A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BloomBoard provides innovative approach to alarming teacher turnover rate across the region

Special to the NKyTribune

Teacher turnover is an alarming issue impacting school districts nationwide. Local school districts in Northern Kentucky are using an innovative approach to reward and retain teacher talent.

For years, research has shown that high teacher turnover rates negatively impact student achievement. In 2020-21 Kentucky’s teacher non-retention rate grew from 7% to an average of 16%.

Photos from BloomBoard

Across Northern Kentucky, 13.4% of teachers left their school district in the 2020-21 academic year. According to one study, the top reasons for leaving include inadequate pay, burnout, and not feeling valued.

Several school districts in Northern Kentucky and school districts in roughly half of the counties throughout the state are participating in an innovative program to help fight the state’s teacher shortage. In NKY, Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS) and Grant County Schools offer teachers a chance to further their education through a new classroom-based rank change program.

The micro-credential program, Foundations in Teaching and Learning, is offered by select Kentucky Educational Cooperatives across the state, in partnership with BloomBoard. The program is open to Kentucky teachers to earn Rank I or Rank II through job-embedded learning experiences in their classrooms. The districts are hoping that the new program, designed to advance careers and increase the salaries of its teaching staff, will help reduce teacher turnover.

“Our educators in Kentucky and nationwide are exhausted. They need to know that their leadership team supports them in the incredible work they do every day to improve our students’ lives,” said Matt Morgan, superintendent of Grant County Schools. “By offering this program to our teachers at no cost, we hope that it will help keep teachers in the classroom while ensuring stability for our kids.”

Grant County School District is covering the cost for any teacher who wants to enroll and agrees to stay within the district for at least four years. Sixty-six teachers have signed up to participate.

“As our recent Cognia accreditation report shows, CIPS is on the right path. To further our teacher development, CIPS is proud to partner with Bloomboard. CIPS has agreed to reimburse the associated costs for teachers who choose to stay with Covington long-term,” said Ken Kippenbrock, Executive Director of Human Resources and Operations at Covington Schools. “This professional development will help us retain teachers, allowing for more growth for our students.”

50 teachers at CIPS have signed up to participate. Teachers who earn their rank change through the program will receive $1,000 per year for up to six years, which covers the program’s cost.

“Anytime that your employer is willing to devote time, resources and funds for your personal growth, you can’t pass that up,” said Sam Ryan, a math and business teacher at Grant County High School. “Education is ever-changing, and we can’t just stay in the same spot. We have to continue to grow. I’m proud to be part of a district working towards a solution to a nationwide problem.”

Whitney Cummins, a Grant County Middle School teacher, compared the program’s affordability to traditional master’s degree programs.

“This is a huge incentive for teacher retention,” she said. “If I were to pursue a rank change through a traditional master’s degree, it would cost me at least $15,000.”

Foundations in Teaching and Learning Program is a state board-approved program for teachers to achieve Rank II or Rank I and to receive associated recognition and salary advancement in all public school districts in Kentucky. The micro-credential-based instruction eliminates traditional seat-time and exams and instead motivates teachers through self-paced learning and coaching– all while demonstrating capabilities in the classroom.

To learn more, visit https://bloomboard.com/program/ky-rank-change-program.


Related Posts

Leave a Comment