ALPENA, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Alpena Public Schools had been looking for 19 teachers to start the school year on August 29, and the district faced the possibility of returning to remote learning. However, Michigan News Source has learned that they are down to needing to fill only five positions by their start date and have candidates interviewing for each of those positions.

Lee Fitzpatrick, school board president, said there is “absolutely no chance that we will be going remote.”

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The Alpena News had reported that they were looking to fill almost 20 job openings, six of them special education positions where the district offered applicants $5,000 signing bonuses. They had been trying to recruit parents and community members to fill the openings.

Schools are able to hire people to teach using the Michigan Alternate Route to Interim Teaching (MARITC). It is a process that allows people who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program to be hired as a teacher while completing their certification requirements. This allows them to teach full-time while
completing the teacher preparation program.

To qualify for this program and to get an Interim teaching certificate, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, a person must have at least a 3.0 post-secondary GPA, take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills test as well as a subject-area test for the grade level and content they want to teach.

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The Michigan Department of Education (MDOE) released a book on the standards and requirements for the MARITC program in 2021. It said the program was designed to do many things including meeting the demand for qualified teachers in high need certification areas by allowing program recruits to serve as teacher of record, increasing the number of qualified candidates from groups that are underrepresented and providing a pathway for professionals in other fields to transition into a career in teaching.