Hiring teachers in JCPS: What does the process entail?

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Konz-Tatman, Toni K

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Yaara Aleissa

Across the district, students depend on their teachers for their educational needs and in some cases, students may also rely on teachers on a social-emotional level. Teachers play a variety of roles that influence the educational experience for students. To ensure that students have the best educational experience, the hiring process of JCPS staff must thoroughly examine all interested candidates through a process.

To first be considered, the applicant must certify their eligibility. JCPS teaching positions have base-level requirements for all applicants. These requirements include Kentucky certification (appropriate to the grade level and the curriculum), prior experience and preparation (as sought by the individual school board), communication skills, a resume, and a transcript. Teachers must complete these materials through AppliTrack to build their eligibility. 

In addition, JCPS requires a background check for all applicants. IdentoGo administers background checks which receive information for the state and federal background checks for Kentucky. The reviewing committee receives information regarding criminal convictions and if the applicant is on the Sex Offender Registry. If the applicant passes their background check, the application continues to move forward. If the background check does not come back clean from all charges and findings are reviewed for further consideration before a teacher can move forward with the vetting and eligibility stage of the application.

On the other hand, the process for volunteers interested in helping out in JCPS requires a more extensive criminal background check. The Kentucky State Police and FBI handles background checks through records to determine if applicants have any criminal convictions or Sex Offenders Registry. 

The JCPS Board Policy for Hiring (03.11) enforces each step of the hiring process and ensures that applicants meet the requirements of a records check. Including a letter provided by the individual from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services stating that the application has “no administrative findings of child abuse or neglect found through a background check.” If the status changes during their application or after hiring, they are responsible to inform any convicted crime of a felony offense to their supervisor. It then becomes the responsibility of the supervisor to notify Human Resources (HR) and make the accommodations necessary to ensure the safety of students. 

Another supplemental aspect of the JCPS application is the eligibility stage is that teachers have experience in a diverse workplace. This experience is not a requirement for applicants but can accommodate for bridging ties between students and teachers. Ultimately, this is not always a highly determining factor in the acceptance of an application. 

Once the teacher’s eligibility is determined, the applicant enters the review process through a school committee chosen by the principal and their SBDM. The responsibility of the principal and committee is to vouch for any “well-suited candidate” for their school. If the applicant meets all the standards, the applicant will interview with the principal and the committee. In most cases, these standards are on a weighted scaled rubric that differs between each school.

Following an interview, the hiring committee will decide whether to recommend the candidate to HR or not. This final decision is a consensus and overlooked by the principal for submission. HR will then use the reference submitted by the principal, the background check and all required documentation in the original application to make the final decision if a teacher has been approved or denied to work in JCPS. 

For the case of vacancies in the district, the district posts positions on its website. The superintendent is responsible for searching to find “minority candidates” and can fill these vacant positions. The time length of the vacancy process is dependent on the principal and committee of the school. The materials are still required to be submitted by the applicant regardless of the urge to fill the position. 

The process of hiring a teacher is an important one. This examination process is dependent on the education of students who will relay their experiences as a perception of their educational journey and a pathway towards their future. The mishaps of a flawed decision from the hiring committee can have detrimental impacts on individual students. Through a rigorous hiring process upheld by JCPS, they can ensure the selected applicant is well-suited for the curriculum and the early livelihood experiences of their students.