Garland ISD substitutes are celebrated each month with the district’s ‘Sub of the Month’.

Of Garland ISD’s 1,100 substitutes active in the district, Substitute Office Manager Lisa Clark said 350 to 400 work on a regular basis.

She said that while the district hires three to four substitutes a week, the real question is whether or not they will work.

 “That's always been a struggle but since COVID-19, that's a little bit of an extra struggle for sure,” she said.

 Because substitutes are hired part time on an hourly basis, Clark said the district is currently competing with other employers looking to hire part time.

Despite the challenge of getting substitutes to work, the district has put in place some incentives to increase the number of substitutes working in Garland ISD.

“We are constantly asking the campuses to make sure the substitutes are welcome when they come in,” Clark said. “They feel special. My office calls whenever we hire someone and says ‘welcome to the sub club’. We try to make them feel a part of the GISD family so they'll feel loyal and like they want to stay with us.”

The district gives a a $350 bonus to substitutes who work a total of at least 50 days in a semester. The district also holds its ‘Sub of the Month’ where the top working substitutes of a particular month are entered into a drawing.

Garland ISD’s substitute office, the education foundation and the district communications department will surprise the winning substitute with balloons and a $100 visa gift card.

“We go out and bring them in the hall,” Clark said. “We whoop and holler and celebrate them. That's on our YouTube and all our social media so we can show that we are celebrating these subs on an ongoing basis.”

The Human Resources office also puts out a tip of the month where substitutes can access tips, links and resources to give them extra help with classes and other areas.

“We contact them every time the superintendent sends out an email,” Clark said. “I always forward that to the sub club reminding them they are a part of their family and they're not outsiders because they're substitutes. I feel like GISD is special in that way because we have a connection with our substitutes, and we want them to feel connected to us.”

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