Chief Human Resource Officer Tracy Johnson had good news to give Keller ISD board members on Oct. 23 during her staffing report.

The details

During her presentation, Johnson said not only are all general classroom teaching vacancies filled, but the teacher turnover rate is steady and low at 7.8%, which is lower than the state’s 16% average. Furthermore, 77 new teachers were referred to the district by existing employees.

“We’re substantially lower than the state average and we’re getting referrals—that tells me we’re doing a good job,” Place 5 Trustee Chris Coker said.

On the other hand

While classroom staffing is at full capacity, Johnson reported other sectors of employment in the district have vacancies. However, many of the vacancies this year are lower than last year, which Johnson said was due in part to the district’s “wildly successful” referral program. These departments include:
  • Special education classroom aides: 28 vacancies this year, 37 vacancies last year
  • Custodial staff: 8 vacancies this year, 47 vacancies last year
  • Child nutrition staff: 53 vacancies this year, 57 vacancies last year
  • Grounds and operational staff: 16 vacancies this year, 14 vacancies last year
Johnson said grounds and operational staff includes trade professionals, such as electricians and plumbers. She added that for those positions it’s difficult for the district to be competitive with the private sector, but that the board has allowed some salary adjustments to help keep positions filled.

A closer look

Johnson took the opportunity during her report to point out the district’s bench strength when it comes to substitute teachers.

“The substitute teacher pool remains steady at 850 substitutes, and as of today there are over 200 [substitutes] in the pipeline for processing,” Johnson said.

One of the tools that the district's human resources department uses to help keep the substitute teacher pool strong is to recognize them for their hard work, she said. For the past two years, the district has maintained the Substitute Spotlight Award that celebrates the hard work that substitute teachers do on a daily basis, Johnson said. With Nov. 17 as National Substitute Appreciation Day, Johnson said the district will celebrate its substitute teachers all month with prize drawings, district swag and gift cards.

Quote of note

“In human resources, it is so important to take care of the people that are taking care of our students; that’s our priority,” Johnson said.