• ESS

    ESS FAQ

    Q. When will you be hiring for the school year?
    A. At ESS, we hire year-round!

    Q. I don’t see the school district that I want to work at on the map. What should I do?
    A. Please call 877.983.2244.

    Q. What is a District Original?
    A. A District Original is a substitute that was employed by a school district that is currently transitioning to an ESS program.

    Q. How long will it take to get hired?
    A. The time it will take to process your application and get hired depends on a number of factors, starting with your state. Every state has specific credentialing requirements for working with children, and some take longer than others to obtain. Other factors that affect application processing time include whether you already have any of the required credentials, the efficiency in which you obtain and submit the required documentation, and the turnaround time of any associated agencies. You should expect the process to take at least three weeks.

    Q. Do you accept paper applications?
    A. No. ESS only accepts online applications through the Applicant Tracking system for all open positions.

    Q. I have documents that are not electronic files. How do I submit them with my online application?
    A. All documents must be scanned and uploaded to your Applicant Tracking application.

    Q. I received an error when trying to upload documents into my online application. What should I do?
    A. Check that your documents are saved as one of the following accepted file types before uploading: .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png, or .tif.

    Q. I’m trying to upload a document to Applicant Tracking, but the file size is too big. What should I do?
    A. If your document contains multiple pages (such as a three-page college transcript), upload each page as a separate attachment. Decreasing the resolution of the document scanner and scanning files in black and white will also decrease file size.

    Q. I’m having difficulty uploading materials to my application. May I mail them to you?
    A. No. All application materials (resumes, transcripts, certifications, etc.) must be submitted with your online application to be processed correctly. If you don’t have your supporting materials in an electronic format, a local business services company such as FedEx Office or Staples can help you scan your “hard copy” materials and create PDFs for you.

    Q. How do I know whether ESS has received my online application?
    A. Once you’ve completed the steps to create and submit your online application, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

    Q. Are all applicants interviewed?
    A. No. Hiring managers review applications and interview those who best match the requirements of the position.

    Q. Once my application is completed and submitted, am I able to make changes?
    A. Yes. Simply log in with the email address and password you provided when initially completing your application, and you’ll be able to update your information, make corrections, and upload additional documents. You must click the “Finish and Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page to submit your changes.

    Q. If I see another position I wish to apply for, should I complete a separate application?
    A. No. Please complete only one application. Once hired, you’ll be able to work in additional ESS positions for which you’re qualified.

    Q. Would contacting ESS directly help to expedite my application?
    A. No. By submitting a completed application with all supporting documents, you’ve done all you need to put yourself in the best possible position to be considered for available positions.

    Q. I forgot my password for my ESS application. What should I do?
    A. To reset your password, click the “Forgot Password” link and enter your email address.

    Q. I’ve previously completed an application for another school district that uses Applicant Tracking. Do I have to start over?
    A. No. If you’ve applied to any other school district that uses the Applicant Tracking system, you can import your data to your ESS application. After you create your applicant profile, you’ll see an option that says “Import.”

    Q. How do I know which application to complete, New Applicants or District Original Substitutes?
    A. Complete “New Applicants” if you’ve never applied to work with ESS before, and if you’re not an employee of a school district that is currently transitioning to an ESS program. Complete “District Original Substitutes” if you’re a current employee of a school district that is transitioning to an ESS program. Please note: If you select this option and are not an actual District Original Substitute, you will not be contacted for employment.

    Q: What does it mean to "outsource" the substitute program?
    A: When a district outsources a service, it means that the district is allowing an outside com-pany to help run the day-to-day operations of a function of the organization, in this case sub-stitute). With the substitute program, ESS will work in collaboration with Midland ISD to in-crease the absenteeism daily fill rate so that students still receive quality instruction in the ab-sence of their teacher of record.

    Q: The district is outsourcing the critical job of recruiting, training and placing teachers in classrooms with children. How is the district fulfilling its responsibilities to the vital function of the district?
    A: The district is fulfilling its eresponsibility by ensuring that the continuity of instruction contin-ues for our students in the absence of their classroom teacher of record. Our goal is to pro-vide a quality substitute teacher in every classroom, every day, who cares that every student continues to learn and grow in the absence of their teacher of record. Secondly, ESS has a proven record of providing substitute teachers who are prepared and supported both pro-fessionally and personally during their substitute experience. To this end, the district feels that it is helping to better improve and fulfill its core responsibility. The standards for substitute teachers will still be set and monitored by Midland ISD. Even though ESS will hire the substi-tutes; quality management will remain with Midland ISD. Midland ISD will maintain the right to request removal of any substitute who does not meet our standards.

    Q: How will district budget be impacted by this service contract?
    A: The district has considered the idea of using the cost that will be paid toward outsourcing to do this internally. However, we believe that the district would struggle to do the same job and/or function at the level of efficiency of operations as with the ESS company.

    It would probably take the district several years to reach the level of proficiency with similar training and processes. Though managing substitutes internally might have potential as a via-ble solution after a period of some years, even with the districts best efforts, ESS has a histo-ry of expertise and success in K-12 substitute staffing as their foundational principle.

    We believe that the main emphasis should be on the time lost at the campus and district lev-els, recruitment of substitute staff, advertisement, and disciplining employees needed to op-erate a successful substitute program. These tasks would add a considerable cost to the dis-trict; therefore, it could potentially cost more to manage improvements to the program in-house. ESS has the experience, resources, and expertise to come in and provide an immedi-ate solution.

