What is OHRD doing to fill positions with bilingual employees?

Question#: 65


As MCPS continues to diversify its teacher workforce, it is essential that we look at all of our employee groups for different ways to continue to increase diversity. This effort focuses on recruitment, intimate knowledge of worksites, and understanding the human capital needs of hiring managers.

The teacher staffing team and the supporting services staffing team in the Department of Certification and Staffing, Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD), are structured to align with the area assignments within the Office of School Support and Improvement. Each school and central office location has one staffing team member for the Montgomery County Education Association positions and one staffing team member for the Service Employees International Union Local 500 positions.  This model helps to increase OHRD’s knowledge of the human capital needs of a school site. This information helps staff members advertise positions with more specific information at sites where a linguistically diverse candidate is needed and share information with hiring managers about candidates who have identified as being bilingual. The application and prescreening process provides an opportunity for applicants to self-disclose if they are able to speak another language.

The Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs’ World Languages staff serve as active ambassadors at external and internal teacher recruitment events. They also complete interviews of world language applicants. Having the World Languages staff actively involved in the prescreening interview process increases the ability to find highly qualified staff and OHRD’s ability to match staff to schools based on their intimate knowledge of each school’s world language program and need for a linguistically diverse staff member.

In addition, OHRD hosts two internal teacher recruitment events which focus on current MCPS employees who speak French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish and/or are certified in these areas.  The purpose of these events is to provide current employees with information about the elementary language immersion programs, as well as the secondary language programs with the intent of having these employees consider world language teaching positions.

Last year, MCPS broadened its recruitment efforts to include Puerto Rico in order to provide opportunities for educators who teach in a bilingual environment and bring their expertise to MCPS. OHRD recognizes that retention of these teachers is critical. To support the retention of these employees, OHRD communicates with these employees monthly, sets up and participates in networking activities, includes them as active participants to support the next year’s recruitment efforts in Puerto Rico, and monitors their performance and development as an MCPS educator. 

In January 2019, MCPS actively recruited teachers in Puerto Rico resulting in 53 identified candidates and several prequalified candidates; 14 individuals were offered open contracts.