What it takes to become a substitute teacher in Central Florida

Requirements vary by county

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ORLANDO, Fla. – There's no doubt that substitute teachers play an important role in the state's education system, filling in the gaps when a classroom's regular instructor is sick or unavailable.

Given that they are responsible for the care of children and teens, News 6 wanted to know what is required to become a substitute teacher in Central Florida.

We contacted county officials across the region to find out what those requirements. In every case, officials cited mandatory background checks and other screenings.

See the responses below. This post will be updated as more replies are received.

Flagler County

Substitute teachers in Flagler County must have a minimum of 60 college credits or an associate's degree and be at least 18 years old. Attendance at an orientation that details classroom management, emergency situations and more is mandatory. All substitute teacher applicants must undergo background checks and fingerprinting, which is then reviewed by the county's human resources department.

Lake County

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, although a Florida educator certificate is preferred. Every substitute teacher is required to complete a 20-hour online course that covers substitute teaching 101, classroom management, instructional strategies, ethics and more before they are allowed in a classroom. Once that is completed, they attend an orientation to learn the do's and don'ts of substitute teaching, take fingerprints for a Level 2 background check that is conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, submit paperwork and arrange for a drug test.

Marion County

Applicants must be 18 or older and have a high school diploma or GED and pass a criminal background check and drug test. An application for substitutes in Marion County includes questions related to prior employment, criminal history and more. Face-to-face training regarding safety protocols, fraud prevention and protecting students as first reporters is required.

Orange County

Substitute teachers in Orange County are hired through Kelly Services, a staffing agency. Kelly Services released the following statement: "All Kelly Educational Staffing (KES) substitute teachers undergo a comprehensive criminal screening process including FDLE fingerprinting, and a background check, in addition to state and district requirements for screening. We also perform education verification and reference checks for every candidate to ensure only the most qualified substitute teachers are placed in front of students in the school districts we partner with."

Osceola County

According to the School District of Osceola County, substitute teachers are required to have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. Substitute teachers receive a Level 2 background screening, a drug screening and take a training program that addresses school safety and security procedures, educational liability laws, professional responsibilities and ethics, school officials said. A check is also done to ensure that that applicant is not a sexual predator.

Seminole County

Substitute teachers in Seminole County must be at least 18 years old, possess a certificate from the Florida Department of Education and complete an initial online training course that is part of the on-boarding process. An annual training program that covers overall policies, procedures, ethics training, safety and security training in held in July and August and is mandatory for all substitute teachers. Before being hired, substitute teachers must undergo the same criminal background screening that all Seminole County Public Schools employees undergo.