Rapid City public schools are set to resume next week with several dozen positions open throughout the district.
The Rapid City Area Schools had about 64 job openings as of Monday, according to school recruiter Katie Lindwurm. Many of those are for support service positions, which include custodians, secretaries, food service workers. Several special education and general classroom teaching positions are also vacant, as are several positions for paraprofessional educators.
The schools had a similar number of vacancies at the beginning of the last academic year, Lindwurm said.
There are currently about nine special education openings, Lindwurm said. Those roles remain vacant at a time of an apparent statewide shortage of special education professionals. The Associated School Boards of South Dakota has previously reported that 60 percent of districts in the state have had unfilled special education positions in the last three years.
Lindwurm said the school district plans to fill its vacancies by advertising for them as much as possible. She added that job seekers should be aware that hiring will continue even after school starts, though the hiring season for teachers typically begins shortly after New Year's.
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"A lot of people think that because school has started that we’re no longer hiring, which is not the case," she said.
Some major administrative positions have already been filled. Lindstrom said that a new director of Native America education was hired this summer to replace the previous director, who stepped down in June to focus on a fellowship opportunity.
Lindwurm estimated that the RCAS employs approximately 1,500 people. Retirements accounted for much of the turnover that was experienced in the 2018-2019 school year, Lindwurm said.
A total of 60 certified teachers and administrators retired last year, she said.