Lynchburg City Schools gives update on staffing shortage, has 35 teaching vacancies

As of August 8, leaders say they’ve hired 97 new teachers for the 2022-2023 academic year

We were able to speak with school officials today after we reported that they were sidestepping our questions last week

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg City School leaders addressed their staffing shortage and new hires Monday, days after 10 News reported they were sidestepping questions.

As of Monday, LCS said that out of their 687 total teaching positions, they are facing 35 vacancies: 14 in elementary school, 8 in middle school, 9 in high school, 2 at the Fort Hill Community School, and 2 in the LAUREL Regional Program.

Dr. Reid Wodicka, deputy superintendent of operations & strategic planning, said they’re also looking for 14 more bus drivers, but they have all of the routes covered.

“Our bus routes have drivers, but we’re seeking some additional bus drivers in order to provide some flexibility, in case a driver is sick and that sort of thing,” said Wodicka.

Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards said “it’s all hands on deck” to fill positions and they’re hiring people “almost 24 hours a day.”

LCS said that they hired 97 new teachers for the 2022-2023 academic year as of Monday.

The online hiring portal has been updated since the last time 10 News reported and now reflects an accurate count of all open positions.

“If you go to our website, you’ll actually see the most-updated numbers of all of the open full-time, part-time, substitute, and extracurricular athletic positions that are available,” said Edwards.

On Monday morning, that number was 145 total positions.

Edwards said they’re offering incentives, including hiring bonuses and paying educators who teach extra classes instead of using their preparation periods.

They may also need to collapse or combine some classes – what happens when school ‘A’ has a grade level that’s approaching capacity, but school ‘B’ still has room?

“We may be able to have those children enrolled in school ‘B,’ where there is room. Class sizes may not be as high, and that’s a more efficient and productive way to use our resources,” said Edwards.

Leaders said they’re encouraging families to enroll early online, but they expect to have a better idea of class sizes once they host Enrollment Day on Wednesday.

Students return to the classrooms on August 16.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.