A week from Monday, the Bay District Schools will be back in session, and one change that goes into effect this school year will increase the requirements for substitute teachers.
In previous years, the requirement for a substitute teacher was he or she had to be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma. Starting the 2012-2013 school year, subs will have to meet that requirement along with one of three other requirements: a passing grade on the paraprofessional test or 60 hours of college credit or a college degree.
"I think it's important to make sure we have mature adults in the classroom, those with real life experience. Certainly the more time you spent in the classroom, that helps you before the instructor, so that's important too. We just want to make sure the people who are with our students really want to be a sub," says Sharon Michalik, the Executive Director of Human Resources.
Parents with kids in the Bay District School System say they see the new substitute requirements as a positive thing for the students.
"I believe that that's a good thing. More education means they're going to be better equipped to handle the children," Brandi Williams, the mother of a 15 year-old now in the school system.
"I think it's very important to have someone with more education in the classroom because of the simple fact that technology and things are changing daily. So the more knowledge that the teachers have, the more knowledge the kids can have as well," says Ivy Bacon, the mother of a rising 8th grader.
Previous substitute teachers who have been renewed this year are "grandfather" into the new requirements.