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Concentrated student writing at desk in classroom

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Could you imagine your child going to school just to sit around and watch TV? Well, that’s what it’s been like for schools in urban St. Louis Like Hamilton Elementary.

Kids at Hamilton were watching TV because “they had no gym or art teachers that day,” said substitute teacher Janet Burns, who was supervising them. Those teachers were absent.

So what’s next and how can we fill these positions with teachers who can be held accountable and stay put for the sake of the children’s education?

Anna Westlund, the district’s recently appointed director for recruitment and a former principal says, “we built an entire selection process,” Westlund said. “I don’t know that we had a very firm or defined one before.”

This year, Westlund’s office screened all applications within 48 hours. The district interviewed candidates by phone, then brought them in for an interview with multiple principals. Candidates have to teach a sample lesson and hear feedback on their teaching. –StlToday

Hamilton elementary’s principle Starlette Frenchie loves the new hiring process and is looking to fill 9 positions this fall.


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