Scranton School District makes progress in hiring teachers for fall

Aug. 30—The Scranton School District needs fewer than 10 teachers to be fully staffed for the fall, officials said after Monday night's school board work session.

As districts nationwide struggle to find educators, Scranton needed about 40 teachers earlier this month. Since then, the district held a job fair and made other efforts to recruit for the positions, most of which were in special education.

Scranton continues to search for personal care assistants for students. The district needed 55 earlier this month. An updated number was not immediately available Monday night.

In other business:

* The modular classrooms for the fifth graders moving to West Scranton Intermediate School will be ready for the first day Sept. 8, said Robert Rucker, director of facilities, grounds and operations. The district is waiting on final approval of the electrical system from PPL Electric Utilities. If that doesn't happen before school begins, generators will be used, Rucker said.

* The district may again use federal COVID-19 relief funds to supply additional nurses to schools when necessary. With 10 certified school nurses and 16 licensed practical nurses providing services for Scranton students and private schools — which is mandated by the state — one absence can cause coverage difficulties, explained Melissa Dailey, chief school nurse.

* Director Carol Cleary asked for an update on what it costs to livestream board meetings on YouTube and wants the board to discuss whether to continue it. Before the board held virtual meetings due to the pandemic, the district would usually post a recording of the meeting the next day on YouTube. In March, the district determined it costs about $410 per meeting due to the overtime paid to information technology employees. No one from the public attended Monday's meeting. One hour after the livestream ended Monday night, it had been viewed about 90 times.

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