Spring is often regarded as a time of renewal and growth and Hillsborough County Schools captured this feeling on April 10th when more than 250 teachers signed up for the Turnaround Leadership Pathways Schools Recruitment Expo where they would learn of incentives for working in a high-needs school and were offered on the spot interviews with principals allowing a transfer as part of the district’s Turnaround Leadership Pathways initiative.
“This event emerged from the need to have experienced and effective teachers teaching our students in our high needs schools. In collaboration with Leadership Development, Title 1 coordinated the event and invited teachers asking them to consider transferring to one of the 51 high needs schools,” said Stacy Wrenn, Coordinator of Professional Development, Academic Support and Federal Programs-Title 1.
The first in a list of benefits offered to teachers attending the expo were accelerated services from the Human resources division. The 2017 Spring Transfer period does not officially begin until Monday April 17, this provided expo applicants the first opportunity to interview for positions in high need schools. An early possibility of Transfers were also offered in non-like to like positions. These decisions are based on if the teacher is fully certified for the new site/position, something not typically offered during the initial spring transfer period.
“The Human Resources team continues to work with our principals in the vetting process, recruiting, hiring and transfer approval to expedite hiring. Where we can assist in collaboration with the union and the collective bargaining agreement, we will assist in facilitating "non like to like" transfers during the spring transfer period. Our goal is to assist our principals in hiring the best teachers, matching the needs to the schools, to assist our students and schools, said Dena Collins, the General Manager of Personnel Services.
Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Status is based on the percentage of a school’s students receiving free or reduced lunch. Teachers who work in a Title 1 school may receive forgiveness on Federal student loan balance after working for at least five years.
In an effort to concentrate assistance to those students who need it the most HCPS also typically designated their 50 highest needs schools as “Renaissance” Schools.
Effective or highly effective teachers working in Renaissance schools who complete their agreed upon professional development activities and who are certified in the content area they are teaching have in the past, also received anywhere from $1,000.00 to $3600.00 in Renaissance pay but the amount does vary each year.
Teachers and administrators who are interested in school leadership and administration can turn their valuable educational experience into additional incentives by working in one of the designated Turnaround Leadership Pathway schools. These teachers can receive priority placement into both the Future Leaders Academy and the Assistant Principal selection process and as well as consideration for college scholarships towards educational leadership degrees.
“The goal is to get experienced leaders and teachers into our highest needs schools,” said Scott Richman, the supervisor of Educational Leadership and Professional Development. The trend right now is that new teachers and administrators take positions in high needs schools and then transfer to another school without as many challenges or maybe to get closer to home. “We are trying to reverse that trend and make them destination sites,” Richman stated.
Elevate schools receive extra district level and site level assistance to meet the needs for all students. Elevate teachers may receive priority in Hillsborough County Public School’s Choice Program for their own children and a discount in the Hillsborough Out of School (HOST) program. Elevate schools offer additional teacher planning time and collaborative planning opportunities as well as additional on-site professional developers and coaches.
Qualified teachers who choose to teach at one of the district’s Elevate schools may also receive additional benefits. Elevate schools receive additional district and site level assistance to meet the needs of students. Elevate teachers may receive priority in Hillsborough County Public School’s Choice Program in schools with space and the teacher discount for the Hillsborough Out of School TIme (HOST) program wherever their children attend. Elevate schools offer collaborative planning opportunities, as well as additional on-site, job-embedded professional learning and supports.
“I’m ready for a change. I want to start pursuing a leadership role in the district. I was inspired by the leaders who shared their experiences at an initial Leadership Pathways meeting. I think it’s a great experience to challenge yourself,” said five-year classroom veteran teacher Randi Collinet who teachers 5th grade at Turner-Bartels K-8 School.
Guinta Middle School Reading Coach Monteesia Allen, in her 9th year with the district said, “I’m passionate about our high needs schools. I feel I can connect with these students, inspire them with my story growing up and help them see there is hope. A lot of times they don’t see hope.”
Tricia McManus, the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Leadership and Professional Development whose division was heavily involved in school turnaround was pleased with the evening’s success. “It
was a great turnout. It made me excited to see so many teachers come out for the Expo. It means they are answering the call to serve our students that need them the most. Leadership is the key to closing the achievement gap for our students. We are working to achieve equity in practice and equality in outcome,” McManus said.
By the end of the evening approximately 60 veteran classroom teachers applied for a transfer to a high needs school. If you are considering this career opportunity, contact Leadership Development at 840-7032 for more information about the benefits to not only yourself and the district, but to the students who need them the most or visit their website here.