Davis not alarmed by losing average number of workers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 30, 2001

NATCHEZ – Only five more certified employees left the Natchez-Adams School District during the 2000-01 school year than the previous year – not a significant increase over that year’s figures, Dr. Carl Davis said Wednesday.

&uot;I think (the numbers are) consistent with what we’ve been seeing,&uot; said the superintendent of the public school district.

During the 1999-2000 school year, 54 certified employees left through a combination of retirements and resignations. McLaurin Elementary School lost 15 employees during that year, the highest of any school in the district. Morgantown Elementary School ranked second losing 12 employees.

During the 2000-01 school year, 59 certified employees left the district also through a combination of retirements and resignations.

Again, McLaurin Elementary School was one of two schools to lose the largest number of employees tying with Natchez High School with 14.

&uot;McLaurin has a history of it,&uot; Davis said. &uot;We just got to keep working until we get that staff stabilized.&uot;

Included in this year’s 59, the Natchez-Adams School District had 48 vacant certified staff positions at the end of this school year.

&uot;It’s pretty normal,&uot; Davis said. &uot;Forty to forty-five come and go this time of the year.&uot;

Davis said all but about 19 of those positions have since been filled and interviews are underway to fill those other vacancies.

He does not view Natchez’s struggle to find teachers any different from that of any other district across the state.

At a recent meeting of the senate education committee, Davis said he and a superintendent from Jackson asked to be classified as critical teacher shortage area – an area were teachers are provided certain tuition and employment benefits for committing to teach for a specified number of years.

The Natchez-Adams School District is looking into other ways to attract teachers such as working with an unnamed community group that wants to offer establishment money to new teachers, Davis said.