By Steve Pickett

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The team of first grade teachers for Dallas’ Preston Hollow Elementary School is going over last minute details before Monday’s first day of the year. Just over two dozen more educators will join them on this campus Monday ensuring a teacher for each classroom here.

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“We have 32 teachers, and we are fully staffed, proud to say it,” said Preston Hollow Principal Pete Chapasko.

Not every school in North Texas will have the same comfort. Irving, Fort Worth, and DeSoto all have unfilled teaching positions, but none compare to the current vacancy rate for Dallas ISD. When schools welcome children Monday, DISD will still be trying to fill 280 teaching positions. One week ago, it was 380.

“Actually what we want is a great teacher in front of every child, so we’re going to be very picky in who we select,” said school district spokesman Jon Dahlander.

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Dahlander says the teacher deficit only averages one teacher per school. The shortage, he claims, is simply tied to the search for highly skilled teachers.

“But our goal is finding a quality, qualified applicant for every class, and that’s something the superintendent is talking about today,” Dahlander said.

A “help wanted” sign was on display outside Preston Hollow School. It is not actually for the school, but it could apply to area districts using substitutes on the first day until the teacher vacancies are filled.

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