REPUBLIC, Mo.– During a time of nationwide teacher shortages, the Republic School District is widening its criteria to have enough teachers in the classroom this fall.

“The demand for teachers is high, and the supply is as low as it has ever been,” said Superintendent Dr. Matt Pearce.

Moving forward, if a teaching position is open for an extended period with no professionally certificated teacher applicants, the district will consider filling this opening with a “content specialist.”

These specialists would have to meet the following guidelines:-Enjoy & excel in working with students.-Have at least 60 hours of college credit.-Have expertise & experience in the course field.

Superintendent Pearce said the amount of teacher shortages they are seeing is something they’ve never had before.

“We have some open positions with virtually zero applicants,” said Pearce.

Filling the positions with content specialists, Pearce said, is the last resort.

They’re looking for the right person that could be trained quickly.

Currently, there are two eighth grade science teaching positions open that have had no applicants for over 30 days. Therefore, they said they are open to filling these positions with either a certified teacher or a content specialist.  

“Engineers, people who have worked in the medical field, maybe even like medical sales,” said Pearce. “Anybody who’s doing math and science for a daily job would be somebody that we’d be looking at.”

How long content specialists would remain in the position is still unknown, he said, but it could be an extended period of time.

“You’re going to have to have some work experience and life experiences that are going to put you in a spot to be good with kids,” said Pearce.

These changes come as the district has already tried adding on incentives to try to keep teachers around.

Since the message came out about the new concept, the superintendent said they are seeing some applications finally coming in for the jobs.