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Wichita Public Schools hiring for hundreds of positions ahead new school year

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Public Schools will be back in session soon and the district is hiring for hundreds of positions.

USD 259 has openings for people who directly work with students to those who support them. Among those jobs, substitute teachers, school bus drivers and food service aides who can work 2 to 6 hours a day and earn at least $13.49 an hour.

More than 4.2 million meals were served over the last school year, and Carol Oldham helped to serve them.

“‘Hi, lunch lady.’ You go into a store and all of a sudden this kid comes up and grabs you. So, it’s really pretty cool. I like it,” said she said.

For 20 years, Oldham has been working in the cafeteria at Chisolm Trail Elementary School. It’s a job that offered her the convenience of working while her grandkids were in school.

“It’s not a hard job. I mean, I’m 73. I’ll be 74, and I have no problem doing this job. Gives me a schedule and out of the house. and when I started, my grandkids lived with me, and they went to school here, so I started here. and I worked the same hours they were here, and home when they came home,” said Oldham.

Before the pandemic, 420 employees served 48,000 breakfast and lunches every day. USD 259 Director of Nutrition Services David Paul said the district has lost 120 employees due to retirements and the pandemic, and they need 70 more people.

“Due to the fact that students will be eating free meals all of next year, we anticipate serving even more meals and very much need to be full-staffed. So, we need food service aides who play a critical role in ensuring that our students are nourished and fueled to learn,” said Paul.

USD 259 is also hiring 158 para educator positions. a job that starts at $14.23 an hour with an added bonus this year - health insurance.

“We are offering all paras the ability to work 35 hours this year, which is awesome. So, we’re hiring at .88 FTE, which would include that health insurance. So, it’s something that we haven’t been able to do before, but we’re able to do this year. (We’re) very excited about that,” said Jenna Ginest, the district’s Manager of Recruitment and Staffing.

Wichita Public Schools is hosting two job fairs this week, specifically looking for food service aides. The first job fair is on Wednesday, July 21st from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria at East High School. An interview and hiring fair will take place on Friday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Alvin Morris Administrative Center, 903 S. Edgemoor.

To see the positions available and to apply, visit: https://www.applitrack.com/wichita/onlineapp/default.aspx

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