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“We appreciate the collaborative relationship between North Kansas City Schools and Kelly Education. It is reassuring to know that Kelly has the depth and capacity to ensure our classrooms will always be covered with high quality substitutes.”
— Dan Clemens, Superintendent
By partnering with Kelly Education, the district avoids paying health insurance because the substitutes are Kelly employees and insurance is provided through them. Plus, the coverage impacts mostly substitutes who take over for long-term absences. NKCS leaders agree that it’s better for students to have one long-term substitute than a series of teachers in the event of an extended absence.
In Missouri, retired teachers are limited to 550 hours of work yearly as district employees in order to keep drawing state retirement benefits. As Kelly Education employees, they aren’t limited—allowing the district to engage more of these high-quality substitutes for the short- or long-term. Over the past five years, the number of NKCS students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) offerings has more than tripled. Access to qualified substitute talent is becoming more critical with each passing year.
Kelly Education has a team of people recruiting year-round and interviewing all day long, delivering a level of resource and service that the district can’t sustain on its own. In the past, NKCS maintained a pool of about 180 substitute teachers. Kelly transitioned many from the existing pool, and then quadrupled it to a total of nearly 600. Co-branded advertising helps to attract talent to the district in a crowded market.
Classroom placement rates have improved to consistently higher than 98 percent. Another advantage cited by the district is the benefits offered, which help to retain substitute teachers in the pool. Besides health insurance, Kelly Education offers weekly pay, plus training and perks such as 401K plans. The partnership allows the district to retain more high-quality substitutes without limiting hours or providing costly medical insurance.
In its first school year, NKCS staffed only substitute teachers through Kelly Education. In its second year, the district added clerical help—featuring school administrative personnel in the main district office during summer hours. District leaders plan to add eight new healthcare professionals in year three, both RNs and LPNs.
Kelly Education offers daily reporting on teacher absenteeism and other important data that’s in-depth and easy to view, which has helped to identify work pattern trends and areas for improvement. NKCS officials can view data by district, school, position, or absence reason—including lead times, placement rates, and time-to-place. Reporting helps to drive even further efficiencies, through regular consultation that turns data into useful and actionable information for the district.
Article commissioned by Kelly Education and written by District Administration.
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