HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As the new school year is just around the corner, the Horry County School District is rushing to fill empty teaching positions in the next few days.
Earlier this week, the number of vacancies reached 36. However, in just a few short days, the number is down to 20 or less.
"That number changes daily. We need to go through paperwork and then have candidates go through a background check. That could take 2-3 days. If the person is from out-of-state, it could take a little longer. So, we actually have some people in process that could make that number less," explained Mary Anderson, the Director of Human Resources with the Horry County School District.
The Human Resource Department is buzzing as candidates file through the door, filing through their paperwork and accreditation.
In fact, HR is holding up to five new hire orientations every single day, as the district races to get the spots filled.
"We will have teachers in place for students. It will not create a burden or larger class sizes," assures Anderson.
She explained the district can always call in retired teachers to fill the void as the search continues for qualified candidates.
"There will never be a time in the entire school year you'll have every position filled. Because someone may have to resign for whatever reason," said Anderson.
The Horry County School District plans on changing its policy to prevent having this many vacancies heading into the next school year.
"Next year, we will hold people more stringently to their contract. We will not release people until we have a viable candidate to replace them," explained Anderson.
That process actually started months ago. Teachers are handed their contracts in April with ten days to hand their intentions back in to the district.
"We're always faced with the last minute resignations and trying to find the most qualified candidate to put in that spot," said Anderson.
Keeping the teacher until a replacement is found could keep the district from having so many vacancies heading into the school year.
The district is confident it can fill the majority of the open positions before school is back in session on August 20.