Oxford schools staffing update provides five-year trend report

Report includes resignation, retirement overview

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. – During the Feb. 13 Oxford Community Schools Board of Eduction meeting Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Ryan Reid presented a staffing update which included a five-year trend report on staff resignations and retirements.
Across the district, there are 856 total employees, including 380 teachers, 101 paraprofessionals and secretaries, 55 shared-time teachers and mentors, 44 café helpers, 43 bus drivers and monitors, 26 retired substitute teachers and 12 student employees. So far for the 2023-2024 school year, there have been 72 new employees.
“All of these folks are recognized each month in our HR newsletter,” said Reid.
The staffing update also provided a five-year trend report on staff resignations and retirements, starting in the 2019-2020 school year with 7.8%, 9.8% in the 2020-2021 school year, 11.4% in the 2021-2022 school year, 8.6% in the 2022-2023 school year, and 5.8% so far in the 2023-2024 school year.
“The peak is in ‘21-‘22,” she said. “This data is inclusive of all employees except shared-time employees, student employees and retired substitutes.”
Reid also said that the district peak in 2021-2022 is consistent with data nationwide.
“Schools experienced peaks in 20-21 and 21-22 due to the pandemic,” she said. “Based on our data, our turnover rate is on-par with other K-12 districts. We saw an increase in ‘21-‘22. The tragedy is a compelling factor, as well as the impact of the pandemic. Staff turnover is to be expected after a mass violence incident, and turnover can be mitigated by implementing ongoing, predictable, trauma-informed training with staff.”
She also said that in the state of Michigan, the current rate of teachers leaving the profession is 8.2%, for many reasons, including burnout.
“Burnout is a common phenomenon in all professions,” she said. “Our administration works to combat burnout by prioritizing excellent benefit packages, including paid time off for staff. We are also probably one of the only districts in the state that offers paid parental leave.”
Reid also presented data from the exit survey that all staff who are leaving the district are asked to complete. It asks why they are leaving, what another job offers that Oxford Community Schools does not, and what OCS can do to improve. This data allows the district to see where they can make changes to help staff.
The data showed that the majority of people who left did so due to higher rate of pay in another position, though the position is not always the same, such as a teacher leaving for a different field of work.
“When you look at this data, rate of pay is number one,” said Reid. “It’s more than just teachers. We are competitive in our pay schedules, but some of the folks answering the survey might have been in support roles where the pay is lower, and they were moving into positions that offer them more money. For example I’ve had people leave child care to go into a different profession.”
The number one thing that employees leaving say that the district can improve on is communication.
“All of this information is shared with our building administrators, too, so we can work on action plans on what needs to be improved,” she said.

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