Knowing the wealth of knowledge around the Peninsula, Rick Licciardello is hoping the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District can make use of retired or current educated professionals in the community to fill its ever-growing substitute pool.
"What we're ultimately looking for is a substitute, and some might think that's too much responsibility," said Licciardello, the district's executive director of Human Resources. "There are a lot of people on the Hill with tremendous experience that they could help. Whether it's volunteers or subs, we'd process them both."
Licciardello sprung into action after the PVPUSD board discussed the need to increase the substitute teacher pool at its Sept. 22 meeting.
While the current window for applying to be a substitute closes Oct. 30, Licciardello said the district may choose to open the sub pool another three to four times throughout the year.
PVPUSD currently has 177 substitutes in the pool, but Licciardello said teachers are not just kept on the Peninsula, they're shared among other local districts, including Torrance, Redondo, LAUSD and Wiseburn.
"We're all vying for the same subs, and as a school board, we thought it might be a good idea to go to our community to see if we have specialized personalities where some substitutes might not have specific training," Licciardello said.
While applicants are able to apply to as many districts as they’d like, Licciardello said the board will process any applicant it gets, but it’s specifically looking for those with backgrounds in language, engineering and mathematics.
"The South Bay has all sorts of business and industry that fosters the kind of people we're looking for that can help out in the classroom," Licciardello said. "It can be former engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and even foreign language experts. We do have people in the sub pool that meet those needs now, but we're looking in our own backyard to see if we can increase those numbers."
With the coronavirus lockdown keeping teachers out of the classroom, the district is prepared to bring substitute teachers onto campus to assist with filling in.
"Distance learning has presented a challenge for us, because it's hard to have subs come into a classroom and step in for the teacher," Licciardello said. "We're having our subs report to school sites to easily access and log onto the platform, and if they have any tech needs, our aides are on campus to help facilitate."
Licciardello also mentioned the district would be open to helping candidates take the CBEST (California Basic Education Skills Test), but said applicants would already need to have a bachelor's degree.
But they're willing to take the necessary steps to grow the community's education with the help of its community.
"Human Resources will do whatever it takes to get the community into our classroom," Licciardello said.
Interested parties can contact Rick Licciardello (Licciardello@pvpusd.net) directly to begin the application process.