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School Board rejects retired teacher proposal

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

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Retired teachers will not be able to return  to Hanover schools via a proposed part-time instructor position program.
Tuesday the school board unanimously rejected a proposal for an employment program allowing retired experienced teachers to get back into the classroom for a “reduced schedule” and part time salary.

Before the board voted on the proposal, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Charla Cordle said the proposal was not well received by school principals. A current veteran instructor at Lee-Davis High School, Marty McDonnell proposed the idea to school officials in November 2013.

Cordle’s staff presented the proposal to principals and asked them for their feedback on it. Almost all principals participated and responded to a survey regarding the part-time retired teacher proposal.

One of the pros of the proposal that principals listed in their response was that the program would allow for the school system to gain from the passion, experience  and knowledge of having retired teachers back in the classrooms, Charla said. She added that principals said another advantage would be that newer instructors could also benefit  from these well-experienced retirees.

“However, they came back and said they said saw a lot of cons with the proposal, particularly in equity issues,” Cordle said.

Principals noted that teaching at the high and middle schools levels could work, but that they are concerned with how well it would work to have retired teachers instructing at the elementary level, Cordle said.

She added that another disadvantage that principals pointed out was that it could be unfair to current full-time teachers if retirees were able to choose their courses and existing instructors could not.

Another concern of principals was of the possibility that part-time retired teachers may not be as “engaged in the overall operation and climate of the school” versus an individual working full time in the building, Cordle said.

She added that principals worried, too, that retirees may not be available for the additional obligations that full-time teachers have such as sponsoring clubs or having hall duty.

“Those are themes I heard over and over again,” Cordle said.

Superintendent Jamelle Wilson did not give the proposal her blessing.

“It is not my recommendation that you all move forward with a program that would employee retirees in a part time fashion as it’s been proposed by one of our current employees,” Wilson said.

She added that her staff will continue to look into ways that retirees can work within the school system in existing opportunities if they choose to be employed after they’ve retired. For instance, Wilson suggested retirees could have the first opportunity to fill positions for long-term substitutes or be hired for employment opportunities after they have not worked for the division for a year. Retirees could potentially also work hourly jobs for the school system.

Division staff will review existing opportunities for retirees looking for employment within Hanover schools but the proposal will end here.