On May 2, 2018, Henrico County teachers representing all elementary, middle and high schools participated in a unique staff meeting. Teachers came together to have a discussion related to this question, “What do you believe are the most important factors in retaining Henrico County teachers and improving job satisfaction?”

Teachers were broken into smaller groups based on their school’s magisterial district, and whether they taught elementary students, or middle/high students. To help the discussion, teachers were provided a list of categories to consider that the leadership of Henrico County Public Schools developed based on research, Henrico County exit interviews and recent discussions related to teacher retention and job satisfaction.

Many different factors were written on paper flip charts. At the end of the discussion, each teacher was given five “sticky dots” and asked to place one or more dots beside the factors that the teacher felt were most important. More dots meant more support from the teachers in that group.

There are two charts below. On one chart, you will see feedback provided by elementary school teachers from schools in all five magisterial districts in Henrico County. On the other chart, you will see feedback from middle and high school teachers.

HOW TO READ THESE CHARTS: The top factors from each group were recorded and placed onto the charts you see here. Each factor was categorized and weighted. “5” indicates a factor that was most important to a particular group. “1” indicates a factor that was not as important. If a group identified two factors in the same category (for example, “pay compression” and “differentiated pay for hard-to-staff schools”) then the weights were added together within that category. We then added the weights for all magisterial districts to see which categories teachers on the whole considered most important.

To put it another way, you can read the most important factors according to an individual magisterial district by reading the rows from left to right. To see the most important categories based on the weights of all magisterial districts, you would read the columns from top to bottom.

On both charts, the feedback tells us that teachers (at elementary AND middle/high) consider “compensation” to be the most important category in teacher retention and job satisfaction. However, the second-most important category at elementary was “workload” while at middle/high it was “behavioral supports.”

This information was shared with the School Board at the Board’s May 24th meeting. While the Board approved the 2018-19 budget at its May 10th work session, there has been much conversation about additional funds being sought to provide Henrico County teachers with greater supports. A committee of additional Henrico County Public Schools and general government staff members will also use this information to develop funding supports for teachers in the 2019-2020 Henrico County budget proposal. Look for recommendations to be made by December 2018.

For additional questions about understanding this material, please contact:

Dr. Donna Eagle
Chief Human Resources Officer
(804) 652-3656

Dr. Beth Teigen
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
(804) 652-3754