The Ottumwa Courier

Education

January 11, 2013

Ottumwa school district looking into bonuses for early notice of resignation, retirement

OTTUMWA — By the time students start classes start in the fall, all the best candidates for teaching jobs have already been snatched up. The Ottumwa school district wants some of those top teachers, too.

Monday, the Ottumwa school board will vote on offering current teachers a bonus to inform the district’s human resources department months before they resign or retire.

“It’s not an early retirement [plan],” said Ottumwa Superintendent Davis Eidahl. “We started this a few years ago; if a teacher has an idea that they want to retire at the end of the year, this is an incentive to let us know early.”

For Monday’s school board agenda, members are expected to allow a $1,500 bonus to any teacher age 55 or older with 10 years in the district, who notifies the superintendent of schools in writing that they will be retiring.

The notification by the teacher must be made by Feb. 15.

“That allows us to get on the recruiting trail before other districts start looking,” Eidahl said. “There’s a great window for hiring in February and March.”

Most districts don’t start hiring until the end of March, and some don’t finish interviews until May.

“That’s when districts are aware of what vacancies they’ll have,” because that’s when districts and teachers are signing contracts, Eidahl said.  

He added the Ottumwa Community Advisory Board has said there’s no benefit to students when an opening for a specific job comes up, needs to be filled quickly — and there’s only one applicant for the job.

“If you wait until August, that pool shrinks considerably because the high-quality candidates have been hired,” Eidahl said.

The early notice lets Ottumwa school district officials attend the university job fairs with knowledge of whom they need to hire.

“It has been very successful. We’ve hired over 140 teachers in the past three years,” he said. “We can visit with [up to] 60 candidates applying for one position. We get to pick the highest-quality [candidate].”

They also post openings online.

Eidahl said perhaps 85 percent of the teachers hired over the past three years were hired “early,” before some districts even knew how many teachers they’d need to hire for each subject.

So, Eidahl believes, it’s worth a cash bonus to get that head start.

“One of the most important things we can do is replace that retiring teacher with another quality teacher. In another five or six weeks, our human resources office will be buzzing.”

1
Text Only
Education
  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta color photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities

    OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns

    OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT picture Bracelets -M -T Caring Kids

    OTTUMWA — Five fourth-graders didn't need grownups to show them it feels good to help others. They found out firsthand. "I wanted to do a project with the bracelets I make. And it's better to help people than to just do a random project," Kennedy Hug

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT Fairfield business students photo color Fairfield students proving to be future leaders

    FAIRFIELD — At Fairfield High School, students interested in making a career in a business-related field have the chance to join the Fairfield chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a nonprofit organization that helps prepare them for

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National