The Warren County R-III school district retained 84 percent of certified staff return after the 2022-2023 academic year.
The Warren County R-III School District saw an increase in their certified staff retention rate, as they work toward a goal of a 90 percent retention rate in the district.
The Warren County R-III school district registered a retention rate of 84 percent, an increase of 2 percent from the 2021-2022 school year. The district did have a retention rate of over 86 percent in the 2020-2021 school year.
“Obviously, we’re still not at that 90 percent goal, but especially considering the circumstances with which we were faced going into the hiring season,” Warren County R-III Assistant Superintendent Brad Ross said. “We’re very happy to see any sort of increase in our retention rate.”
The district registered an 85 percent retention rate for teachers.
Of the 39 staff members to leave the Warren County R-III district due to retirement or resignation, 21 participated in exit interviews. The salary and proximity of the work location to their home were the top two options deemed to be the biggest factor in leaving the district at 23.8 percent. The culture of the current workplace received 19 percent.
Ross noted 19 percent equates to four out of 21 people who responded in the exit interviews.
“Each of those buildings have internal processes and procedures that they’re going to have in place for this year,” Ross said. “And they do every year. But making sure that they’re doing the things that they need to do to make sure they’re keeping the culture up in their buildings on an individual level. And so that will be something that is a point of emphasis for them.”
The district already conducts a culture and climate survey each year.
Ross said the district hired 41 new certified staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Of the 41 new certified staff, 19 have previous experience. Of the hires, 37 are classroom teachers, Ross said.
Ross said the district’s move to pay high needs paraprofessionals $22 to $27.97 per hour helped with the district’s paraprofessional shortage they experienced last school year.
“I think that we can say that those efforts have paid off,” Ross said. “And really the greatest benefit to that is our students that need that extra attention the most, they’re getting it and we can guarantee that they’re getting it now. And so that’s, that’s really, that’s our job, that’s what we’re supposed to do and we can meet that promise.”
Ross also highlighted that 19 new certified staff have a direct connection to Warrenton or the Warren County R-III district.
“The folks that have roots here will be more likely to stay,” Ross said. “Not that we have anything against folks coming into the district. We value their experience as well. But this is just exciting and exciting to see that our students especially want to come back and work for us.”