MILWAUKEE — While Milwaukee Public School students are focused on getting back into the groove of school, the human resources department within the state’s largest school district remains focused on hiring more teachers and support staff. 

Adria Maddaleni, the chief human resources officer for MPS, said the district is currently looking to fill more than 100 teaching positions in its elementary schools and slightly under 100 positions in high schools.  

Maddaleni said hiring is challenging across the board, but that it has proven most challenging among teaching roles that require subject-specific qualifications. 

“Our high school levels — where we are looking at math, at science, looking at those type of positions — those are more challenging, because the licensure requirements are a bit different than if you are at an elementary level. So those tend to be our hardest areas,” said Maddaleni.

Maddaleni said world language and special education positions have also been among the most challenging to hire.

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In order to account for the lack of teachers, Maddaleni said the district has had to make adjustments. 

“We work really hard to address those schools that have multiple vacancies and do whatever we can to make sure they have substitute teachers in place, have some form of class coverage; even teachers that are centrally assigned, we bring them out to cover the classrooms until we get a new teacher in there,” said Maddaleni.

Still, covering classes means students likely aren’t getting the most out of their particular subjects.

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Maddaleni said hiring remains ongoing in an effort to fill open positions.

MPS is offering numerous incentives to try to entice teachers, including a $6,000 hiring bonus for some difficult to fill teaching roles. In addition, it also offers a relocation stipend for teachers who move to Milwaukee from out of state.