Hudson schools looking for subs, preparing to reopen
Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Hudson Board of Education is making plans to raise the pay rate for substitute teachers, aides and staff for the first time in five years. Substitutes are hard to find, and Hudson must compete with other districts that may pay substitutes a higher rate, district Human Resources Manager Rachel Rissetto told the board at its August 16 meeting. Rissetto said the substitute list is already “not long,” and gets shorter whenever someone leaves the list to take a permanent position, such as a teacher’s aide. And the district needs substitutes in all areas, she said. Board member Mark DePace asked about proactive steps to recruit substitutes, and Rissetto replied that the district had recruited at libraries, job fairs, and Columbia Greene Community College, especially “pre-COVID.” Board member Selha Graham compared the proposed hourly pay for some substitutes with that for permanent employees in the same position. Rissetto said that she and Business Administrator Jesse Boehme would calculate the hourly wage for full-time employees if benefits were included in the pay, particularly with teacher aides and food service. As for the district reopening this month, conditions will be closer to pre-COVID normal than last year. Students will attend in-person instruction five days a week. There will be no daily temperature checks or Wednesday closings for deep cleaning. Students with symptoms will have to stay home, but other people who live with them will no longer be automatically quarantined. Buses will run at full capacity. The social distancing requirement in school buildings is reduced from six to three feet, with the exception of gym and music classes, where it will remain at six feet. Masks are mandatory on buses and inside school buildings. Staff and visitors must wear masks indoors, as well. Note: Graham is an active WGXC volunteer on-air programmer. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.