HUSD Meeting recap

Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD) substitute teachers are set to get a $40 pay increase starting Oct. 1. Substitutes who are HUSD retirees will receive a $55 pay increase, also effective Oct. 1.

The pay rate for substitutes who are district retirees will be $195 and $115 for a half day. All other substitutes will receive a rate of $180 for one full day and $100 for a half day.

A full day is defined as more than 3.5 hours of instruction, or more than two blocks of instruction in secondary school.

The HUSD school board unanimously approved the rate changes at its most recent meeting on Sept. 15.

Currently, the district has about 40 registered substitute teachers.

“When I started in Healdsburg, there were right around 100 registered subs in the district, and for a small district like this, that’s actually quite a few subs,” said district human resources manager, Francesca Whitcomb.

Every few years since 2016, there’s been a decrease in the amount of registered substitutes in the district.

“I think people dropped off because they weren’t getting enough jobs in such a small district, but we haven’t had increases very regularly in sub pay and I think that contributed to it as well. Then with the school closures, no subs were working anywhere,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb said when school resumed last spring, she reached out to a lot of the district substitutes and while many were vaccinated, several said they were not ready to go back yet.

“We’re doing our best. We encourage them with our safety protocols and explain to them about our processes,” she said.

With the Delta variant, some substitutes still do not feel ready to come back.

Nevertheless, district administration wanted to recommend a $40 increase to the substitute pay rates, which were last updated in 2016.

“The proposed rate that we are talking about would place us significantly high (for substitute pay rates), until of course other people make changes,” Whitcomb said.

She noted that in the Cloverdale school district, substitute teachers who are retirees of the district get a slight bump in their substitute pay rate.

“I really like the idea of paying our retirees a little bit more than our (other) subs. Our retirees know our schools, they know our routines, they know the school rules, they can just jump right in. I just think that would be really respectful of our retirees,” school board president Aracely Romo-Flores said.

HUSD Superintendent Chris Vanden Heuvel suggested a rate of $195 for retirees and $180 for non-retiree substitutes. Romo-Flores made the motion to up the substitute pay rate for district retirees to $195 and $115 for a half day. All other substitutes will have a rate of $180 for a full day and $100 for a half day.

Staff Writer

Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine has been a staff writer with The Healdsburg Tribune and SoCoNews for over two years. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism.

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