For decades, schools have struggled to attract and retain well-prepared, experienced teachers and staff that reflect the diversity of students. Santa Clara County faces compounding challenges with the cost of living in our area.

Dr. Mary Ann Dewan

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order to support schools with the pandemic related shortages by lowering state barriers that delay the hiring of qualified short-term substitute teachers, permitting substitute teachers to have longer assignments, and providing additional flexibility to support retired teachers who return to the classroom.

While there is no way to alleviate this overnight, parents, guardians and community members can support school and combat shortages by volunteering or signing up to be a substitute teacher, teacher, school nurse, before/after school program provider, or paraeducator. Those interested in volunteer opportunities can contact their local school. For information on how to become a substitute teacher go to https://sccoe.to/sccoesubstituteservices

The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is hosting a Virtual Step into Teaching event on Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will focus on helping participants learn and prepare for a teaching career or to transition into teaching from other fields. To register for the event go to www.sccoe.org/stepintoteaching.

Information on how to become a school nurse can be found on the SCCOE website by going to www.sccoe.org/becomeaschoolnurse. For those interested in applying to be a paraeducator, please go to https://www.edjoin.org/sccoe/Together, we can ensure that in-person instruction, support, and before and after-school activities can continue with proven mitigation strategies in place such as universal indoor masking, vaccinations, and boosters to those eligible.