ODESSA, Texas (BIG 2/ FOX 24)- “We anticipated 33,000 and we are already, as of today, 365 above our projection. We will continue to grow over the next several weeks,” says ECISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri.
The first week of school brings 349 teachers shortages at ECISD and more students than expected. A problem left for the district to solve.
“Leveraging some virtual opportunities so working with some vendors to bring in teachers really from all over the country. In fact, I was in a classroom just the other day with a teacher from Charlotte North Carolina who was live virtually in one of our classrooms,” says Muri.
Superintendent Muri says it’s not where they want to be but its a step in the right direction. “I would rather have kids in front of a great teacher than kids in front of no one so that’s our opportunity today.”
Teachers currently working at ECISD also experiencing some change as they consolidate their classrooms.
According to the Superintendent, “pre-k is right at 22 to 1 so 22 kids for one teacher and we have an assistant in there as well. It goes up a little bit in the elementary level kindergarten and second grade a little bit higher and third grade. By the time you get to high school, you can see 35 students in a classroom right now.”
In an effort to help teachers, ECISD is also offering them incentives. He says “we’ve identified some of our best and brightest teachers at the middle school and high school level who are teaching during their planning period so we are paying them a little bit more money and they are teaching our students during that planning period. It takes a village and we need our community to be involved in us just like our school system needs to be involved in our community.”