PASD issues call for paraeducators, substitutes

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School District has issued an urgent plea to parents to fill permanent paraeducator and substitute paraeducator and teacher positions.

An email issued Friday said that the district was at a critically low level of employees and that if vacant positions could not be filled, then the district could eventually resort to a worse-case scenario of canceling classes or classrooms.

“We have no desire to do this, but we may have no other option if we cannot hire additional staff,” said Carman Geyer, district spokesperson.

During a later interview Geyer said that cancellations would be considered only after the district had exhausted all its resources.

The district needs at least 25 substitute teachers and 25 substitute paraeducators daily — thus necessitating a much larger pool overall — to ensure classes are covered smoothly, Geyer said, as the need changes daily.

In addition, the district has 17 open permanent paraeducator positions.

“Our two basic needs are permanent paraeducators and substitutes,” she said in the email.

“We are taking every step to ensure there’s an adult in every necessary position, resorting to using staff like principals, district administrators, and other staff with other essential responsibilities during the typical school day,” the email said.

According to the district website at applypara educator, there are seven types of paraeducator openings, all in special education.

According to the district website at applysubstitute, there are six types of substitute openings, but the primary need is for substitute paraeducators and teachers.

Permanent paraeducator positions are paid from $21.68 per hour to $28.33 per hour, depending upon experience. The positions also have full benefits, including medical, dental, vision, life and state retirement.

Those who quality for emergency substitute certificates can earn $150 a day, as well as bonus pay.

Paraeducator substitutes’ pay starts at $17.55 an hour.

People interested the in the positions are urged to apply online or come into the district office at 905 W. Ninth St. at the Lincoln Center.