QUINLAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Quinlan ISD is pulling out all the stops to recruit teachers with some of the most creative incentives offered anywhere.
Spirit t-shirts and blue jeans; you’re looking at the new uniforms all Quinlan ISD teachers will get to adopt when classes start on Monday.
Misty Mexia, a Quinlan ISD teacher, was excited for the new dress code. “Oh yes. Love the jeans. We get to wear jeans and t-shirts everyday which as a science teacher, I love because you know we’re on the floor and doing all kinds of stuff.”
Mexia and a fellow teacher, Christie Clements are also excited that the Hunt County school district will implement a Monday through Thursday classroom schedule.
“The biggest, most exciting one seems to be the four day work week or four day school week,” Clemens said.
Those are only some of the changes students will notice when the school year starts next week.
This small rural school district where 77% of the students are below the poverty line has found unique ways to recruit and retain teachers.
It’s because it has to. With 545 teacher openings on the west side of DFW and 1,273 openings reported by school districts on the east side – a total of more than 1,800 – Quinlan ISD is selling itself as teacher friendly as possible to compete against larger, higher paying districts.
Courtney Painter, Quinlan ISD’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, said, “It can be a little cutthroat at times… being a rural district outside of the metroplex. I’ve been in education for 27 years and I’ve never seen a teacher shortage like we’ve had.”
Teachers and staff were surprised yesterday when Quinlan administrators informed all school employees that they would be getting a $1,000 bonus just for showing up on day one.
The district is also offering teachers a day care center for their own children at a cost of only $18 a day.
John Milton, the Quinlan ISD Deputy Superintendent, said, “This is working. We still have a few openings, but when you look at the shortage that we’re facing, we’ve positioned ourselves in a great way to be able to have quality teachers in our classrooms.”
Blue jeans and Fridays off are popular ideas here that could catch on in other districts as the school year begins in North Texas with nearly 2,000 teacher openings.