Last month, I reflected on the outstanding teaching staff members we are fortunate to have here in Durango.
We’ve been fortunate to attract some of the best and brightest educators in the state. We are also fortunate to have great support staff members who provide critical services for our schools. We are, however, facing a critical challenge in filling important positions within the district.
This year, we find ourselves short of bus drivers, custodians and after-school enrichment aides – just to name a few. These positions are very important to our district and our families. The district offers a very attractive benefits package and very competitive wages. We’ve advertised broadly in hopes of filling these positions. You may even have seen our banners around the area soliciting applicants for the role of bus driver.
At this time, our transportation department has worked hard to meet the needs of both daily transportation as well as the demands of our athletics and extra-curricular activities. With more than five driver positions currently open and a couple employees on sick leave, everyone in the department has found themselves with driving duties. At this time, we will need to combine routes to continue to provide daily service to all of our families. We apologize for the inconvenience these combined routes may cause. It will require changes in times and length of routes
The lack of candidates for our after-school enrichment program has caused us to limit the number of students who can participate. Based on state regulations governing child care programs, a ratio of 15 children to one adult is required.
I recognize how frustrating this is for parents who require these important services. While we have been fortunate to fill many of these positions in the last month, we continue to seek new applicants to expand capacity at schools where the need exists. We appreciate the patience of families and the other community services that have stepped up to help provide child care.
In the last few weeks, we have almost filled custodial positions in our buildings. We pride ourselves on maintaining clean facilities. These employees work extremely hard to meet the expectations of our community. The job is demanding, and many positions require afternoon and evening hours. We continue to seek applicants to broaden the pool and maintain full staffing.
While we are lucky to have the employees we do, I recognize the impact of being short-staffed on our existing employees. They work hard to pick up the slack and ensure we meet the very basic needs.
Please spread the word about these available positions. We continue to work hard to market these positions and appreciate any help. If you have questions, visit www.durangoschools.org.
DSnowberger@durango.k12.co.us. Dan Snowberger is the superintendent of the Durango School District.