QUINCY — Quincy Public Schools has people waiting in the wings as teaching positions open up for the 2021-22 year.

“We overhired again this year,” QPS Personnel Director Lisa Otten said after Wednesday’s Human Relations Committee meeting. “We overhire with the intent of recruiting and hiring the best and the brightest.”

The district already has hired five people for K-5 positions, four for junior high slots and three for high school posts still to be assigned.

“When we’re interviewing candidates so early, we’re asking them what is their preference — what building do they prefer, what grade level,” Otten said. “As positions open up, we can start making those perfect matches happen.”

While it’s possible the district could end up with more staff than it needs by hiring early, it’s a risk Otten’s willing to take.

“We’ve not ever had an overhire or an early hire we’re not able to place,” Otten said. “We’re very mindful of how many we overhire and for what positions. We won’t overhire in a very specific position. We overhire in typically K-5 positions or special ed positions that we know we’ll have openings for.”

New certified staff members will be welcomed to the district with a gift bag featuring items like coffee mugs, Chamber bucks and gift cards to local businesses.

“We’re putting together approximately 50 bags right now with things that will bring our new hires together and feel connected to both QPS and Quincy the community,” Otten said. “Getting them connected is most important for improving our retention.”

New hires all got a T-shirt last year, and the effort expanded to gift bags for the coming school year.

“It’s a nice opportunity to highlight local business and provide goodies for our new certified hires,” Otten said.

Also Wednesday, committee members:

  • Learned that plans call for recognizing staff members again this fall with service pins.

“We have first year service pins, 40-year service pins and every five years in between,” Otten said. “It’s a very small token for the time they contribute to QPS.”

Heard an update on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee which has been promoting kindness across the district as a way to help improve the culture and climate.

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