As we enjoy the 4th of July holiday, within our offices at 200 E. Wilson Bridge Road there is significant urgency. Along with important dates such as August 19th (first day of school) and May 25th (commencement), July 10th is one of the most important dates in our yearly calendar.
The Ohio Revised Code section 3319.15 states that “No teacher shall terminate the teacher’s contract after the tenth day of July of any school year or during the school year, prior to the termination of the annual session, without the consent of the board of education; and such teacher may terminate the teacher’s contract at any other time by giving five days’ written notice to the employing board. Upon complaint by the employing board to the state board of education and after investigation by it, the license of a teacher terminating the teacher’s contract in any other manner than provided in this section may be suspended for not more than one year.”
What this means for Worthington is that if we are trying to hire a teacher with experience from another school district it needs to happen before July 10th. Every year this is significant, but this year because of our immense turnover of retiring teachers, it becomes even more significant. As I’ve written before, our goal is to put the very best teachers in front of Worthington students. Because this is a great community that has a proven track record of supporting education, there are many successful educators in other school districts who would like to work in Worthington.
Hiring in Worthington is done by our Human Resource department in conjunction with our school principals. They will offer a job, but employment is never official until approved by the Worthington Board of Education in public session. Savy educators will not resign their current position in another district until our BOE has approved them. This is smart practice, as once in a while a job is offered at the school level and not approved at the BOE level. Thus resigning before BOE approval risks giving up a job and then not having one to go to. That’s a bad risk.
In order to make all of this work our Board of Education will meet on Monday, July 8th at 7:30 A.M. At that meeting we will ask the BOE to approve the hiring of a Spanish teacher currently working in Pickerington, a school nurse currently in Groveport, a choir teacher currently in Columbus and an ELL teacher currently in Southwestern City Schools and a few more teachers still in the works. By approving these contracts early Monday morning, those teachers can safely resign their position in their current district before the deadline. It also gives their current district a little window to hire someone else before the 10th if they have been forewarned and have been working ahead.
It doesn’t happen often in Worthington, but the last twist is this. Between now and the 10th we turn our phones off, don’t check email, etc.. We don’t want any of our teachers informing us late that they would like out of their contract to go to a job in another district. (We don’t really turn our phones off, we just let everything go to voicemail and diligently return all calls on the 11th…)
Finally, if you know a young teacher coming directly out of college who has not yet gotten a job, tell them July 10th is coming! After July 10th districts across Ohio can only hire those teachers who are not under contract with another school district, thus the hiring pool changes drastically and their odds increase ten-fold.
Enjoy the 4th of July Holiday! We’ll be working hard to fill jobs with the best and brightest before the 10th!