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Case Study: Teacher Vacancy - How to find a teacher when there are none to be found.

Learn how Catholic Virtual helped college-prep high school Cristo Rey Sacramento after a teacher shortage left them without a chemistry teacher just weeks before the start of the semester.

The Challenge

Find a qualified instructor to teach high school chemistry after a long-time teacher left her position.

Cristo Rey Sacramento, a private, Catholic, college preparatory high school in Sacramento, California had been searching for a chemistry teacher for over a year. Despite being in a city of over 500,000 people, Cristo Rey Sacramento had just one applicant in over five months. The start of the Fall semester was just three weeks away and the chemistry teaching role was still vacant.

Catholic Virtual’s Solution

Because Catholic Virtual has been delivering Catholic education online for over a decade, our expert teaching and learning advisors were able to quickly step in to solve Cristo Rey Sacramento’s teacher shortage problem.

  1. We were able to match and dedicate three experienced, veteran, Catholic-trained chemistry teachers to teach both regular and honors-level courses. Catholic Virtual teachers are adept at teaching in an online environment which requires an additional level of skill to keep students engaged.
  2. Time was not a constraint. With just weeks to prepare before the start of the semester, Catholic Virtual tapped our qualified teacher pool and customized the learning plans to fit Cristo Rey Sacramento’s unique classroom needs. All Catholic Virtual teachers are ELL certified, which is was helpful but not a prerequisite. Additionally, we were able to work closely with the Cristo Rey Sacramento team to match the pacing of the courses to the school’s standards. Our virtual classroom curriculum is never a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
  3. Catholic Virtual’s online class experience is best-in-class. Our teachers guide students through rigorous, accredited coursework that is paced on the students’ needs. In addition to a media-rich online instructional component, our instructors are there to guide students through the course every step of the way. Schools will sometimes assign an in-house proctor (as did Cristo Rey Sacramento) to serve as an additional resource for the students. This is an optional resource determined by each individual school.

The Results

On a tight timeline, the Catholic Virtual – Cristo Rey Sacramento partnership solved an immediate teacher shortage problem. After a months-long search for a qualified teacher came up empty, Catholic Virtual was able to implement a solution before the start of the school year. By conducting the classes virtually, Cristo Rey Sacramento was no longer constrained to find instructors who lived and worked in the Sacramento area. They opened the door to a qualified teacher pool with the teaching experience they were looking for – high school chemistry. Moreover, all Catholic Virtual teachers are Catholic trained — another hard-to-find qualification.

Halfway through the first year of implementation, the students are performing well academically. Their grades after the first semester are typical of any in-person high school class. Catholic Virtual’s ability to customize the learning plan and offer a proven online experience for every student enabled students to learn the content and not fight the technology.

From a human resources perspective, the Catholic Virtual partnership was important for Cristo Rey Sacramento. Not only did they find the qualified teachers needed to teach a core college prep course in a matter of weeks, but it alleviated many of the complexities of hiring and employing in the era of COVID-19. Finally, there is an advantage to having a virtual component to schooling. Today, many colleges and universities expect that incoming students are comfortable and competent in an online environment and that aspect of teaching and learning will only grow. Grade schools, middle schools and high schools that can prepare students for an online future will continue to be a step ahead.

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