Sumter School District Teacher Recruitment
Sumter School District strives to recruit the highest quality teachers for our students. Each year, our recruitment strategies and goals are reviewed so that we can continue to recruit and retain the best teachers for the district. Information on district and state recruitment can be found at the Center for Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA).
Summary of District
Our 28 elementary, middle and high schools provide educational services to community that encompasses approximately 143,000 citizens. The district’s boundaries include the entire county of Sumter, which is 682 square miles. Our total enrollment is approximately 17,000 students.
There are currently 16 elementary schools in Sumter School District. Enrollment ranges from approximately 180 students at the smallest school to 893 at the largest school. Elementary schools are Alice Drive Elementary, Cherryvale Elementary, Crosswell Drive Elementary, F.J. Delaine Elementary, High Hills Elementary, Kingsbury Elementary, Lemira Elementary, Manchester Elementary, Millwood Elementary, Oakland Primary, Pocalla Springs Elementary, R.E. Davis Elementary, Rafting Creek Elementary, Shaw Heights Elementary, Wilder Elementary and Willow Drive Elementary.
The school district presently has seven middle schools which are Alice Drive Middle, Bates Middle, Chestnut Oaks Middle, Ebenezer Middle, Furman Middle, Hillcrest Middle and Mayewood Middle. Enrollment ranges from approximately 160 students at the smallest school to 910 at the largest school. The three high schools in Sumter School District are Crestwood High, Lakewood High and Sumter High. Lakewood and Crestwood enroll approximately 1,100 students each, and Sumter enrolls approximately 2,300 students.
It is the intent of Sumter School District to recruit highly qualified staff members for every vacancy in our school district.
Sumter School District uses a variety of recruitment methods to search for qualified candidates for vacant positions. Our online application system, TalenEd Recruit and Hire, allows our district to advertise vacancies across the district. It also allows applicants to apply online for any vacancy that is currently being advertised. The district also uses the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement’s application system to search for candidates. This system allows the district to search for candidates interested in teaching positions in South Carolina. The district also uses Teachers-Teachers.com to recruit candidates nationwide. This application system contains resumes from teachers across the United States who are seeking employment.
Sumter School District actively recruits for positions through a wide range of advertising sources. The advertising sources include but are not limited to the local and state newspapers, the district’s website, Teachers-Teachers.com, and the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement. The district also utilizes online web-based media such as Careerbuilder.com, South Carolina Association for School Administrators, the SC Works employment office, and college career centers.
Recruiting for Positions
Sumter School District advertises for future district office administrators, principals, and assistant principal positions. These positions are advertised internally as well as externally through our district’s website. The district encourages its employees to apply for promotional positions. The majority of recruitment trips will focus on seeking certificated and classified staff; therefore, recruiting for administrators will require unique approaches, including recruiting from the district’s Grow Your Own Leaders program and seeking input from local universities with Education Leadership Programs.
Certified employees comprise the majority of the district’s new hires every year. The key to hiring effective certificated staff is to advertise, interview, and hire early. Newly certified teachers are recruited through college job fairs and networking with college career centers. Most of the recruitment trips are scheduled during February, March, and April to facilitate this process. In addition, the Office of Human Resources is developing relationships with university contacts to gain access to qualified candidates as early as possible, so that we can actively recruit. One of the most successful sources of highly qualified teacher candidates is the hiring of student teachers as they complete their student teaching programs. Local colleges, such as Morris College and the University of South Carolina, place their students in our schools in order to complete student teaching and practicum requirements. Upon graduation, many of these candidates become employees with the district. Obtaining names from the high school principals of students who are entering teacher education programs will assist the District in growing our own teachers.
In addition, the district offers PRAXIS training for those staff members who are struggling with passing the required assessments for standard license certification. The district also networks with other human resources professionals and college officials who are able to refer qualified candidates to the district.
Classified staff members are hired on a continuous basis throughout the year. In the classified area, Sumter School District employs instructional assistants for regular education classes, teacher assistants for special education classes, and teacher aides for kindergarten and pre-school classes. Classified staff members are recruited through the district’s website as well as through the SC Works employment office and Adult Education.
