District battles teacher attrition

SEASONAL TURNOVER IS ‘TYPICAL’ SAYS GUSD

It promises to be a busy recruiting season for Gilroy Unified School District, which will have to replace at least 40 teachers who recently gave their resignation notices for June 2018.

High teacher turnover has become common for Gilroy schools. The district hired 80 new teachers going into the current year and 70 the previous year, according to a Sept. 2017 Q&A with Supt. Debbie Flores.

“As graduation approaches, changes are in the air, and with more than 500 teachers in our district, it’s the time we see changes in staffing as well,” said Paul Winslow, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, in an emailed response. “This year’s changes are typical.”

Attached to the Gilroy school district’s March 8 school board agenda is the “Personnel Order,” which includes 38 Gilroy Teachers Association resignations effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year. Those are:

  • Three at Antonio Del Buono Elementary School
  • Three at Eliot Elementary School
  • Two at Glen View Elementary School
  • Four at Luigi Aprea Elementary School
  • Three at Rod Kelley Elementary School
  • One at Rucker Elementary School
  • Two at Brownell Middle School
  • Eight at South Valley Middle School
  • Three at Christopher High School
  • Six at Gilroy High School
  • One district-wide elementary physical education teacher
  • One school psychologist for student services

Those positions are now advertised on the teacher recruiting job site, edjoin.org, with salaries ranging from $50,743 to $89,444. Teacher recruitment season is getting underway, with the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Teacher Recruitment Fair scheduled for March 24 in San Jose.

“Some active teachers actually have to resign in order to meet credentialing requirements,” Winslow explained. “The district plans to rehire many of the teachers once they secure the necessary requirements for their credentials.”

Also on the district’s March 8 personnel order were nine employees set for retirement at the end of the school year in June as well as the resignation of the district’s construction manager.

A look at the March 22 personnel order reveals two more teacher resignations, one at Glen View and another at Gilroy High School, as well as one retirement from Eliot and the principal at Rucker.

GUSD Board President Linda Piceno, who confirmed the personnel order was approved by the board at the March 8 meeting, deferred any inquiries to the district office’s human resources department.

During the same March 8 meeting in closed session, the board voted 6-0 to release 18 temporary teachers and not re-elect five probationary staff, according to that meeting’s minutes.

3 COMMENTS

  1. In the article, “District Battles Teacher Attrition”, people need to ask why there is high turn over. My friend, who was in the business sector, said that businesses would question and fix what they were doing wrong if attrition was over 8%.Why isn’t the Gilroy community concerned with keeping its trained teachers? They are an investment in our students futures.

  2. I’m surprised at the turnover in teachers at the Gilroy School District. At least 8% this year (so far), 14% last year and 16% the year before. Seems like a lot of turnover. GUSD should be asking why! Starting pay at $50,000 may be a start. Is it the working conditions? Lack of leadership? So many days of standardized tests that they can’t teach? Inability to discipline problem students? Or something else. If the teachers don’t want to stay, whats it like for the kids?

  3. I completely understand how the turnover rate could be so high for this district. A colleague of mine worked there for a year and ran away when they offered to renew her contract.

    When she started, she was shocked to find out that elementary teachers received no break when they had to do yard duty, which was about every other day. Admin told her to find a colleague to watch the kids for her while she ran across campus to find a bathroom. (This was finally changed this year.)

    She was hired for her experience, yet she is micromanaged and second-guessed on everything she does. A common complaint of hers is that there are constant interruptions, especially in the mornings. When she brought this up to her admin and the head of one of the departments, they laughed out loud and said that was impossible. My friend informed them she had just spent several years at a district where the superintendent had made a rule that all drills, assemblies, and other events, had to be done after lunch, and they once again laughed and said that was impossible. Teachers are also told not to recommend students for special ed because the district has a quota based on the state average and it doesn’t want to go above that number.

    Many of the students come from Spanish-speaking homes, yet more than 80% of the teachers don’t speak Spanish and can’t communicate with the parents.

    The list goes on and on. I was thinking of moving to this district, but based on what I have heard, I moved to a district in the San Jose area. Its got its problems, but it’s much less of an amateur hour.

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