Barbour County schools solving teacher shortage

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BARBOUR COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - In East Alabama, The Barbour County School District has struggled to keep its teachers from leaving the school system over the years.

The interim superintendent tells me keeping teachers in rural areas has been difficult, especially with inflation rising.

They also say keeping these teachers while providing better education to students is the number one priority on Barbour County School System’s list.

Barbour County consists of three schools that average around 700 students. While the school system continues to grow, so does the need for teachers.

Interim Superintendent Keith Stewart said, recently, they’ve offered new teachers signing bonuses. But to keep them long-term, they have been investing in their educators.

“We are committed to change, and we want to improve as a school system,” said Stewart.

Part of that change is providing an instructional coach to work with students in subjects like math, science and reading and mentor teachers with new ways to engage in student learning.

“I just go in I help them plan their lessons if they have any questions or concerns, I’m there if they shoot me an email I’m coming right back to the class,” said the instructional coach at intermediate school Willonda Kaffie.

Director of Curriculum instruction James Holcomb said the pandemic impacted the results of the 2021 Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program scores for 3rd graders coming back with 13.7 percent of students reading on or above grade level. Those scores have already improved since the Spring.

“We’ve reached up to 50 percent on or above grade level. One thing you can never replace is the actual human interaction students need to be able to interact with teachers on a daily basis,” said Holcomb.

Primary school principal Pamela Allen’Ingram said everyone within the Barbour County School System wants teachers and students to be successful.

“When the children see this they see the genuine love that we have for students that’s what makes it a dream to work here,” said Allen’Ingram.

“This is the place where dreams are made of,” said Principal of Barbour County Intermediate school Phillip Brooks.

Barbour County Schools is still looking for help. If you are interested, click here.