San Carlos and Belmont parents apply for substitute teacher positions

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Sequoia Union High School District

SUHSD calls for parents to become on-campus substitute teachers for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

A pleasant surprise, a weight off the shoulders: a substitute teacher day. Kahoots and Bill Nye, a break period amongst all the chaos. 

An experience lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, soon to be restored by the 25% of students attending in-person school.

San Carlos and Belmont schools are re-enlisting paid substitute teachers from the parent community in preparation for the upcoming return to in-person schooling.

“Parents who have opted to become substitute teachers in our district have helped our schools tremendously by providing needed supervision for our small student cohorts that have been on campuses since last semester,” said Katrina Grant, the Substitute Teacher Staffing Technician at Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD). “We will continue to have a need for substitute teachers to cover for our teachers when they are out due to illness, professional development, or personal matters.”

To apply to become a substitute teacher in the Sequoia Union School District, parents can fill out the Substitute Teacher application available at EdJoin.org and submit it with all required attachments. Requirements and guidelines are listed on the official SUHSD website

“In order to be a substitute, I took a California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)  test…it’s a 4-hour test, 2 hours in English and 2 hours in math,” said Laura Parks, a parent substitute at Ralston Middle School in Belmont. “It’s a good gig if you can get it. You can work the days you want to work. It’s still mother’s hours if your kids are in school.”

SUHSD offers an alternative to taking the CBEST test. Applicants can submit a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT. Applicants having earned a score of at least 500 on the SAT English exam and 550 on the SAT mathematics exam, or 22 on the ACT English exam and 23  on the ACT mathematics exam meet the basic skills requirement. 

“You have to be a college graduate, and you can just submit your standardized test scores,” said Ruth Bennett, a parent substitute at San Carlos Charter Learning Center. “That’s what I did a few years ago. I just had to submit my transcripts and my essay scores.”

The simplicity and minimal time needed for submissions mean it can be an easy task for many parents to complete. At a time when substitute teachers are needed more than ever, the districts urge parents to sign up. 

“I would absolutely encourage parents to apply, especially as we are gearing up to have students return to in-person instruction in April,” Grant said. “With the return to campuses, substitute teachers will be needed to provide additional support to schools as we readjust back to life inside the classroom.  Things will look different when students return compared to what they remember before schools were shuttered a year ago. Social distancing will be in effect, along with other overt health and safety measures.”

Parents expressed their positive experiences at subbing San Carlos and Belmont schools. 

“I’ve been a Girl Scout leader, and I’ve been involved in mother-daughter organizations, and I didn’t expect that I was going to like it so much,” Parks said. “I found that I never felt like I was going to work. I was happy when I was there, and the kids were too. I thought they were very amusing.”

Helping at schools has provided a fresh insight to parents on the work of teachers.

“If you have never worked with kids, it’s so rewarding. The kids are just really happy to have you there, and I know for me it’s great, even online,” Bennett said. “If you want to appreciate more what teachers go through and how hard they work, getting into the classroom is a great way to. I have a lot more appreciation for our teachers.”

For a steady return to on-campus instruction, all community members must pitch in to support San Carlos and Belmont schools, staff, and students. During a crisis, communities must fend for one another and lend a helping hand.

“Support from the surrounding community in the form of both volunteering and substitute teaching will greatly assist in a smooth transition for students returning to the classroom,” Grant said. “By being the in-person resources, so many students were missing while engaging in distance learning during the past year.”

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