Cape benefits from recruiting websiteJob seekers can find teaching positions at one site
When Cape Henlopen School District officials heard about the state's new website designed to recruit teachers, they hopped on it right away.
“The site opened last May, and we were the first district to get our postings onto it,” said Cathy Petitgout, supervisor of Human Resources for the district.
State officials officially kicked off an online teacher recruitment portal Oct. 2 as part of their “Join Delaware Schools” campaign aimed to attract high caliber-teachers.
“The research could not be clearer: Teacher quality is the most important school-related factor in a student’s academic success," said Gov. Jack Markell said in a press release following the announcement of the new website. “This site’s resources are an important tool to highlight the benefits of teaching in Delaware, to help us attract and retain the best teachers, and to make it easier for high-quality applicants to apply for teaching jobs in our state.”
The website is available at www.joindelawareschools.org and provides a central hiring website and one common application for every school in the district. The portal will make it easier for schools to recruit and retain high-quality educators, said Alison May, spokeswoman for the Department of Education.
However, she said, hiring decisions will remain at the local level.
Petitgout said the system has worked great for Cape.
“Our administrators can sit in their offices and peruse the applications and put those they are interested in into a folder for interviews,” she said.
The system even generates an email inviting a candidate for an interview. However, Petitgout said, Cape remains old school and calls people by telephone for interviews for a more personal touch.
“We had a great response to the majority of our postings,” she said.
The website was funded in part by the state’s federal Race to the Top grant, May said. Applicants no longer must check every district and charter school’s individual site to find job openings. The aim is to include all vacancies in the state in one place, she said.
To date, eight districts and 14 charters are participating in the website. By 2016, May said, all districts and charters will be expected to use it.
Colonial School District recently signed on to the website.
“I am pleased by the portal’s capabilities and features including data collection, filtering, and communication with applicants,” said Eugene Mayo, director of human resources. “Although our district has recently joined the portal, I am already seeing an increase in applications which will ultimately lead to new hires.”
Seaford School District has already hired 57 employees by using the site.
“Our district has seen an increase in applications and interest in the positions we have had available,” said Stephanie Smith, director of human resource development and public information. “For smaller districts such as Seaford with more limited local resources, efforts such as this partnership are crucial to ensuring that we are able to get the best and the brightest staff into our classrooms during our hiring season.”
Over the next several months, May said, the state will launch a promotional campaign and host recruitment events in partnership with the state’s colleges and universities and districts and charter schools. The site will be updated with other information, such as professional development opportunities, state- and district-wide news and events, survey results and blogs.