JCS Students Address WVDE

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) visited Jefferson County on Monday for a presentation on how Jefferson County Schools is addressing the nationwide teacher shortage.   

West Virginia School Superintendent Clayton Burch joined JCS staff and students at Washington High School to discuss the JCS plan to implement the TeachWV Grow Your Own Program.

High school students pursuing a teaching degree will get a strong head start thanks to partnerships with Shepherd University and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. Superintendent Burch called it an exciting opportunity.

“Our goal is to bring talent back to the county and benefit West Virginia students with the pedagogy and residency experience this initiative offers. As a result, we believe our counties will not only be able to attract teachers but also retain them at higher rates.”

Superintendent Burch also got details about the comprehensive retention and recruitment plan the Jefferson County Board of Education adopted last year. The plan includes initiatives to support a positive and empowered workforce as well as increased compensation for current staff and potential hires. Jefferson County Board of Education President Kathy Skinner said they are proud of the work their staff does every day.

"The employees in Jefferson County Schools are second to none, and they deserve every support we can give them. We approved the first tier of this plan to support them in their work and to help attract more quality people to continue providing quality instruction for students."

The first tier of the comprehensive plan includes a micro-credentialing option, a permanent substitute program, a referral bonus, and programs to increase pay for service personnel. The board will review data from the implementation of Tier I to determine the next steps as they continue to support the JCS workforce. The WVDE visit highlights the JCS retention and recruitment plan, which may be used as a model for other districts across the state.