Schools Pursue Teacher Recruiting

Teacher recruitment can be tough, especially for a small district where instructor salaries haven’t increased much in several years. But Rick Catlett, CCPS Director of Administrative Services, told the Clarke County School Board that a recent job recruiting fair netted 243 attendees.

CCPS Administrative Services Director Rick Catlett unveiled new CCPS promotional materials - Photo Edward Leonard

CCPS Administrative Services Director Rick Catlett unveiled new CCPS promotional materials - Photo Edward Leonard

Catlett and several CCPS teachers and staff participated in the Northern Shenandoah Valley Teacher Recruiting Event. Clarke County, along with three other school districts, attended the event where prospective teachers and school districts can mix and meet.

Catlett said that he had two goals in mind for the event; “We want to continue to attract highly qualified applicants and also provide an opportunity to meet with local and regional applicants.”

The event was very successful Catlett said. “We scheduled follow-up interviews with several candidates. I am really pleased that we scheduled two math teacher interviews. Math is always a hard position to fill.” The event had also produced a speech pathologist candidate, another diffcult position to fulfill. “Overall it was a great event for us.”

Professional banners and displays that project favorably on an institution are important tools for any recruiting or trade event.  At Monday’s School Board meeting Catlett unveiled new promotional banners and give-away items that will be used to promote Clarke County Public Schools.

CCPS School Board inspects new CCPS promotional materials (l-r) Robina Bouffault, Emily Rhodes and Janet Alger

CCPS School Board inspects new CCPS promotional materials (l-r) Robina Bouffault, Emily Rhodes and Janet Alger

Samples of the newly created promotional give-away items, including drinking cups, pens and beachballs, were distributed to the School Board members for inspection.

“Everyone likes beachballs” Catlett said. “Yeah, especially students during graduation ceremonies” came an anonymous response.

New School Library Software

School librarians Kathy Hudson and Andrew Kiser provided the school board with a demonstration of Follett Destiny, the school system’s new student online library access catalog. The Destiny software system replaces library software acquired in 1992.

Librarian Hudson’s enthusiasm fro the new product was evident during the demonstration that she provided to the School Board.  “One of the really great things about this product is that we can now see books and resources throughout the entire school library system. If a student needs a book that I don’t have I can quickly find out if the item is available from other libraries” Hudson said.

The Follette Destiny system allows student photos to be viewed during the book check-out process, a particularly useful feature for substitute teachers who may not visually recognize students.

Andrew Kiser added that the new software also integrates with other administrative software used by the school making record keeping seamless and easier.

Food Service Outsourcing Review Continues

Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy updated the School Board on the status of outsourcing the school system’s food service review.

According to Murphy there are only three firms that specialize in school food service; Sodexo, Aramark and Chartwells. Even though CCPS is speaking with all three companies, Murphy says that the decision to outsource food service is not a forgone conclusion.

“Do we want to contract with a food service company? We won’t know until we ask the questions” Murphy said. Murphy provided the School Board with draft request for proposal designed by CCPS Business Manager Edward Breslauer that will be used to gather cost and quality data from perspective food service providers.

Murphy emphasized that he would only accept a food service proposal that complements the work of the school division. “This is not just about costs and revenues.” Murphy also said that existing school food services workers would continue to be employed by the school system. “This is not about replacing staff, it is solely about hiring a company to administer and oversee our food service management.”

In Other Business…

The School Board unanimously agreed to schedule future school graduation event at 2:00pm, rather than the current customary 1:00pm schedule, to lessen conflicts for families who attend church before the ceremonies. (Note: The 2:00pm change will not take effect until the 2011 graduation schedule.)

Clarke County Public Schools have accepted the Virginia School Board Association’s “Green School Challenge”. CCPS teacher Ed Novak  is heading the effort to to raise “green” awareness and reduce CCPS’s carbon footprint. Mr. Novak can be reached at 540.955.6130