Attracting Substitute Paraprofessionals
Kettering City School District is offering a flexible pay benefit to help increase fill rates and the size of its substitute pool.
Product & Solutions
Just outside of Dayton, Ohio, Kettering City School District is an attractive district to attend — and to work for. With a high graduation rate and a strong community feel, it’s not unusual for people to stay connected to the district throughout their lives.
Courtney Hampton is the Substitute Assignment Specialist at Kettering. She tracks employee attendance and ensures that when teachers are out, a qualified substitute is ready to step in. In most cases she doesn’t have trouble filling jobs — but the biggest need is for substitutes to fill absences for paraprofessionals.
These educators are typically non-certified staff. Sometimes they are single parents or international students at the University of Dayton who have families, older individuals with a connection to Kettering or people who are just starting in the workforce. Although recent increases in the cost of living have taken their toll on everyone, paraprofessionals may especially feel the pinch.
That’s why Kettering City School District recently began offering Wagestream as a benefit to its substitute teachers. Wagestream is a flexible pay service that allows people to access earned wages for days worked without waiting for payday. As starting hourly rates rise in many sectors of the economy and more employers offer flexible pay, Kettering hopes to stay competitive in attracting substitutes to work in the district. “It might increase our pool of paraprofessionals who are wanting same day pay or quick pay,” says Courtney.
Wagestream is offered to districts through Frontline Education’s Absence Management solution, and Courtney first heard about the service when Frontline reached out to introduce it to districts. She spoke with the district’s financial office about it, and although the payroll department initially wondered if they would need to provide customer service to substitutes who used Wagestream, they chose to move forward once they learned that logistics and support would be handled by Frontline and Wagestream. “I’ve only been contacted twice [from substitutes] about it since its rollout in April.”
Courtney says the program got up and running quite quickly. “Within the two weeks we were able to get it up and running and get the documents that we needed. I felt really supported that I got all that quickly.”
“Within two weeks we were able to get it up and running and get the documents that we needed. I felt really supported that I got all that quickly.”
– Substitute Assignment Specialist
Looking to Next Year
Courtney plans to actively promote the program to their substitute teachers over the summer. “We’re hopeful that it will increase our pool when we market it the next time for the next school year.” She said she’s looking forward to “increasing our sub pool, especially with the paraprofessionals, but also fill rates for these subs who are active per se but not truly active because they’re not ever picking up a job.”
Kettering City School District’s goals for using Wagestream in 2023-2024:
- Increased substitute pool size
- Increased fill rates
- Increased % of substitute teachers accepting jobs