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.”

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    CategoryCompensationWorkloadBehavioral SupportsExceptional Ed SupportLeadershipClass SizeCurriculum & Planning timeEquitable ResourcesPolicy
    Tuckahoe District ElementaryFix Salary CompressionLessen WorkloadBehavioral Supports for General Education Classes: hold students accountable; suspension has come down to numbers; separate position that is actually a qualified behavioral specialistMore Support from Exceptional Education: no split positions; professional development for instructional assistants; clear job expectations; make instructional assistants full time with benefitsTrust teachers; teacher autonomy; stop micromanaging;  Equitable Resources: reading specialist in every building; teaching resources; books; materials 
    Weight42352  1 
    Three Chopt District ElementarySalary/Pay CompressionWorkload  Less Micromanagement: pointless required plans from COClass SizeCurriculum & Planning time  
    Weight52  134  
    Brookland District ElementaryPay: differential pay in hard to staff schools; step increases; no compressionTeacher WorkloadIn house behavior supportsMore exceptional education services: pull out; classroom for students with issues Class size: limit appropriate to grade level   
    Weight5341 2   
    Varina District ElementaryWork on salaries for educators based on experienceRealistic Expectations of workload versus contractual hoursNeed for classrooms to serve students with emotional disabilities due to lack of qualified training and lack of behavioral specialists available to classroom teachers. This would result in smaller class sizes, improved climate, culture, and relationships of classroom environment Accountablity for  support staff (Behavioral and Academic)
    Admin follow through on student consequences (according to handbook)
    Weight553 3    
    Fairfield District ElementaryGive annual step increase on top of what is given for unified pay
    Incentive Pay like TIFF Grant
    Decrease workload: lesson plans, resources readily available (Jan Richardson); Buy- Share-Google DriveMore behavior supports: full time in all schools; open to more students who need it     Making transfers for teachers easier: difficult to move; teachers feel trapped
    Weight842     1
    TOTALSCompensationWorkloadBehavioral SupportsExceptional Ed SupportLeadershipClass SizeCurriculum & Planning timeEquitable ResourcesPolicy
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    “What do you believe are the most important factors in retaining Henrico County teachers and improving job satisfaction?”
    Category Compensation Behavioral Supports Leadership Teacher Induction & Professional Development Family Engagement Class Size Testing Workload Equitable Resources
    Tuckahoe District Middle/High Significant Salary Increase
    Decompress steps 2-6
    Training on how to support students with behaviors
    Lack of support from central admin when it comes to behavior
    Weight 9 5
    Three Chopt District Middle/High Salary bump that recognizes experience; Merit pay not tied to scores but tied to effort, action, involvement, hard to staff schools Holding Students accountable for behaviors Address specific problems/people instead of the whole
    Admin should teach a regular/collab class monthly to stay grounded (or at least cover when there are no subs)
    Class Size
    Weight 5 2 4 4
    Brookland District Middle/High Pay: separate pay scale; compression; compensation for extra time; paid summer professional development; increase tuition reimbursement Consistency with teacher requirements: clerical days; lesson plans Testing: reduction of HCPS specific tests Consistency in resources
    Weight 4 5 4 2
    Varina District Middle/High Differentiated pay to keep teachers in higher need areas/hard to staff schools
    Balance salary Scale: compression
    Supporting new teachers: instructional coaches from district for support; not enough veteran teachers to support new teachers
    Professional Development: no longer a priority; told no due to no substitutes or SRL days; want to keep growing as a teacher
    Substitutes: planning not taken to cover classes without subs; compensation when planning is taken to cover a class
    Weight 8 6 3
    Fairfield District Middle/High Differentiated pay for teachers in hard to staff schools
    Compensate teachers for working outside of contractual hours
    Build an alternative school
    More administrators for disciplinary issues
    Making students/parents more accountable for their learning
    Weight 6 8 4
    Total Compensation Behavioral Supports Leadership Teacher Induction & Professional Development Family Engagement Class Size Testing Workload Equitable Resources
    32 15 9 6 4 4 4 3 2

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