Teachers working after contractual hours
HENRICO COUNTY, Virginia (WWBT) – Three weeks into the school year and a group is working to make conditions a little easier for teachers in Henrico County.
The president of the Henrico Education Association (HEA) said many teachers feel exhausted.
Even before the start of the 2021-2022 school year, administrators at the Henrico County Public School (HCPS) acknowledged that it would be a difficult year. However, now, with shortages in several positions, some teachers are taking over.
“It is an open secret in the teaching profession that much of our work is done outside of the actual contractual hours that we sign each year,” said Patrick Miller, president of the HEA.
However, Miller said the challenges Henrico Schools face this year made it even more difficult.
âThe plurality of teachers who work outside their contractual hours stay long after dismissal; some over an hour, some almost two hours because the buses need drivers, âMiller said. âWe don’t have drivers for our buses.
Miller created a survey for teachers to complete to collect this data on the number of hours teachers spend working outside of their contract. The plan is to present it to the county.
Often, teachers have to wait until students are picked up before they can continue the rest of their day.
This is a question that was even raised during the school board’s working session on September 23.
“Given the law and the planning policy we have, have we proposed any strategies or are we considering additional compensation,” asked Kristi Kinsella, a member of the Brookland District School Board.
âWe looked at how we could add compensation, but at the end of the day I would like to completely resolve this issue,â said HCPS Superintendent Dr Amy Cashwell. âOne of the things we’re doing is adding more permanent substitutes. “
Hiring more permanent replacements is something Miller said he’s been touched upon by HCPS before, but added at this point, there’s nothing tangible about that.
âThat’s why at some point we think we should be paid for the work we do; it’s overtime like any other job, âMiller said.
On Thursday evening, HCPS issued a statement to NBC12 regarding these issues. Dr Cashwell saying:
âWe recognize the tremendous work done by our teachers during a difficult time when so many aspects of education have had to be rethought, and we are making changes to support them. First, in the future, if a teacher is needed to cover a class for which there is no replacement, teachers will be compensated for that coverage. In addition, although all of our schools already have a permanent substitute teacher on their staff, we have decided to hire more. These teachers are posted to the same location every day, not only to replace an absent teacher, but also to assist at other times.
Meanwhile, several candidate school bus drivers are currently in training and are expected to hit the road in the coming weeks.
Another âDrive the Busâ career fair is scheduled for October 16 at Hermitage High School from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
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