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GIPS Staffing Update for 2024-25

Students raising hands in an Elementary classroom

May 16th, 2024

As we move through our final eight days of the school year, I wanted to share an update regarding our staffing for 2024-25.  I’d love to be able to say we have all our positions staffed and everyone will be able to be exactly where they want to be.  Unfortunately, while we still have much to be optimistic about, we will need some staff to do some shuffling.   

Throughout our collaboration with district leaders and school Principals, we have been focused on two commitments:

  1. Ensuring each classroom is equipped with a high-quality, credentialed educator.

  2. Attempting to maintain consistent class sizes districtwide.

With that being said, here is where we are with making sure our classrooms have high-quality educators for our students.


  • Secondary Education staffing is in better shape than this time last year.

We currently have some prospective candidates to hopefully fill our last two secondary Science positions.  After that, we are still looking to fill one Math position and one Newcomers position.

  • Right now, we are 10 Elementary teachers short of our ideal staffing outlook.

The positive news is with our enrollment projections for 2024-25, we are confident we can trim the number of unfilled positions by decreasing grade units in some schools and scaling back on special transfer requests we accept.

The unfortunate part is that a few elementary staff will be asked to move to different buildings for the upcoming school year, while we may need to move others to different positions within their current building. 

  • We are still short a number of Special Education positions at all levels.

In response to our shortage, we will be supporting the Special Education Department as they analyze student needs for the upcoming school year to help determine the best placement for staff.   We will also continue our primary focus on recruiting strong, talented educators. 

How did we get here?

Knowing this would be a likely scenario, our District Leadership Team started working with Elementary Principals in April on developing a priority order of looking for staffing solutions.  Our goal was to minimize reliance on substitutes while prioritizing the needs of all students, with a particular focus on maximizing support for Title I schools.

I want to thank each of our Elementary Principals for their diligent work.  They have been very professional and empathetic as we have entertained all kinds of ideas and had difficult conversations.  I am, again, reminded that we have wonderful people at GIPS. 

What’s next?

Our plan is to facilitate one-to-one conversations with the impacted staff by the end of this week. 

We will continue focusing on recruiting all year round.

We have established a fill priority list for the positions that are currently open.  Meaning, any hires we are able to make will be funneled to the schools where our section sizes are large or to those buildings that made the biggest adjustments. 

Those staff members who have to make a change in their position will be supported in the new role they are taking on.  Change when you are not looking for it is challenging.  We want to make sure our employees who are thrust into new positions have everything they need to be successful.  

In that light, I am grateful that we are in better shape than many other districts across the country.  We are fortunate to have 1,600 incredible people on our team here at GIPS who are all committed to the greater work at hand and to each other.  

We will continue to recruit across the country, lean into our teacher growth programs, and seek to be innovative in attracting new and veteran teaching talent to GIPS.  As a part of those efforts, I also want to leave you with one important charge:

I truly believe the best recruiters are our staff and our community.

Kind, caring, hard-working people are what makes GIPS a great place to work and a great place for students.  If nothing else, I want you to know that I take comfort in the fact that we can confidently look around our district and know that we are doing the very best we can to take care of our students and to provide them with vital, creative learning experiences.  That is a testament to our staff, our families, and our community.

Don’t be afraid to share your story and spread the word about the great work we are accomplishing at Grand Island Public Schools.  

Let us support each other as we seek to finish this year strong.