Board discusses decline in faculty, staff retention rate at Savannah-Chatham public schools

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 3:23 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:51 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Faculty and staff retention rates are dropping in Savannah Chatham County Public Schools.

The board of education met and discussed the decline earlier Wednesday.

A presentation to the board of education showed last school year’s retention rates for teachers were 4% lower than the 2020-2021.

Support staff retention rates are also dropping.

Staff told board members teacher retention rates dropped from 85.7% in the 2020-21 school year to 81.7% in this past school year. Meaning in 2022, 18.3% of teachers did not return to classrooms in the district.

Board members discussed several ways to overcome their retention challenges. District 8 board member Dr. Tonia Howard-Hall said one big problem causing teacher burnout is behavior in class rooms.

“What can you do to engage parents because that’s a major concern, a major factor based on teacher burnout is actually classroom management and discipline. So from an HR perspective how can we engage parents,” said Dr. Howard-Hall.

“Yes, that is something we can work internally with academic affairs to answer that question Dr. Howard-Hall. That is a perfect question. You are exactly right.”

School support staff retention numbers also dropped from 83.5% to 81.9%.

Staff told board members they hope to create a more positive culture and climate for faculty and staff. They hope to do so by expanding employee perk programs, create a culture, and climate focus group and continue wellness activities for employees.

Board members were also briefed on declining student enrollment rates and the conditions of school buildings.