FRONT ROYAL – The Warren County School Board received the long-awaited results of a compensation and benefits study during its meeting on Wednesday night.
The study focused on salary and staffing recommendations for the school division. Rick Campbell, who serves as the president of Paypoint HR - the firm that conducted the study - said that he recommended changes in salary scales, most notably the instructional scale.
Campbell said that Warren County is losing teachers who have between five and 15 years of experience. The study showed that teachers who have five years of experience are making $44,438 in Warren County and teachers with 15 years of experience are making $47,440. The study recommends those be bumped up to $47,000 and $53,217, respectively, so that the salaries are closer to those in surrounding counties.
“Losing teachers and employees in those groups is painful,” Campbell said.
Paypoint’s study also recommended a number of additions to the school division’s staff, including adding 63 more teachers and raising the salaries of several district positions, including those who are making the $12.18 an hour living wage, which, according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, means a wage sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living.
Superintendent Greg Drescher said the report will help the district start planning for what’s next.
“We do kind of have a generalized idea of what our steps are, but we need to do a little bit more work,” he said.
Drescher said that the board will hold a special work session to discuss the findings of the compensation and benefits study at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Diversified Minds meeting room at 465 W. 15th St. in Front Royal. The meeting is open to the public and members of the school division staff.
Download a pdf of the study here: https://tinyurl.com/yd9xkyqs
Also at Wednesday's meeting, Shane Goodwin, assistant principal at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, and Rodney Brown, special education teacher at E. Wilson, introduced the new Boys Into Gentlemen (BIG) mentoring program that the school offers. The program introduces fourth and fifth-grade boys to opportunities for leadership, mentoring, and community involvement.
“It is such a privilege to have this program at our school,” Goodwin said. “It’s an innovative idea.”
The program features an established curriculum, including career exploration, etiquette and community outreach. Brown said the club has 10 members and meets every Thursday at the school.
“I hope that you come to our school and have an opportunity to shake a hand, let the boys show you the warm welcome you deserve and spend some time with us,” Goodwin said.
The board also approved the final 2019-2020 program of studies. Several new courses that will be offered in the next school year include Latin and French for eighth-graders and horticultural sciences for grades 10-12.
Alan Fox, who serves as the director of secondary instruction in Warren County, said that students have shown increased interest in several courses offered throughout the district, including Latin 5 at Skyline High School.