ST. MATTHEWS -- The Calhoun County School District Board of Trustees heard a report on the declining teacher retention rate across the state at its November meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Wilson introduced Dr. Jenna Hallman of the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, who provided statistics about the annual decline.

In the last three years in South Carolina, the number of certified teachers not returning to the same position went from 5,277 to 6,482, while the number not returning to any position went from 4,108 to 4,842, Hallman said. Also, the number of graduates who completed a South Carolina teacher education program declined from 2,219 to 1,898 for fiscal year 2015-2016. 

Holman said more information on teacher retention can be found at https://www.cerra.org/supply-and-demand.html.

Also during the meeting, the board approved the wording of a contract for engineering of the parking areas around Calhoun County High School. A request for bids on the work has not yet gone out, it was noted.

During public comments, parents Jacqueline Carson and Tiffany Jones asked if the district takes any action when weapons are found on school campuses and what steps are taken to ensure the safety of students in such situations.

Chairman Gary Porth told them the policy of the board is to respond to all questions in written form, not during meetings.

In other business:

  • District Chief of Curriculum Instruction Christia Murdaugh and Cynthia Johnson presented data on the new Accountability Model Implications and Perceptions and SC Ready-Reading to Succeed.
  • The superintendent asked the board to establish the district's core values.
  • District Finance Director Sky Strickland presented the financial report and adjustments for August and September, which were approved by the board. She reported revenues collected stood at 11 percent and expenses stood at 19 percent.
  • The trustees held two executive sessions, one to discuss a facilities proposal and the other to consider an employee disciplinary issue.

Contact the writer: 803-874-3276.

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