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Recruiting and retaining the best teachers

Teacher with students

More than 90% of Highly Effective Teachers and 94% of Effective Teachers staying in DCSD

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Through an innovative Pay for Performance system, Douglas County School District is one of the first school districts in America to truly address the lack of professional compensation for education professionals. Recent teacher retention data shows the system is working.

Following their annual evaluation, DCSD teachers are rated in one of four categories: 

  • Highly Effective
  • Effective
  • Partially Effective 
  • Ineffective

Ratings determine whether or not a staff member qualifies for a pay raise and if so, how much.

“We are very pleased to say that we are attracting and retaining the very best teachers and rewarding them with significant raises,” said DCSD Chief Human Resources Officer Brian Cesare.  

Ninety-four percent of teachers rated as Highly Effective remain at DCSD for the 2014-15 school year.

More than 90 percent of those rated as Effective stayed in the Douglas County School District this year. One-hundred percent of teachers rated as Ineffective have left the district prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year.

“The higher turnover in the ineffective and partially effective categories allows us the opportunity to get the best teachers in front of our students,” said Cesare.

In 2014, DCSD had a total teacher turnover rate of 13.1 percent. Turnover of Partially Effective teachers was nearly 30 percent.

In addition to successfully implementing pay for performance, DCSD launched a market pay system that allows the District to offer higher salaries in order to recruit hard to fill positions, such as special education teachers. The system is built on pay bands that categorize positions based on market forces.

Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, all new teachers were hired using the market-based pay system, which takes a wider picture of a candidate’s education, certificates, experience and skill to determine a baseline offer.

The combination of an outstanding work environment that rewards performance and the use of market forces is delivering a quality candidate pool to the District.

“In hard to fill positions such as special education, positions have gone unfilled in the past due to a lack of quality candidates,” explained Cesare. “This year, we had great candidate pools and were able to hire outstanding teachers in all of our traditionally hard to fill categories.”

September 9, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District, Human Resources

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.