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TCAPS Addresses Ongoing Staffing Shortage

Staffing shortages are happening everywhere right now, especially in schools.

Traverse City Area Public Schools is seeing a number of faculty members resign before the end of the school year.

“We are a large district, so there’s a lot of administrators when you start to see a couple and also when one typically moves, you typically see more dominos kind of fall because people move around,” said TCAPS School Board President Scott Newman-Bale.

The school board is looking to fill several empty positions right now.

The Executive Director of Special Education and Associate Superintendent are just two that have recently resigned.

“The number may seem like a lot, but what’s also interesting is as a school district, it typically happens once a year, it’s kind of a turnover once a year, is how it works in the school system,” said Newman-Bale. “I think that it’s true, not just in the school system, but is true across all enterprises.”

The district thinks many people are looking for a better work-life balance and re-evaluating what they want because of the pandemic.

“As far as educators, we’ve been concerned for quite a while, even pre-pandemic, we knew that there’s not the amount of people going into the positions because they’ve been traditionally underfunded or under resourced and we also know that there are fewer people going into education”

Principal of Traverse City East Middle School Marshall Perkins plans to end his term at the end of the school year and return to teaching next school year.

“So, there are definitely people that have said, ‘can I still stay in education, but find a different work-life balance’ and so we have some people that have asked to have those opportunities and we want to keep them, they’re great people,” said TCAPS Superintendent John VanWagoner.

Superintendent VanWagoner says he plans to have all open positions filled and ready to start by July.

He adds that he feels very confident with the applicants they have already.

“Having some of our administrators who are still staying within our TCAPS family and maybe going to teaching jobs or to a different principal job, all in all, I think we’re going to be just fine,” said VanWagoner.

The school board will have an update on staffing at tonight’s meeting.