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    Substitute Frequently Asked Questions

    Do substitute teachers in Seattle need certificates?

    Yes. Seattle Public Schools requires all substitutes to have teaching certificates.

    How do I apply to be a substitute teacher and how long does it take to be placed on the list?

    All available positions are listed in one place - just click the Job Opportunities link on the Careers home page. One application serves to apply for all positions including substitutes. When you apply to individual positions, you will be asked to answer supplemental questions. Please review each job announcement to determine if additional materials are required. Important updates and announcements about special circumstances or activities are posted on the Careers home page. Applications are reviewed and orientations conducted weekly as needed. Substitutes may work only after attending the Substitute Orientation.

    What is the pay rate for certificated substitutes?

    Pay rate information is included in the job postings and job descriptions for each position.

    What is the pay rate for classified substitutes?

    Pay rate information is included in the job postings and job descriptions for each position.

    What is a long-term substitute?

    Within Seattle Schools, a long-term substitute is a teacher who is assigned for 60 or more consecutive work days in one assignment. The teacher will receive benefits once the 60-day requirement has been met and the paperwork for benefits submitted.

    Do classified substitutes receive increased pay and benefits for working in a long term assignment?

    Classified substitutes do not receive pay differential and benefits for long term assignments.

    Classified and Certificated Substitutes must work at least 10 days per school year to remain on Substitute roster. If you work 9 or less days per school year, you will be automatically purged from Aesop. You will not be notified. If you work 9 or less days you will have to re-apply and attend orientation before you will be eligible to sub for Seattle Public Schools.

    What is the 16-Day contract payment that applies to certificated substitutes?

    Certificated Substitutes earn contract pay after 16 consecutive days in the same assignment. Call the Substitutes Office around your 16th day to make sure a report will be processed for you.

    At the end of each month a report is generated showing who reached 16 days during that month. Then by the 10th of the following month, individual reports are created and given to the Classification and Compensation department for them to research and do the salary placement. Once this is done, they mail out a copy of their report to each individual and return the originals to the Sub Office for the payroll tech to input salary placement. Your retro pay will be reflected on the next pay warrant.

    16th day reached between October 1 and October 30
    October 31 - The 16 day report is generated
    November 9 – Individual reports to Classification and Compensation department
    November 20 – Payroll salary placement data entry done
    December 1 – Pay Warrant reflecting 16 day retro pay

    Do certificated substitutes earn sick leave?

    Certificated Substitutes earn 1 sick leave day after 20 consecutive days in the same assignment. A sick leave day may only be used while in a long-term assignment. Any unused sick leave days earned are banked and can only be used while in a long-term assignment.

    Do substitutes become eligible for medical benefits?

    Classified and Certificated Substitutes are eligible for Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits after 60 consecutive days in the same assignment

    Can substitutes enroll in Professional Development classes?

    Yes. See Professional Development listings for appropriate classes.

    Do substitutes qualify for unemployment insurance during school year breaks or holidays?

    Because scheduled, unpaid periods are predetermined by the negotiated school calendar, these recess periods do not qualify for unemployment compensation. This is due to the fact that you have reasonable assurance that following each of the vacation/recess periods you remain active on our substitute list unless you indicate otherwise to us.

    How can substitutes earn retirement benefits?

    Purchasing service credit for substitute work - If you work as a classified or certificated substitute, your employer reports to the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) the amount of service performed. To receive credit for your service, you must apply for it with DRS. For more information, such as purchase deadlines and cost calculations, please refer to the Substitute's Guide appropriate for your plan, which can be found at You may also contact DRS at 1-800-547-6657.