The Bristol Public Schools will begin to use Kelly Services for substitute coverage starting February 29. This plan was originally approved seven months ago.
Posted on Jan 8, 2016
by Susan Corica
BRISTOL — The school district is set to begin using substitute teachers supplied by an outside agency as of Feb. 29.
Last summer the Board of Education signed up with temp-worker agency Kelly Services to supply the substitutes as a cost-saving measure.
Sam Galloway, district director of human resources, said the existing pool of about 120 substitutes that schools hire on its own frequently runs short. He expects Kelly Services will be better able to meet the demand.
Current substitutes will have the opportunity to join Kelly Services and go through the company’s training this month, Galloway said.
Kelly Services has “a much more formalized approach to training substitutes which leaves them much more prepared to serve students,” said Superintendent Ellen Solek.
The training focuses on school safety and security, mandated reporting, classroom management skills and other issues, she said. “Kelly takes what they do very seriously and they are very excited about providing sub coverage to our district.”
According to Eileen Candels, vice president and district manager for Kelly Services’ Greater Hartford market, the company is the largest supplier of substitute teachers across the U.S. and serves over 35 districts across Connecticut.
The board had figured using the agency would save a total of $72,373 over one year.
While substitute services for 2015-16 were budgeted at $750,000, the one-year contract with Kelly is $784,800. However, projected savings from having Kelly handle payroll processing, payments to FICA and Medicare and other overhead costs are expected to total $107,173.
Candels has said she will invite people who have worked as regular substitutes in Bristol in the past to apply to join Kelly, where they will receive “first consideration.” They would go through a shorter, streamlined hiring process over those who are applying to work here for the first time, she said.
In addition, Candels stressed that Kelly’s background screening process is more rigorous than what the state requires and can be tailored to what a district wants.
Solek had previously noted that the Affordable Care Act means that as of 2018 the district will have to track health care costs for long-term substitute teachers. Kelly Services would also absorb the responsibility and cost for that.
Candels has called Kelly “a complete solution” to the district’s substitute needs, absorbing all the costs and responsibilities of being an employer.
Along with supplying both substitute teacher and substitute paraprofessional staffing, the company can supply interim help in an office environment, such as a school secretary, and help in a central office, such as in IT or finance, she said.
Kelly can even line up talent for interviews for potential full-time positions, with the school district making the final selection, according to Candels.
The company keeps in close contact with the district on performance feedback and communication. If there is an issue it is Kelly’s responsibility to determine if that can be corrected or if the person should not return to a district or to any district, she said.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-584-0501 ext. 1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org