Staffing Schools in Providence: Tracking Key Metrics

Teacher staffing is a growing challenge in PPSD in the wake of the pandemic. In order to ensure that every classroom is filled with an effective teacher, the district will need to continue to strengthen both recruitment and retention efforts. In this brief, we highlight data-driven opportunities that build on existing strategies, particularly around recruitment practices, and have identified where targeted retention efforts could be most beneficial.

This brief highlights six key data-drive opportunities:
  1. Retention rates are particularly low for novice and early career teachers. The district should strengthen retention efforts for these groups, and particularly new hires.
  2. The application pool remains relatively thin. Expanding partnerships and recruitment efforts with local educator preparation programs (EPPs), particularly in hard-to-staff subject areas, is a promising approach.
  3. More than half of teachers in the applicant pool have at least 3 years of teaching experience, providing opportunities to cultivate these candidates and hire more experienced teachers.
  4. PPSD’s marketing campaign drew interest but few applicants, suggesting opportunities to engage with applicants throughout the application process.
  5. New hires who have worked in PPSD are more diverse and have higher retention rates, pointing to the importance of continuing to build prospective teacher pipelines for existing PPSD staff.
  6. Vacancies are overwhelmingly in hard-to-staff subject areas and are exacerbated by late resignations. The district could expand early contracts in anticipation of these challenges.

As PPSD and districts across the state are facing funding shortages driven by enrollment declines and the end of stimulus dollars, it is more important than ever to ensure that limited resources are being leveraged in the highest impact ways. The district (and the state as a whole) needs to continue to invest in ensuring that classrooms are staffed with educators who can support the learning and development of all students. This means using scarce resources to recruit and retain a highly effective and increasingly diverse workforce and creating the conditions in schools that allow all teachers to succeed.