Human Resources Report

To: Michael Green

From: Vicky Barnes

Date: April 22, 2021

Subject: Human Resources Report

This last month the district began offering COVID tests on symptomatic or exposed students, staff, and family members of students. If a student or staff member stays home because of symptoms or exposure, they can come to the district office and are tested in their car. If a student or staff member becomes symptomatic at school, they can be tested in the health office of their school.  Prior to starting the testing, Kerri Six and I visited Kelso School District who also offers tests to get a clearer understanding of the process. I spent a day training staff to be observers; the individuals perform the test on themselves, but the person observing walks them through the process. Each day tests are sent out by UPS, and typically we see results come back within 48 hours. This testing will help us get students and staff back in the classroom quicker and hopefully allow us to keep exposures to a minimum. If the test returns a positive result, we are able to communicate, contact trace, and quarantine quickly. If the test returns a negative result, the staff or student is able to return to school as long as their symptoms have improved and they haven’t had a fever for 24 hours. As of today, we have tested over 55 people.

I participated in a virtual career fair along with Michael Green and Darcy Soto. It was a bit clunky at times but I believe we made some great connections and continued to get Woodland School District’s name in front of possible applicants. It was an all-day career fair and we had a steady stream of people visiting our “booth,” which was surprising since ours was almost the last booth in the venue. Several candidates emailed me after the fair and expressed interest in Woodland Public Schools if a position became open because of our presence at the fair.

As we look at staffing for next year, we have posted some positions and have had some great applicants apply. Unfortunately, there have been a higher number of unfilled positions by substitutes recently, which makes days stressful for administrators and staff.  I continue to advertise for, interview, and process both classified and certificated substitutes to increase our pool. The hope is as vaccinations increase so will our pool of available substitutes. Concerns with COVID as well as sharing substitutes with surrounding districts both play into the reasons we have a shortage. 

Each month I focus on becoming more knowledgeable about an area I oversee. This month I focused on retirement and attended webinars which gave me more information about the process a staff member needs to do when they get ready to retire and the difference between the two plans our staff can choose from. When I onboard new hires I give a brief overview of the retirement choices and the required forms. The webinars gave me more understanding of the overall process and options.