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Madison School District ‘moving forward’ on hiring for next year during school closures

Madison School District ‘moving forward’ on hiring for next year during school closures

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The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the Madison Metropolitan School District's normal hiring timeline.

Mid- to late-April is typically when prospective staff make visits to schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District. 

The normal hiring timeline would include in-person interviews this month at sites based on their needs for the following school year. With buildings closed until at least April 24 to help slow the spread of COVID-19, staff are “moving forward on our hiring timeline” virtually, MMSD chief of human resources Deirdre Hargrove-Krieghoff said during a virtual news conference Friday afternoon.

“It’s critically important for us, as it relates to hiring high-quality staff as well as diverse staff, that we continue to move this timeline forward,” Hargrove-Krieghoff said. “As long as we’re in this state, we will move forward and we will progress our hiring online, virtually.”

Central office staff are working with principals and others who make hiring decisions on how to alter their normal practices. The district has worked to push information to prospective candidates that they are still hiring for the next school year.

“We know that we have to be ready for the 2020-21 school year,” Hargrove-Krieghoff said. 

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Challenges of using a virtual format include how to see potential hires “in action,” Hargrove-Krieghoff said. They want principals to see videos from past practicum experiences and are considering ideas for how to handle “role-playing” teaching virtually.

Interim superintendent Jane Belmore said during the news conference that staff are “spending a lot of time thinking about our workforce development.”

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Hargrove-Krieghoff added that many of the normal job and career fairs where the district recruits have also moved online. Staff remain engaged in those opportunities.

“Even though we’re in this uncharted territory, we’re continuing to (hire),” she said.

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Scott Girard is the local k-12 education reporter at the Cap Times. A Madison native, he joined the paper in 2019 after working for six years for Unified Newspaper Group. Follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.

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