CCSD discusses work references requirement as some aspiring subs say it’s a barrier for employment

The CCSD needs teachers, but there are specific hurdles in the way of otherwise qualified educators. One of them: references.
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 9:01 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A substitute teacher shortage motivated Nevada’s legislative commission last Monday to give final approval on an emergency regulation that will allow the Clark County School District to have the option of hiring substitutes whose only academic requirement is a high school diploma.

Applicants with substitute teaching licenses said that they are having trouble meeting the threshold for three required, reachable work references.

CCSD Trustee Danielle Ford said on Monday, March 7 that her constituents often complain to her about the work references requirement.

In an email correspondence shared with FOX5 by a source applying for a sub position (who preferred not to share their name for fear it would affect their candidacy), a CCSD human resources representative wrote, “If you are retired, you may use character references. Family, friends and coworkers are not appropriate references.”

The representative asked for references from the last three years, with contact information.

The applicant, however, is retired, and despite having an active Nevada-issued substitute teaching license, they are struggling to come up with the three needed character references who fit this criteria.

We brought questions about reference requirements to CCSD’s hiring leaders on Thursday, March 3 and director of recruitment Steve Flak said the district does communicate any issues to the applicant.

“If an individual does not complete their references, or if there’s gaps in the references, we’ll reach out to them and give them the opportunity to provide something else,” Flak said.

This situation is something Mary Marshall-Lang, who we previously introduced you to, said she experienced in the fall; she showed us emails which said her application was “missing information,” and she said she was disqualified from a position due to one her references being unreachable.

“I received two glowing evaluations from two different supervisors, and the most recent supervisor, which would have been in October of 2019, no longer works there. So, I gave the name of the assistant director [of her former employer]. They did not get a response from him.”

Marshall-Lang said a CCSD recruiter called her and left her a voicemail, saying, “Our administration has requested that you input a reference from January 2019.” She said that she didn’t have a third reference to provide.

“There would be nobody else for me to get a most recent evaluation from,” Marshall-Lang said. “I thought being licensed and having a degree would be sufficient.”

We asked CCSD about their general processes when it comes to applicants’ references being unreachable, they said “We would inform the candidate, and we would ask them for additional references.”

CCSD said their hiring standards are for the safety of their students and employees.

“We certainly evaluate them on the totality of their background. We do have communication with all of our candidates who are able to reach out to us and ask us what the opportunities are, what they’re missing, how they can improve their opportunity to be able to be employed,” Flak said.

Flak continued, “We have pop-ups where you can talk to recruiters, on our websites, and we have our substitute services email and phone number posted up there for everybody to call if they’re having any challenges.”

Regarding emergency substitute requirements, CCSD would have to adopt the regulation first before those details are ironed out. Flak said things are being addressed so the regulation can be implemented.

FOX5 will provide updates regarding the hiring practices as it relates to emergency subs, if or when CCSD adopts it.

Those interested in applying for a job should visit CCSD’s website.