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Douglas County School System Honored for Teacher Retention Efforts

DCSS-HR award2019Georgia’s premier association for school personnel administrators is honoring Douglas County School System’s Human Resources Department for its teacher retention efforts.

The Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators (GASPA) recognized the Douglas County School System at the highest level, the Platinum Award of Excellence, for Best-in-Class in the area of Retention Practices. The Douglas County School System was the only school system in the state to win the Best Retention Practices Award at the highest distinction.

Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, the HR Department designed and implemented the new Induction Coaching program to support and keep new teachers. Dr. Michelle Ruble, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Policy guided the visionary program with the support of Davin Auble, Director of Advocacy and New Teacher Cultivation.

The Human Resources Department then selected four veteran DCSS teachers to serve as  Induction Coaches, as well as one retiree who coached part-time. These coaches were released from direct teaching responsibilities so that they could travel between schools during the school day and provide real-time mentoring support to brand new teachers in their own classrooms. Induction Coaches learned a tremendous amount this year about the unique needs of early career teachers and dedicated themselves to developing expertise in working with adult peer professionals.    

One new teacher reports the program helped her better navigate her first year of employment: “This program has given me a tremendous vent with zero pressure. My coach has encouraged me while providing positive and enriching feedback. He has also walked me off of many ledges when I was upset or frustrated.”

Quantitative and qualitative feedback from the first year of the program has been overwhelmingly positive. One hundred and seventeen teachers benefited from coaching support this year, and 91% will continue next year with Douglas County.

“The DCSS Induction Coaching program has affected my teachers in such a positive way,” reports one principal. “The program stands behind the belief that students will perform better if classrooms are led by enthusiastic, inspired and well-trained teachers. I believe this program will help Douglas County to continue to grow in a positive direction and keep more effective teachers. Having great teachers is the only way that we will reach our goal to be the best. Teachers are our most precious resource.”

Douglas County’s Human Resources Department accepted the award at GASPA’s conference last month in St. Simon’s Island.  The Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators exists to provide best practice human capital management services for Georgia’s K-12 public schools.

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