South Brunswick faces shortage of staff members as school year begins

Kean University adjunct professor Irisa Leverette, a resident of North Brunswick, helps her students learn math by rapping in the classroom.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – The South Brunswick School District is facing a shortage of staff members as the school year begins.

“I find myself reaching out to you during the first few days of school with yet another dilemma,” Superintendent of Schools Scott Feder wrote in a letter to families dated Sept. 14. “As mentioned in the past, we have found ourselves in a situation similar to many businesses as it relates to staffing in certain positions. While almost all areas of the district remain challenging as it relates to staffing, a few spots have been more challenging than others.”

The greatest shortage is in the areas of transportation, and food service through Chartwells, Feder said.

South Brunswick is short by usually double-digit drivers on a daily basis “with no sign that this is temporary,” Feder said.

“We are working on potential solutions so that we avoid the need for significant changes to our operations,” he said, saying that the administration will be transparent with the public if Plan B is needed.

“At this time, there has not been disruption to learning as we continue to manage with the help of an amazing staff and group of people. However, keeping up the pace will get more and more challenging and we fear the issue could grow in certain areas,” he said in an interview.

The district is also seeking substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and custodial and maintenance workers.

Feder reiterated that this is a universal problem in education.

“I do want to add that while the industry is suffering in this way, the people that work for our district are amazing and are somehow often able to make it feel like there is no shortage at all,” Feder wrote.

The district has partnered with ESS to manage their substitute teacher program. ESS hires, trains, and places substitute personnel.

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