Last updated: August 14. 2014 3:14AM - 1716 Views
By - mflomer@civitasmedia.com

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HAMLET — Teachers are scheduled to return to classrooms in all of Richmond County’s public schools next week for required teacher workdays, but the district website shows 25 unfilled positions — 21 of which are teacher vacancies.

Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman said Wednesday that the website does not reflect the actual number of vacancies, and that the district is making progress in filling the positions that remain open.

“We’re down to about nine or 10 now,” Goodman said. “And we’re pushing forward.”

One of Goodman’s top priorities when she was appointed superintendent was to fill the county’s classrooms with teachers by the start of the 2014-15 school year. Ten unfilled positions the week before school begins means the pace will have to pick up fast to meet hiring goals.

Earlier this year, a Texas school district actively recruited North Carolina teachers — who ranked 46th in the nation in pay and benefits. Virginia and South Carolina have also courted the state’s educators with incentives like higher wages and enhanced benefits. Goodman did not say whether the delay in hiring is due to a lack of applicants.

Aug. 25 is the first day of school for students, who are invited along with their parents or guardians to attend open-house tours beginning next week. The schedule is as follows:

Aug. 21, 4-6 p.m. — Cordova Elementary School, East Rockingham Elementary School, Fairview Heights Elementary School, Monroe Avenue Elementary School, Washington Street Elementary School;

Aug. 21, 5-7 p.m. — Hamlet Middle School, Rockingham Middle School, Rohanen Middle School;

Aug. 22, 4-6 p.m. — West Rockingham Elementary School, Ellerbe Middle School;

Aug. 24, 2:30-4:30 p.m. — L.J. Bell Elementary School; and

Aug. 24, 2-4 p.m. — Mineral Springs Elementary School.

Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @melonieflomer.

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