REEDSPORT — Educators are finding that lower staff turnover strengthens students' academic success.

At one time, staff turnover was higher. That's decreased in the last few years.

Veteran Reedsport Community Charter School teacher Keith Tymchuk provided his own perspective in an interview with the Umpqua Post.

"Turnover isn't, in and of itself, necessarily a bad thing but there are advantages to low turnover," he wrote in an email. "Students get familiar with teachers and their expectations. As they do, they may push the rules less."

"Teachers get familiar with students and the strategies that work best to reach particular students," Tymchuk noted. "Parents know what to expect."

Then in turn "low turnover generally means that teachers have class assignments that are similar from year to year."

The teacher said high school educators "can refine and deliver curriculum in a way that matches state expectations and cross-curricular opportunities. New teachers are already behind in this regard."

Reedsport Superintendent Dan Forbess provided some comments in his August report to the school board but expounded on them in a later interview with the Umpqua Post.

"When teaching, staff work in teams for multiple years -- whether in grade level teams or subject area teams -- they are able to establish professional partnerships," Forbess wrote.

For him, it came down to cooperation as well.

"Through on-going partnerships, experienced staff discuss specific program improvement strategies through their review of student achievements," Superintendent Forbess added. "As our students move through our school system, the continuous dialogue between grade level and subject area staff is important in supporting each student's academic and social success."

A drop in staffing can hurt.

"When there is staff turnover of grade level or subject area team members, it takes time to reestablish the professional partnerships we have been building through professional development and cooperative planning efforts," Forbess added. "Therefore when an educator/partner leaves our school system, it takes time to help a new staff member learn the teaching and learning strategies that grade level and subject area teams have established."

"Ongoing, established professional learning teams, focused on improving the educational outcomes for our students affords us the ability to maintain consistency in our public school system."

The Umpqua Post Editor Shelby Case can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 296 or shelby.case@theworldlink.com.

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