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HCSD working with NoVo on project to improve teacher morale, retention

Sep 28, 2022 1:00 am

Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Hudson City School District is participating in a study on how to improve teacher morale and retention, with the support and guidance of the NoVo Foundation. The results so far suggest that the district's teachers and paraprofessionals need to feel appreciated, according to Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement, April Prestipino. At the December 7, 2021, Board of Education meeting, science teacher and Hudson Teachers Association president Wayne Kinney, portrayed his colleagues as feeling “unsafe” and “disrespected” on the job, subject to verbal insults and occasionally physical attacks. In the spring of 2022, outgoing school board member Charles Parmentier, whose wife was employed by the district for almost 30 years, said teachers spend extra time and their own money preparing for their students but “are not appreciated.” Prestipino said the district is “struggling to find teachers in hard-to-fill areas, [such as] Technology, Family and Consumer Science, Spanish and Special Education.” Other school districts in Columbia County are also “experiencing similar struggles. Districts are competing for the same small pool of qualified applicants.” The Hudson district received $50,000 from NoVo as part of its participation in the study, which is a program with two main purposes — to “collaborate with educators and school leaders to co-design solutions that will address root causes of decreased teacher morale” and to “develop an…understanding of the experiences and challenges” that confront classroom educators related to social/emotional dimensions, well-being and COVID-19 effects. In total, the program includes 12 school districts and charter schools nationwide. Prestipino said the district is in the third of the study’s four phases. The third phase consists of “ideating” solutions and planning to test them. The fourth phase will consist of testing proposed solutions. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.

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