Substitute Teaching

The Copper Country Intermediate School District and a majority of its constituent local school districts have contracted with ESS/willSub to provide substitute teacher (and substitute aide) services.  Substitute applicants become employees of ESS/willSub.

Qualifications for subbing as a teacher are a valid Michigan teaching certificate or minimum of 60 semester credit hours from an accredited two or four year college or university (2.0 grade point or higher), and be able to pass a criminal history background check and employment unprofessional conduct background check.  Substitute aides must have a high school diploma and pass the same background checks.

Before starting the application process, you should review the Frequently Asked Questions for more complete details concerning qualifications, background checks, reporting of future offenses, and permits.


  1. GET FINGERPRINTED: Pick up or request a background check packet from the CCISD.  Complete the applicant information section of the LiveScan Fingerprint Request Form  and bring it, along with picture ID, to the Baraga, Houghton or Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office. Houghton County has a preference for Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, Baraga does fingerprinting on Mondays between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., and the Keweenaw office requires an appointment (call 337-0528 to set up a time). Once you have been fingerprinted, the LiveScan form will be returned to you and the results of your fingerprinting will be sent to the CCISD. Save your LiveScan Form, as you are required to return it to the CCISD. It provides your consent for the school district to use your fingerprint results. Applicants are responsible for the cost of fingerprinting, which is $60.00 at the Houghton County Sherriff’s office and $58.00 at Baraga County Sheriff’s office and $48.50 (resident) $53.50 (non-resident) at Keweenaw County Sheriff’s office (fees are subject to change)
    If you have been fingerprinted for employment at another Michigan K-12 school system on or after January 1, 2006, and there hasn’t been a lapse of service of 12 months or longer, you can complete the Permission to Share Form, and the ISD will request your print results from your previous school. If the previous school does not have your fingerprint report or has implemented a policy of not releasing this information, you will have to get re-fingerprinted.
  2. RETURN DOCUMENTATION TO CCISD: The LiveScan Fingerprint Request Form (RI-30), Michigan Waiver Agreement and Statement Form (RI-88), and the Permission to Share with Local Constituent School District Form in the background check packet must be returned to Loret Roberts at the CCISD. They may be mailed, faxed to (906)487-5915 or emailed to However, the other Permission to Share form described in #1 above only needs to be filled out if we must obtain your fingerprint report from a previous school.
    1. Go to ESS website at
    2. Click on the GREEN START button
    3. Create an account, making sure that your password shows as STRONG
    4. Check the email address that you used to create the application—search for
    5. Open the email and click on START APPLICATION
    6. Re-enter the password you used to create the account
    7. Finalize the information and then click CREATE APPLICATION


    1. You must have a valid email address to apply. WillSub uses emails as a frequent mode of communication
    2. Do not list college education unless you are going to also upload OFFICIAL copies of your transcripts. Official transcripts are necessary to be a substitute teacher and obtain a substitute teaching permit. You are eligible to sub teach if you have 60 credits from an accredited college/university. Sub aides do not need to meet this requirement
    3. Make sure you list references that have VALID email addresses. You must provide at least 3 references. If you choose to upload reference letters instead, the letter must have valid signatures
    4. Make sure you get fingerprinted as soon as possible per the instructions above, as you cannot begin working until your background check has been approved
    5. You will be required to provide valid IDs for the I-9 form; normally a driver’s license and your social security card OR birth certificate (a valid passport will cover both of these IDs)
  4. PAY YOUR PERMIT BILL (IF APPLICABLE): ESS/willSub will apply for permits for non-certified sub teachers, including those with expired Michigan teaching certificates. Permit bills are emailed directly to applicants from the State and the $45 fee must be paid by the applicant prior to inclusion on the active sub teacher list. Substitute aides do not need a permit to work.

Retired school employees who are collecting a pension from the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) should not sign up for subbing through ESS/willSub, and are paid via local district payroll. Those who have unexpired Michigan teaching certificates can sub on a day-to-day basis by contacting the schools at which they want to work. Those who do not have teaching certificates or have expired certificates will need an annual sub permit in order to serve in this capacity. Please contact your local school district or Loret at the CCISD, (906)482-4250, ext. 182, or, to request a permit, as the school could be penalized if you work without this coverage.

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