Killeen ISD plans to reduce staff shortage concerns, aims to improve culture of workplace

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 1:00 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Following the results of a recent district-wide survey, Killeen ISD is moving to the next phase of taking actions based on those results, and one of the next steps is improving the culture and climate of the workplace for staff.

KISD principals attended a training this week to focus on addressing each staff member’s concerns or ideas. Mike Quinn, an executive director for KISD secondary schools, said the principals trained on how to conduct rounding conversations.

“It gives you an opportunity to talk a little bit about what’s going on in the life of that employee, but then you kind of get down to the bones of what we need to hear from them so that we can go ahead and start looking for those themes on those things that we need to improve,” he said.

Principals will meet individually will teachers and staff to go over four questions provided by Qualtrics, an experience management company hired by the district.

Quinn said principals will discuss what’s working well in staff’s current environment, what resources are needed for improved performance, what assistance the principal can provide to help, and who has been helpful to that staff member.

Dr. Bobbie Reeders, the principal of Pathways Academic Campus High School, said these rounding discussions come at the perfect time for the school year.

“We’re in second semester,” she said. “We have a lot of work to do, and our children deserve it, our parents expect it. For us, as the adults in the building, the educators, we have to be willing to stand the conversation with each other. I really believe by going through this training with Qualtrics, having the opportunity to dialogue with each other, it will help us know what we need to do, make sure we are appreciating our staff.”

Quinn said they hope these one-on-one discussions will not only improve the culture and climate of the workplace but also keep teachers and staff working at KISD.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do is build an environment,” he said. “We can talk about pay, we can talk about strategies and systems, but, really, we want to make sure that our teachers are comfortable in the classroom, that they have all of the resources that they have, that they know that we’re listening to them, that leadership is approachable, that they have that working relationship with the leaders on their campus.”

With an improved work environment, he said the district hopes teachers and staff will stay and make a career at KISD.

In addition to an improved workplace, the district also announced Monday that around 300 high-achieving teachers will receive a pay boost ranging from $3-32,000 starting in June.

The amount will depend on what rank the teacher is nominated for in terms of Master, Exemplary and Recognized.

With incentive pay and goals to improve the workplace, the district hopes teachers and staff will stay at KISD, decreasing the likelihood of a teacher shortage.

KISD’s survey reaches the entire campus as well. They have more action steps in place to continue to improve the climate and culture for all students, staff and parents.