Douglas School district critically short of social studies teachers

The historic Minden School on Mono Avenue serves as the headquarters of the Douglas County School District.

The historic Minden School on Mono Avenue serves as the headquarters of the Douglas County School District.

With more than 40 open positions, another position was added to the critical shortage list for Douglas County, making it the fifth to make the list this year.

During the Sept. 12 Douglas County School Board meeting, trustees approved placing the secondary social studies teacher position under critical shortage, meaning the position could be satisfied through hire of retired teachers that meet the licensure requirements.

“We currently have two vacancies at our middle schools and despite our efforts online through our Applitrack system, LinkedIn, EdJoin, Facebook and Instagram posts, we have not found any viable candidates,” said Superintendent Keith Lewis.

According to the Douglas County School District website, there are more than 40 open positions throughout the district, from the classroom to the playground, facilities and nutrition, transportation and student services, and more. Among those open positions are critical shortages for an elementary learning strategist, English teacher, two ESL classroom teachers and now two secondary social studies teachers.

During the Sept. 12 meeting many public commenters spoke in favor of adding the teaching positions to the critical shortage list but were also curious as to why it’s critical in the first place.

“I think we need to consider why there is a critical need for teachers,” said Debbie Silva. “It seems to me it has to do with wages and that really is difficult considering how high rent is. So, what are we doing to increase wages?”

Janelle Lehmann spoke on the current challenges the district is facing with students and teachers leaving.

According to the 2022-23 Personnel Summary Report a total of 81 classified employees left DCSD during the year either through retirement, resignation or termination, one year contract expiration, or the employees moved to a certified teaching position and enrollment was down 135 students this August as compared to the 5,185 students enrolled in Aug. 2022.

Lewis addressed similar concerns during the Aug. 8 board meeting which added elementary classroom teachers to the critical shortage list, stating that there have been negotiations and discussions for higher and competitive wages for teachers and staff and the district is working hard to fulfill positions.

“We value our employees,” he said. “It does impact our kids and who we have in the classrooms.”

According to the district’s website, positions are needed across the board in education and the district is seeking people who are passionate and dedicated educators.

Visit for more information.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment