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Frisco ISD welcomes 800 new teachers, superintendent reassures parents ahead of school year

The 800 new positions are helping the district keep up with growth, but Frisco faces the teacher shortage dilemma like every other district

Frisco ISD welcomed 800 new teachers Thursday at Emerson High School as part of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce's ''New Teachers Welcome" event. 

The program featured several local business sponsors, which provided games, raffles, food and prizes to help teachers celebrate the upcoming school year.

"I'm most looking forward to being on the playground I teach first grade," incoming teacher Reginald Lowrie told WFAA.

As excited as these new teachers are, they also know there's anxiety for lots of parents headed into this school year.

In a survey, WFAA asked parents all across North Texas what their concerns were heading into the school year. Far and away, safety and security ranked as parents' top concern, followed by the teacher shortage.

"Every student will have a teacher in our schools. We may have a bit bigger class sizes in the beginning," Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip told WFAA at the teachers' event.

The district is facing the effects of the teacher shortage like every other district, Waldrip said, but is in pretty good shape.

The district is only short about 80 positions. With 75 campuses, that's about an average of 1 vacancy per school.

On gun violence, Waldrip said, "I would never...ever guarantee anyone that nothing bad will ever happen. But we have things in place to do everything we can to keep our students safe."

Frisco ISD has a school resource officer at every district middle and high school. A new program is also in the works to boost SRO presence and patrols at elementary schools, too.

Teachers have been in various trainings all week, with another active shooter drill scheduled for Friday, teachers told WFAA.

"It's something we all take very seriously," incoming teacher Madelyn Kauffman said.

"I know, with everything going on in the state of Texas, it can be a little fearful sending your babies off," Lowrie added.

When asked what he'd want parents to know, Lowrie said, "You have teachers in the classroom who truly love your kids. We're praying for your kids, we're hugging them every day, we are ensuring we're putting them in the best position for safety."

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