Onboarding delays continue

Rohini Kieffer, Editor-in-Chief

This year, two biology classes have undergone 5 temporary substitutes. Toniann Maniscalco, a special education teacher, was forced to step in permanently. 

Maniscalco explained the entire onboarding process occurs at the DCPS central office. Teachers must digitally submit all their information to the central office staff (e.g. drivers license, transcript, etc.) and are told that it will take two to eight weeks to process their paperwork. COVID has extended this wait period. 

Maniscalco noted that after COVID, central office workers and teachers didn’t want to transition back to work, so many left or retired early. As a result, there have been less people to process the critical onboarding information, and more teacher positions to fill. 

Two second period biology classes are one of many that have been on the receiving end of the slow onboarding impacts.

At the beginning of the school year, two long term substitutes were introduced. A central office worker sent by the chancellor and Allen Brown, a special education teacher. This lasted for a month as the DCPS central worker then moved to Eastern High School to become a vice principal. 

When Maniscalco heard about this, she decided to volunteer. “If I can do something to make a child’s life better, I’ll do it.” She figured a new hire would be on their way in the next few weeks. This, however, was not the case. 

Maniscalco subbed for a month, from September to October. Freshman Claire Yoder recognizes that “Maniscalco [was] teaching and definitely trying her best.” She said “the class has consisted of normal sub work and one test so far.” 

Maniscalco noted that “a key to teaching is relationship building.” Parents reached out to Maniscalco, asking her to stay for the sake of consistency. However, two newly hired substitutes, Feleke Haile and Grace Love have recently started teaching. 

“I was just getting used to Ms. Maniscalco and Mr. Brown, and now we have two new teachers [again],” Yoder said. She also added that one of the teachers was supposed to teach engineering, but taught Yoder’s class due to a background in science. •