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Creating Daily, Job-Embedded Support for Special Education Teachers

How can schools provide stronger support for special education teachers? Schools we work with generally start their strategic staffing planning by creating small Multi-Classroom Leader™ teams—grade- or subject-based teaching teams led a teacher with a record of student learning growth, who takes formal accountability for the team’s student results, for more pay. But some schools have begun to see the need for creating similar teams specifically for special education (SPED) teachers. Here’s an early look at what schools in two districts are doing, in the hopes of strengthening teacher retention and recruitment and better serving students.

In New Mexico, Carlsbad Municipal School District leaders have created a SPED teaching team in one school this year; in North Carolina, a Wilson County principal realized the need for this MCL™ role early in the year, designing it in hopes of a midyear hire.

Although they’re separated by thousands of miles, the districts face similar challenges in recruiting and retaining SPED teachers, negatively affecting students when new teachers struggle to handle all the issues around each child’s IEP (individual education program).

All Hands on Deck in 2024 for Students and Teachers!

In the new year, we know schools and districts are going after big results for students and teachers. We’re launching into 2024 focused on helping them get and support all hands on deck! Check out our latest Opportunity Culture Newsletter, with information on registering for Opportunity Culture SIMPLE™ Tutoring Design Series—one session or all of five, starting February 1, or the live, virtual Introduction to School Staffing Design with Resultson January 30 that helps participants unlock the 5 Opportunity Culture Design Principles.

And do you know the top two ways advanced paraprofessional support Multi-Classroom Leader teams? Check out our new 1-minute video to see! And check out more in the newsletter—tools for educators especially useful in January; information on the new School Excellence Portal that goes live this summer; and a few social media highlights of Opportunity Culture educators. Check it all out here.

For Strong Educator Recruitment, Start Now: Tips from Opportunity Culture District Leaders

For Nicole Hayes, recruiting educators to Nash County Public Schools means facing some stiff competition. Nash County abuts the much larger—and much wealthier—Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina.

And yet, “we’ve been able to retain teachers and bring some back to our district who left to go to Wake because their [pay] supplements are way higher,” she said.

Hayes, Nash’s Opportunity Culture director, and her peers in other districts of varying size have successfully improved their recruitment efforts for Opportunity Culture educator roles using some of the same strategies—garnering their districts not only more, but also stronger, applicants.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Montgomery County, & Fort Worth School Districts Receive Federal Grant for Wide Use of Opportunity Culture Models

We’re excited about our latest news! Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Fort Worth ISD, and Montgomery County Public Schools have been awarded a $7.7 million federal TSL grant for widespread implementation of Opportunity Culture innovative staffing models, which CMS pioneered with Public Impact’s support in 2013. With the grant, CMS will expand its use of these models to all of its schools over three years, while the Fort Worth and Montgomery County districts will launch and expand the models over three years.

Succeeding—and Paying It Forward—as an International MTRT

When Raissa Renacia arrived from the Philippines in 2019 to teach math in Ector County, Texas, she had a lot of questions.

From where to find rice to how to manage an American classroom, Renacia found herself wishing she had one person to give her answers. Today, in her third year in the Master Team Reach Teacher (MTRT) role, she’s become that mentor for other international teachers.

Celebrating 10 Opportunity Culture Years!

We are kicking off the 2023-24 school year with big celebrations–and big plans for more! At Public Impact, we’re celebrating our 10th year of helping schools implement what district leaders call “game-changing” Opportunity Culture innovative staffing models, proven to get results for student learning and educator satisfaction. 

Since the first pioneering districts began implementing Opportunity Culture models in 2013-14, the national Opportunity Culture initiative to reach more students with excellent teaching and more educators with excellent careers keeps growing! We’re excited to see all that Opportunity Culture schools have achieved so far, and ready to reach many more in the second decade.