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Rock Island-Milan School District looking for education support professionals

The district is seeing a drop in application numbers as it tries to fill important positions like custodians, maintenance, food service workers and more.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The Rock Island-Milan School District #41 is seeing applicant numbers drop for education support professionals.

The district is looking to hire multiple support staff members, including custodial and maintenance, as well as paraprofessionals and food services. Assistant Superintendent of the district, Egan Colbrese said it is difficult hiring for certain positions.

"Particularly when it comes to bilingual or English learner paraprofessional, we see high need," Colbrese said. "Trying to find applicants in that position of security or home monitoring."

The district has around nine openings for paraprofessionals and said it is actively working to try and find the right candidates for the jobs.

"We are working carefully and working hard to get attract good candidates for those positions," Colbrese said.

The district has also seen a decline in the number of applicants for education support professionals.

"When we used to have an elementary teacher position, and you would have 60 to 70 applicants, we now we're starting to see a trend of 20 applicants," Colbrese said. "So a significant decrease in the amount of applicants and amount of certified staff."

Principal of Frances Willard in Rock Island, Nikki Melody, emphasizes the importance of having support staff in schools.

"Another relationship that our students make within the building," Melody said. "Because our paraprofessionals also work in the cafeteria and the recess, we found that having adults from our building work recess helps our students as well."

The district says they have been partnering with colleges in hopes of getting the word out there. 

Anyone can find the job openings on the district's website on the human resources page and under the employment tab.

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