Staffing shortages placing pressure on Rapid City schools

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Area Schools have been doing everything they can to make sure all bases are covered in the wake of staffing shortages.

They currently have 125 positions available in their school system, most in the area of support services. Support services consists of positions such as custodians, food service workers, and bus drivers. Jobs like these make up most of the vacancies.

“Right now we have everyone at our bus barn driving. Even our managers, everyone that has a CDL is pretty much behind the wheel. we’re very short” RCAS Community Relations Manager Katy Urban explained. “So if we have someone that calls in sick, then we have had to move times -pick up times and drop-off times.”

In some cases, drivers have to run double routes for schools. The schools have been able to get messages out to parents if there are any changes in scheduling. However, creativity plays a key role in trying to make sure kids get to school.

Rcas BusSubstitutions shortages have also been a problem for the schools. In a regular year, Rapid City Area Schools would have around 97% of their classroom positions filled with teachers or substitutes.

This year, only 40% to 50% of these positions were actually filled, placing officials in unusual circumstances.

The South Dakota Board of Education has a proposed rule to help give more flexibility to long-term subs. If approved, that would go into effect in January.

“We are not the only district that are struggling with a sub shortage or different worker shortages in various areas and so, we aren’t alone.” Urban stated. “And I think the state recognized that and so they were trying to do something to help so that our subbing situation wasn’t quite as difficult as it has been.”

To learn more about the job openings, visit the RCAS website: rcas.org/our-district/human-resources/careers/

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Family, Local News, South Dakota News