Head shot of Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene

Superintendent Dr. Greene shares plan for addressing teacher vacancies

July 28, 2022 – With the potential to open the school year with more than 400 teaching vacancies, Duval County Public Schools is pursuing multiple strategies to ensure classrooms are covered when school begins on Aug. 15. 

In a message to employees sent Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene discusses those strategies. They include: adjustments to teacher-to-student class ratios and district administrators providing support as substitute teachers.

Dr. Greene’s full message to employees is below.

Dear Team Duval,

We all know that our district is confronted with an unprecedented shortage of teachers to meet our normal staffing levels.  There are currently more than 400 teacher vacancies, and we are also anticipating a shortage of about 175 paraprofessionals as we look forward to the first day of school, Aug. 15.

This challenge isn’t new. It became particularly acute last school year.  This year, like last year, we are prepared to respond as needed to achieve the primary goal of giving our students the best learning experience possible even within these extraordinary constraints.

Here is how we plan to adapt.

  1. Adjusting teacher-to-student class ratios: For instructional quality for all students, it is better that we have one or two more students in a room with a qualified instructor than having large groups of students go for long periods of time without a qualified instructor. Therefore, grade K-8 class sizes will increase an average of 1.5 students per class. Grade 9-12 class sizes will increase by one student. Our current vacancy number would be significantly higher if we did not make these adjustments. The allocation for ESE, ESOL, Art, Music, and PE will not change. We continue to have the goal of meeting state requirements for class size while balancing the primary need to ensure qualified teachers are providing instruction for students. The increases will be monitored at the school level in relation to these requirements. As a choice district, Duval’s official class size is determined by the school average for various grade ranges.
  2. Certified teachers in non-teaching positions supporting classes: There are many positions throughout the school district in which we have certified teachers working in leadership and professional support roles. Those personnel will work with their supervisors to integrate classroom coverage into their weekly schedules. These individuals are highly experienced, successful educators who typically support other teachers. They will now be available to cover classes, ensuring even more students have access to high quality instruction.
  3. District staff serving as substitutes: District administrators, including me, will also fill in as we did last year. Many of our administrators have extensive, high quality teaching experience.
  4. Increasing the substitute pool: To attract more substitutes, the School Board recently approved our recommendation to increase compensation and training through our substitute staffing vendor, ESS.

I recognize that many of these decisions impact many of you personally. Most teachers will see an average of one or two more students in class, and many other staff members will take on temporary teaching duties. We are now working directly with about 30 teachers being transferred to different schools due to the class size modifications. The impact of these decisions on your lives is not lost on me, but I hope you can understand these decisions in the context of what this situation means for our students.

We are in this together. We are in this for our students, and I remain greatly appreciative of the continued willingness of Team Duval to adapt and respond to the difficult challenges we face.


Dr. Diana Greene


Duval County Public Schools

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