    Q: How about increasing substitute pay?
    A: We continue to monitor our comparison districts and remain within the substitute rate of pay with those competitor districts. The Midland ISD Board of Trustees approved a significant increase earlier this year for substitutes serving long-term in vacant positions. We will continue to evaluate substitute teacher pay and ways that rates can be increased in the coming budg-et year.

    Q: Will current Midland ISD substitute teachers be able to work for ESS?
    A: Yes, that is preferred and was a non-negotiable point between the district and ESS. Cur-rent substitute teachers will transition over to the new company without any disruptions in their employment. They will still utilize the same absence management system that is currently in place and will be able to work at their preferred campuses. ESS offers additional benefits to substitutes including direct deposit, weekly pay, health care benefits, monetary working in-centives and ongoing training. These benefits have been long-time requests of our district substitutes.

    Q: There has been a lot of discussion about the fill rate. The district is at a current fill rate of 68%, what is the ultimate goal?
    A: The expectation will be a 90% to 95% fill rate with incremental increases along the way to achieve the goal of 100%. Keep in mind that the 68% is an average of all campuses. Some campuses continue to have daily fill rates of 75%, which proves to be major challenges for students, teachers, and administrators. The ESS company will target campuses with specific challenges through intentional recruitment efforts, incentives, and permanent campus substi-tutes.

    Q: Why can't the district solve the problem of teacher attendance and classroom fill rates?
    A: The district’s Human Capital team has been working to ensure we have quality substitutes in our classrooms each day over the past three to four years to solve this concern. One major issue is our local economy and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The issue could quite possibly also be an attendance problem for some employees/campuses, however, our employees have discretion pertaining to their personal absences.

    We cannot make employees come to school, therefore, we must find a possible solution for our classroom vacancies. Again, we have worked at numerous solutions over the last three to four years with limited progress and success. This is our attempt, willingness, and recommenda-tion to try something different, innovative, and as close to cost neutral as possible for a solu-tion.

    Q: Will the District be able to terminate the contract if ESS does not meet expectations?
    A: Yes, the district included a clause within the contract that stipulates that the company must demonstrate increments of improved fill rates over specific periods of the contract or the contract will become null and void.

    District administration will make this determination in collaboration with the Human Capital Management department and, of course, with input from our campus administration, our busi-ness office, and other district departments that are impacted by this effort. In addition, there will be periodical check points for monitoring, review, and evaluation all along the way through-out the duration of the contract.

    Q: How will the District offset the cost of outsourcing substitutes?
    A: The company prides itself in staying as cost neutral as possible by applying the same cost that the district is currently spending on their substitute program and applying a minimal mark up to that amount. The markup is considered to help offset the soft cost analysis that is hard to quantify during any given year i.e. (the amount of time, energy, paperwork, and procedural processes within the district departments and campuses that oversee the substitute day-to-day operations within the district). This will have a positive impact on the operational budget. It is our belief that this relationship with ESS will remain cost neutral.

    Q: Recently, a proposal was put forth that our district would work with ESS Substitute So-lutions to manage our substitute system. In a nutshell, what does this mean for our current substitute teachers?
    A: The primary reason for researching and evaluating a solution for the persistent challenges regarding substitute fill rates is to ensure that the continuity of instruction continues for our students in the absence of their classroom teacher of record. Our goal is to help provide a quality substitute teacher in every classroom, every day, who cares that every student, con-tinues to learn and grow in the absence of their teacher of record. Secondly, our substitute teachers are prepared and supported both professionally and personally during their substi-tute experience.

    In summary, the working relationship with the district’s human resources department and campus administrators will remain the same throughout this collaborative process with the ESS Substitute Solutions team. The transitioning of current substitutes within the system should be seamless regarding the current workplace options, pay scale, and status. The MISD board approved this plan, substitute teachers will be receiving more information regard-ing the transition/implementation process mid-March in preparation for orientation sessions later in March. Operations will be transitioned to the new company in mid-April.

    Q: Will current substitutes have a choice in selecting their assignments if they choose to only work on one campus? Will this be a problem if one does not choose to work as often as the ESS company requires?
    A: With the ESS Program, substitutes will be expected to continue working every month whether that be one day a month or 20 days per month. If substitutes do not work at all for a three-month period the company will terminate employment as a substitute, however, if the substitute has a valid reason (for example retirees traveling/vacationing for three months, family and/or personal illness, etc.), ESS will temporarily suspend the substitute within the system until they return.

    Yes, a substitute can choose to only work in one school if they wish and can also set up their preferences as to which school or schools they want to work. Regarding credentialing, ESS will follow all Texas regulations and forms.

    Q. Will the pay schedule change? Currently subs get paid a two weeks after subbing. If someone subs at the beginning of the school year, the pay doesn’t arrive till after September.
    A: Yes, the substitute employee pay schedule will change. Currently the district pays subs bi-monthly. With ESS, subs will be paid weekly on Fridays and operate 2 weeks in arrears.

    Q. Will direct deposit be an option? Subs are concerned about the check getting lost or stolen and about the lack of timeliness.
    A: Yes, direct deposit is available. Unless otherwise indicated by a sub, payroll checks are direct deposited by ESS. ESS also offers a cash card that the subs funds can be deposited into if they don’t have direct deposit or don’t want a physical check. The easiest and pre-ferred way is direct deposit.

    Q. If a substitute wants to become a full-time teacher what will be the transition process?
    A. If a substitute teacher who is hired initially by ESS is subsequently recommended by a campus administrator for hire as a full-time teacher the teacher must complete ESS required terms of employment prior to hire by the district.