Laurel School District fighting teacher shortage while battling COVID surge

The district is hosting a job fair to replace jobs that are becoming vacant
The school district is fighting back against the teacher shortage with a job fair.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 4:58 PM CST
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - School systems are on the hunt for teachers across the country, and here in the Pine Belt, to combat the nationwide teacher shortage.

The Laurel School District is planning to solve the issue with an upcoming job fair.

“It hit our state and it has definitely hit our area,” says LSD District Curriculum Director Kristen Pollard. “So, we want to take advantage of having a job fair very early, strengthening our recruiting efforts and trying to you know help people understand that this is a great place to serve.”.

Dr. Kiana Pendleton has been with the district for almost five years. She loves it so much that she enrolled her daughter.

“When you have a school, a school system where you are comfortable sending your child, that tells the tale and makes a difference because it means that you believe in it, and I truly believe in our educational system,” says Pendleton.

That same system has taken a large hit from COVID, which makes the tough task of finding teachers a bit harder.

“You know that staff numbers are being hit with absences and quarantines that impacts the classroom is also impacting our students, especially our younger students who are not vaccinated,” says Pollard.

LSD is battling with coronavirus right now.

“No one wants to go into a 100 percent virtual situation, but we do what’s best for students at all times. So currently, we have three schools who are 100 percent virtual for about another week that will help us in our opinion, to give you know teachers an opportunity to heal, students to heal and to come back stronger than ever,” says Pollard.

It’s times like these that worry the current teachers. They want to see greatness, yet, they have so much to fight against.

“It breaks my heart because our children deserve teachers in front of them who are committed, who are dedicated who are loyal to the profession itself, and who truly care about their futures,” Pendleton says.

Laurel School District received a number of incentives from the Mississippi Department of Education to draw teachers to the district, as seen in the flyer below:

Laurel School District received a number of incentives from the Mississippi Department of...
Laurel School District received a number of incentives from the Mississippi Department of Education to draw teachers to the district(Mississippi Department of Education)

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