Oct 22, 2020

Sixteen school systems will participate in program aimed at attracting and keeping teachers in Louisiana's highest-need certification areas

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education is bringing school system leaders together from across the state to help ensure every child learns from a high-quality teacher. Sixteen school systems have been chosen for a new fellowship aimed at recruiting and retaining educators in Louisiana's highest-need certification areas, with a particular focus on advanced math and science courses. 

"An effective teacher has the power to transform the lives of countless children, which is why we must do everything we can to attract and keep the very best in Louisiana," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. "This fellowship will expose system leadership to what's working for districts around the nation, while also sparking collaboration that will lead to innovations in our state."

Human capital leaders from sixteen systems will participate in the recruitment and retention fellowship through the national non-profit organization Urban Schools Human Capital Academy. The fellowship includes two national workshops and monthly state sessions for the Louisiana cohort. The fellowship will start in late October and conclude in spring 2021. 

The national portion of the fellowship gives the Louisiana leaders the opportunity to collaborate with human capital professionals from across the U.S. to learn best practices for attracting and keeping effective teachers. The national fellowship will also focus on how systems can adjust recruitment and retention strategies during the pandemic. 

The Louisiana cohort will hold monthly meetings to tackle recruitment and retention challenges specific to the state. The sessions will allow leaders to explore innovative solutions and how those could work if put into practice. The top three possible strategies Louisiana human capital leaders requested to explore are:

  • Building teacher communities across parish lines to support development and retention
  • A structure to share teachers across parish lines especially in hard to staff areas (e.g advanced math and science courses)
  • A common interview process for teachers across parish lines

"For a district of nearly 40,000 students, it takes a small army of educators in order to develop and prepare the minds of that many young scholars. During the last few school years, Dr. Karen Peace has been an integral part of recruiting qualified talent to Caddo Parish Public Schools." said Caddo Parish Public Schools Superintendent Dr. T. Lamar Goree about his system's teacher recruiter. " Her innovation and resilience creates measurable results and it is with excitement that she is joining this cohort of professionals to further advance recruitment and retention efforts for our district."

Dr. Brumley's 100 Day Report outlined the need for enhanced teacher recruitment and retention efforts in Louisiana. Over half the Louisiana teachers who leave the profession do so within their first 10 years. Math and science are two of the areas of greatest need for teachers, yet only 8 percent of all program completers earned their certification in math and 7 percent in science. 

The sixteen systems participating in the fellowship program are:

  • Avoyelles Parish
  • Caddo Parish
  • Catahoula Parish
  • City of Baker School System
  • Grant Parish
  • Iberville Parish
  • Livingston Parish
  • Morehouse Parish
  • Ouachita Parish
  • Pointe Coupee Parish
  • Rapides Parish
  • St. Charles Parish
  • St. Landry Parish
  • St. Tammany Parish
  • Tangipahoa Parish
  • West Baton Rouge Parish

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