school year. Prior to placing an emergency substitute, a district must attempt to contact certified substitutes to fill the position.
According to Suzanne Turner, human resources supervisor for Warren County School District, the district first calls suspended teachers, then contacts certified substitutes and then contacts retired substitutes before turning to an emergency substitute to fill an assignment.
WCSD contributes $1,100 per year to maintaining the program.
Individuals interested in becoming an emergency substitute can obtain an application packet at www.iu5.org or at the IU5 offices at 252 Waterford St., Edinboro.
Completed applications must be received by Friday, Jan. 11.