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SFUSD launches its first district-based credentialing program in latest step to alleviate teacher shortage

December 19, 2016 (San Francisco, CA) - Aspiring teachers now have a new route to San Francisco classrooms: SFUSD Pathway to Teaching. Now accepting applications and nominations, the one-year credentialing program will train new teachers to build strong relationships in their school communities while developing standards-based and culturally relevant curriculum for students in the city's highest-need schools and subject areas.

In the face of a nationwide teacher shortage that has hit the Bay Area particularly hard, SFUSD Pathway to Teaching aims to recruit aspiring teachers who are already making a difference in their communities, but who might not have the flexibility to leave their current job for retraining without financial support. Designed to be affordable and accessible, SFUSD Pathway to Teaching will allow these new teachers to earn a full salary as they earn their credential.

Brent Stephens, Chief Academic Officer for SFUSD, says, "We need the SFUSD Pathway as another option for aspiring teachers to get their credential. We've heard a lot of interest from individuals who are  already working in our school communities as a paraprofessional, substitute teacher, or an after school service provider. We encourage applications from people in our community who are committed to providing culturally and linguistically relevant learning experiences for our San Francisco students."   

Applicants who pass the selection process will participate in an intensive training program next spring and summer.  Each will benefit from the district's professional development and coaching while building skills necessary for a long and successful career in SFUSD. Beginning next school year, these new teachers will lead their own classrooms with coaching from an expert teacher and support of ongoing development opportunities. At the end of the school year, those who demonstrate success in the classroom will be recommended for their preliminary teaching credential, offered a job in SFUSD and two years of formal induction coaching and support.

"It's exciting to offer a program that will train students on the approaches we've developed to meet the educational needs of our San Francisco students,"  says Human Resources Chief, Monica Vasquez.

In its first year, SFUSD Pathway to Teaching is recruiting elementary multiple subject teachers, elementary Spanish bilingual teachers and K-12 special education teachers. Over time, the program will expand to include more subject areas and grade levels as district needs evolve.

SFUSD Pathway complements a another option for prospective teachers interested in working in the San Francisco Unified School District. Seven years ago, SFUSD and partner organizations began the San Francisco Teacher Residency (SFTR), which combines a year-long classroom apprenticeship with targeted master's-level coursework at a local university.

Interested community members can learn more about the program-and apply or nominate a potential teacher-at sfusdpathwaytoteaching.org. The first program deadline is January 16, 2017.  

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