FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – The new school year is just days away, and Central Valley School Districts say they are ready for students, for the most part.

While some major California cities are suffering a teacher shortage, here in the Central Valley, school districts say they’re ready for the first day of school. As students return for the fall, school districts feel prepared to help students reach the next level.

“I feel really good about staffing this year,” said Ketti Davis, Superintendent of Central Unified School District.

For Central Unified in West Fresno, staffing numbers seem to be bouncing back after the pandemic.

“I think everybody was very cautious through the parade of COVID and the risks around it. This summer we saw people coming out for positions,” she said.

Davis continues to say that staffing is up to par for their return to the classroom but admits some specialty positions have been a challenge to fill.

“There are some of them that all of us in the valley, specialty positions that are really hard to fill. Some of our secondary key subject areas, mathematics, and science,” said Davis.

On the other side of town, the Clovis Unified School District is running into a similar dilemma.

“Specialty areas sometimes we have challenges finding candidates,” said Kelly Avants with Clovis Unified School District.

Despite the struggle for instructors in specific subjects, Avants says all departments are fully staffed.

“Each year, we hire around 180 to 200 teachers. This year we’re about on track for that same number of teachers,” said Avants.

In the South Valley, it’s Superintendent Kirk Schrum’s first year after being promoted to the position on July 1. He says it will take some time to achieve 100% staffing.

“We have a few classroom positions that remain vacant. On the first day of school, we may have a few classrooms with a guest teacher but that is a qualified individual,” said Shrum.

There are several open positions for all school districts in the Central Valley, with Visalia having the least openings. We reached out to the Fresno Teacher’s Association for their view on staffing, but they did not get back to us.