Central Falls finds success with alternative to traditional substitute teachers

Teachers participating in Central Falls' Warriors Fellowship Program find the stability satisfying. (WJAR)

Take what you know about traditional substitute teachers and erase it from the blackboard.

The Central Falls School District has seen early success in its Warriors Fellowship Program -- in essence, substitute teachers on retainer. Fifteen of these fellows have been hired by the district out of a pool of 80 applicants. They are assigned to a specific school and are there every day either in a substitute teaching capacity or to provide assistance to any other teachers.

"You want someone there that can continue the education. That can continue to add value to the students," said superintendent Victor Capellan.

This is the first year of full-time deployment of this fellowship method after a couple pilot programs were tested at the high school.

"I'm able to participate in the after-school programs academically," said Sean O'Connor, a high school fellow. "There's professional development that goes along with it that's beneficial for me as well."

Along with O'Connor, NBC 10 spoke with two other fellows. All of them say that the students are more receptive to a person they already know rather than a revolving door of substitutes.

"It allows you to earn their trust and build a relationship that is going to be strong going forward," said Ella Risk Elementary School fellow Lindsay Paiva.

"They come with that validation from knowing me previously and knowing of me to knowing me in the classroom," added Calcutt Middle School's Anjelique Cooley.

The program is budget-neutral for the district. Central Falls substitutes are paid $100 daily. The fellows, conversely, are paid $130 per day and are given the option to put that extra $30 toward individual benefits.

For the teachers participating in the program, it's the stability that is most satisfying.

"It's nice to get up and know where you're going every day," said O'Connor. "It's great for experience purposes."

If you want to apply to be a fellow, email HR@cfschools.net, or visit SchoolSpring.com.

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