Recruiting for Hard to Fill Positions
Sumter School District strives to fill all vacancies as quickly as possible. However, some vacancies in the district remain vacant longer than others due to the difficulty in finding certified staff for these positions.
Special Education Teachers
Special Education teachers are in high demand throughout the state as well as in Sumter School District. In an attempt to be proactive in our recruitment efforts for Special Education Teachers, Sumter School District will contact colleges and universities early in the year to seek information on those individuals who are candidates for completion of special education programs. In addition, current employees are encouraged to become certified teachers through incentives offered with teacher education programs. In addition, Representatives from the District will attend specialized associations and meetings which target special education teachers, such as the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and disabilities and special needs conferences in order to recruit special education personnel.
Occupational Therapists, School Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists
Employees that are qualified as occupational therapists, school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, and behavior specialist are in such high demand that Sumter School District has had to contract with agencies to obtain employees with certification. The district will specifically be recruiting candidates with the required certification and will offer employment to qualified candidates after successful interviews.
Pre-Recruitment and Preparation for Hiring Activities
Sumter School District will complete all Pre-Recruitment work during September and the first week of October. The work will include the following:
- Register for upcoming recruitment fairs
- Create recruitment brochures, fliers, presentation boards
- Order recruitment materials and promotional items
- Complete research and data for annual Supply and Demand survey for the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA)
- Revise and finalize all screening materials and data tools
Sumter School District Teacher Recruitment Fair
Sumter School District hosts a Teacher Recruitment Fair in March or April of each year after all Letters of Intent have been completed by the existing faculty and staff. The event invites certified teachers and new graduates from all over the United States to attend this event. The event is usually held in one of the current district schools, and the event is advertised in college career centers and major newspapers in several states. These states include (but are not limited to) South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Indiana. Numerous out-of-state interviews are conducted via SKYPE, Google Hangouts, and Face Time (mobile phone camera). Out-of-state candidates are then invited to tour the schools and town to make final decisions about employment. The district seeks to fill all vacancies for the upcoming school year by the end of July of each year.
Measures of Effectiveness
Sumter School District gathers data during each recruitment trip that will include the following:
- Number of candidates met
- Areas of specialty
- Follow-up plans (i.e. obtain resume, interview, check references, etc.)
- Contact information for each candidate
At the conclusion of each trip or recruitment season, the district will review the data from each event to assess the effectiveness of the activity and to determine if the event was a productive strategy in meeting the goals of the recruitment plan.
The district will review the analysis during the summer and will make suggestions for revision periodically throughout the summer and the fall. School-based administrators and department heads will also submit feedback about the recruitment efforts of the year. Their feedback will be used to revise the upcoming recruitment plan.
Recruitment Activity Timeline
Month Recruitment/Hiring Activity
August: Prepare for recruitment trips
- Order recruitment material
- Create district brochures
- Register administrators and department heads for upcoming recruitment fairs
- Post list of trips to website
September: Prepare for recruitment trips
- Finalize Recruitment Plan
- Finalize all screening materials and data tools
- Ensure applications are all web based
October: Begin Recruitment Trips; ongoing throughout school year
- Local Colleges and Universities, Shaw AFB, Ft. Jackson, local employment centers, community job fairs, SKYPE interviews
November: Continue recruitment events; interview as available
December: Continue recruitment events; interview as available; Letters of Intent collected
- Mid Year District Teacher Recruitment Interview day as needed
January: Continue recruitment events; interview as available
February: Continue recruitment events; interview as available
March: Continue recruitment events; interview as available
- Plan for Sumter School District Teacher Recruitment Fair
April: Continue recruitment events; interview as available
- Distribute Contingency Contracts; gather data for each trip
- Disseminate Non-renewal letters (when applicable)
- Begin creating finalized vacancy list for upcoming school year
- Host SSD Teacher Recruitment Fair
May: Conclude recruitment events
- Administrators and department heads interview and fill positions with internal and external candidates
June: Administrators and department heads interview and fill positions with internal and
July: Administrators and department heads interview and fill positions with internal and
August: Sumter School District collates recruitment data and develops analysis of the overall
effectiveness of recruitment
- Revise Recruitment Plan where needed
- Gather feedback from administrators and department heads