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Saving Money On Substitutes

March 10, 2011, 6:07 PM by Katie Janssen

Saving Money On Substitutes
HARRISBURG, SD - Harrisburg administrators have found a creative way to cut back on substitute teacher costs, at least for a day. While a group of teachers is out of town for professional development, the school used student teachers.

The Augustana students are not much older than the high schoolers they're teaching, but they put in a lot of work before arriving at Harrisburg Thursday.

"We wrote a lesson plan, implemented it, we get to hang out with students, create some art; we're pretty excited about this opportunity," Augustana senior Brittany Gaster said.

Seven of Harrisburg's teachers are in Omaha today, learning some new scheduling strategies that could enhance student learning, so administrators called Augustana to see if they'd be interested in sending some teaching majors to help out.

"It's cool having other people in here helping us do something new, maybe something we wouldn't have learned with our regular teacher," Harrisburg senior Warren Handshumaker said.

There are about 20 Augie students in front of classrooms Thursday, and they're teaching for free. Administrators say it saved them money on substitutes.

"Right about $700 cost savings to our district," Assistant High School Principal Ryan Rollinger said.

Rollinger says the experiment was a success.

"If we wouldn't do this, it's not in our budget to send a group of teachers down there because we wouldn't be able to afford that. It's not budgeted for subs for that many times," he said.

"We were so excited about coming in (Thursday), just reinforced that this is what we love and we're going to love doing this every day," Gaster said.

It's the first time Harrisburg has invited students to substitute, and administrators say they'd do it again.

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