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School board weighs move to re-hire retiree teachers

Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

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The Hanover School Board is weighing a proposal to allow retired teachers back into the classroom, following a citizens’ suggestion the school division should welcome back veteran educators who have a passion for teaching.

School board members discussed whether the program should be implemented at their June 10 meeting.

Charla Cordle, assistant superintendent for human resources, said one of the goals of this proposal would be to help the students in addition to assisting the instructors themselves because these individuals have skill sets that others may not because of their seniority.

There are a number of positions that these individuals could fill.

Cordle said retired teachers could come in and get hourly assignments such as SOL tutors or remediation activities. Another hourly position would be to hire retirees and pay them more to substitute and work as instructional assistants.

These individuals would also get priority for part-time positions each year.

Retired instructors could also be re-hired as full-time after one year of being out of the school system.

In addition, those teachers could fill long-term substitute positions or be hired on a regular basis for permanent substitute jobs in specific schools. Cordle said one option could be that they are hired for one to five days a week. She added that substitutes are often needed the most on Mondays and Fridays.

Another option is that they could be employed for special projects such as in the library, filling extended absences of staff or working health screening. Cordle added that staff will also encourage retirees to volunteer in schools that need more assistance.

These are only some possibilities that school officials have thought up and not all details have yet been figured out.

“We thought these would be good items for further discussion,” Cordle said.

At the moment, if the program were to be implemented, retired teachers would receive an hourly or daily rate. However, Cordle said that this could be altered if the board desired to make any changes.

“We don’t have specific hourly rates yet,” Cordle added.

Regardless of whether a teacher returns to the Hanover school division or not, they are enrolled in the health benefits program, Cordle said.

John Szewczyk, vice president of Virginia Professional Educators, said this proposal was a part of the organizations’ budget proposal in December.  He said they completely support the proposal as long as it does not impact the existing retiree PREP program that has helped retirees and as long as it doesn’t affect that, they support it.

“We support the program as long as it doesn’t affect the ‘PREP Program’ in Hanover County,” Szewczyk said.