TWO MONTHS INTO the school year, West Contra Costa Unified is still struggling to fill around 60 teacher vacancies amid a nationwide shortage.

At a school board meeting last week, West Contra Costa’s interim associate superintendent of human resources, Sylvia Greenwood, said there were 18 teacher vacancies at the district’s elementary schools, the equivalent of 15.6 full-time teacher vacancies at middle schools and high schools, and 26 special education teacher vacancies. Some of the vacant positions are not full time, so they were counted as a fraction of a full-time position.

Prior to the pandemic, the district employed 1,454 teachers in the 2018-19 school year, according to Ed-Data.

The district is using both long-term and short-term substitutes to fill the vacancies, as well as contractors and subcontractors for the special education positions. Greenwood said the district is continuing to recruit teachers and is currently onboarding several new ones.

The district will also be receiving 27 teachers in December from the Philippines through the Teach USA program.

In addition to the teacher vacancies, the district is also short hundreds of school workers such as custodians, counselors, librarians, speech pathologists, secretaries, tutors and classroom aides.