Salina Public Schools to hire 24 new instructional assistants to help with the school year

KSN Digital Extra

SALINE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – After weeks of prepping, the Salina school district is almost ready to welcome kids back to in-person and virtual class for the 2020-2021 school year. USD 305 K-12 students are expected to begin their school year on August 31.

“It does feel like things are constantly moving, constantly changing, but we’re excited to have a plan to get kids back in school,” said HR Executive Director, Eryn Wright.

The school district said it is in need of 24 new instructional assistants to provide aid throughout the school year.

The assistants will be filling in for teachers in person whenever they must work remotely.

“If the teacher who may be then quarantined is healthy or is not ill but has to stay home that teacher might teach that class and an instructional assistant will be in there to assist with the students,” said Wright.

She says teachers went back to school on Wednesday to create a game plan for new methods of instruction.

“Our teachers actually came back today and they are working on new methods of instruction and how the structure of this year is going to look,” said Wright.

Wright says the instructional assistants are not new to the school district but have needed to increase recruitment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Truly, they are hired to assist the classroom teacher. So they will do anything from supporting the teacher to assisting with lessons, to helping with classroom management, to enabling small group discussions,” said Wright.

The school district’s director of business says part of their application for funding still needs to get approved by the state.

“It is part of our application for Saline County coronavirus relief funding. It has to be approved at the state level before we will know if our funding application is awarded.

She says before any instructional assistant can start working, they must have 48 college credit hours or take a specialized test.

“Once they’ve satisfied those requirements, they can come work for us,” Wright added.

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