Wickenburg Unified School District has seen an upswing in teacher applications and applications from candidates with greater experience following the governing board’s decision to implement a four-day week as of the 2019-20 school year, according to Superintendent Howard Carlson.
According to WUSD human resources records, the district has experienced:
• a 32 percent increase in the applications for certified positions this spring, compared to last spring’s data;
• 66% of newly hired teachers for 2019-20 have six or more years of teaching experience;
• 74% of newly hired teachers for 2019-20 have education beyond a bachelor’s degree;
• 83% of newly hired teachers for 2019-20 hold standard certifications.
According to Carlson, “This year, we had 16 teacher vacancies, which have all been filled. This is the earliest we have been able to fill all of our teacher vacancies in the last three years.” In 2017-18 the district experienced 20 teacher vacancies, and three teachers were hired in August; in 2018-19, there were 22 teacher vacancies and two were hired in August. This year 16 teacher vacancies were filled before May 10. Seven of those are hard-to-fill math, science or special education positions, Carlson noted.
“It is great to see for the first time in a while WUSD bucking the statewide trend in terms of recruiting teachers. The number of applicants has increased; the background and experience of the applicants has increased; we are hiring fewer teachers than in past years, and this is the earliest we have had all teachers hired in three years. I am very excited to see this change occurring for our students and community, which we attribute to the four day school week,” Carlson said.