MCSD Board of Trustees Adds Signing Bonus for More Open Teaching Jobs | News, Sports, Jobs
In an effort to address staffing issues within the Marshalltown Community School District (MCSD), the school board approved a $5,000 enrollment bonus for open science teaching positions in grades seven through Grade 12, as well as Extended Learning Program (XLP) instruction. position at the regular Monday evening meeting.
The sign-up bonus is not the first of its kind at MCSD – at a previous board meeting, sign-up bonuses of $5,000 were approved to help fill several other teaching positions in special education, high school French, high school industrial arts and mathematics.
Director of Human Resources Nora Ryan said the district ultimately decided not to hire a French teacher for the fall semester, but that signing bonus is still available for all special education positions. the industrial arts station and the high school math stations.
Ryan recommended extending this bounty to an XLP teaching position at the elementary level, as well as full-time science teaching positions in grades seven through 12, in the hopes that this will encourage more teachers to apply.
“The XLP position, for example, has been posted since December, we’ve had one candidate, and the science positions, I don’t know by heart how many candidates we’ve had, but nothing that’s been a good fit,” Ryan said, “So we’re really hoping that this $5,000 will not only attract people, but you know, maybe even attract them from other districts.”
Ryan also said the bonus could appeal to new teaching graduates who don’t yet know where they want to work.
Board member Zach Wahl asked if the sign-up bonuses currently available for other subjects had helped recruit teachers, and Ryan said there wasn’t exactly a conclusive answer to his question.
“For special education, for example, we recently hired some great people. I’ve seen more hiring referrals come forward, i.e. the process of them saying “I want to hire this person.” The problem is we’re just losing more people than we’re bringing in, but I think it’s been successful,” Ryan said. “I just don’t know if that’s the only thing that brought people here, I don’t know. For industrial arts, obviously not yet, since we haven’t filled that position, but (in) special education, we have filled several.
While Ryan wasn’t sure the signing bonus was the driving factor in new hires, with 45 open positions in the district, she said it “definitely didn’t hurt.” The vacancies are on the statewide hard-to-fill list, which Ryan says is only growing.
Wahl asked what the long-term strategy was outside of providing signing bonuses, and Ryan said they’re doing as much outreach as they can, whether that’s emailing potential candidates or assisting to university degrees.
“We are doing the best we can. As I meet more and more HR directors across the state, we’re all — even the small, tiny districts all the way up to the big districts — we’re all in the same boat, in trouble,” Ryan said.
The bonus was approved by a 6–0 vote, as Leah Stanley was absent. Although the premium is paid upfront, if the person leaves before three years have elapsed, they are required to repay the premium on a pro rata basis.
There were several recognitions at the board meeting, starting with Superintendent Theron Schutte honoring the school board for its service to the community to celebrate School Board Appreciation Month. The board also recognized all MCSD teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week and four students who did well in the National History Day (NHD) state competition.
Marshalltown High School (MHS) students Yessenia Alvarez Zamora and Leticia Herrera qualified for NHD Nationals with their group show “La Huelga: The Struggle That Brought Farmworkers Rights,” and MHS student Charlie Gilbertson won the award of military history and was a finalist for nationals with his documentary “How the U-2 Incident Eroded Super Power Diplomacy”.
Lucas Hagen, a student at Miller Middle School, placed in the top three in the junior individual performance division of the state competition with his performance titled “The Caning of Senator Charles Sumner” and was selected as an alternate for the next national NHD competition.
In other cases counsel:
• Heard an update from Hoglan Elementary School and school board representatives.
• Approved updated student manuals 2022-2023.
• Approved the 2022 Early Graduate List recommendations.
• Approved a request from Chief Technology Officer, Amy Harmsen, to solicit an RFP for new aquatic display and scoring equipment.
Contact Susanna Meyer
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