‘New Faces in Natomas’ — A focus on NUSD teacher staffing

--- Published on October 23rd 2018 ---
News & Alerts
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Natomas Unified has made a significant investment in students and staff by hiring 223 new teachers/certificated positions since 2012. The vast majority of these new positions are a direct result of class-size reduction, growth in Natomas, and the implementation of new programs like International Baccalaureate (IB), Career Technical Education, more counselors in our secondary schools, and a psychologist at every school site.

Local growth, a national teacher shortage, and a number of people reaching retirement age have created unique challenges that Natomas Unified is tackling head-on to recruit, hire and retain exemplary staff.


Growth – New homes, more families moving to Natomas, and new programs require more positions

  • In 2011-2012, Natomas Unified had 417 teachers/certificated employees.
  • Today Natomas Unified has 640 teachers/certificated employees — an increase of 53% in seven years. In that same time, our district has grown 20% in student enrollment. So about 80 of our 223 new hires are for growth.
  • 143 new teachers/certificated employees are serving our students because of class-size reduction, the implementation of new programs, or Board-approved targeted actions to benefit students and schools.
  • The last 4 years alone, NUSD has hired 173 new teachers/certificated staff as TK-3rd grade class sizes got smaller, more Special Education teachers were hired, and programs expanded.

Retirement – People are retiring after years of service to our schools

  • As shared above, there were 417 teachers/certificated employees in 2012. Of those, 92 have retired — or 22%.

Retention – 78% of teachers/certificated staff working in Natomas Unified in 2012 are still with us or have retired

  • As of this year, 234 teachers working in 2012 are still teaching in Natomas Unified. So 326 of our teachers from 2012 are still with us or retired. That’s 78% of that 2012 total.
  • That means only 22% of our teachers from 2012 have left NUSD for reasons other than retirement.  That’s 91 teachers/certificated staff, about 15 a year — or 3.67% annually. Since we have increased our teaching/certificated positions by 53%, there are a lot of new faces in Natomas Unified.
  • We are even working to track when people exit Natomas Unified. For example, in 2016-2017 here are some of the reasons staff left, besides retirement:

o   15 teachers left after they moved out of the Sacramento area

o   9 left for health/medical/family emergency

o   9 left following disciplinary action

o   13 stated they chose to work in another district. This included some who took jobs in other districts that paid a significant up-front bonus for hard-to-fill positions like Math, Special Education, World Languages, and Science.  These bonuses can be as high as $10,000-$15,000 dollars.  Natomas Unified has tried multiple times to get Natomas Teachers Association leaders to sign an MOU allowing a hard-to-fill bonus like that offered by surrounding districts.  NTA leaders have declined to sign the MOU. This makes it harder to retain hard-to-fill teachers and attract new teachers to these same roles.  (Note: 2016-2017 is the most recent data we have for year-to-year exit reasons.) 

Getting Innovative and Trying to Be Creative

  • In the fall of 2017, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to Recruit Diverse Future Teachers. This plan involves a rigorous process used to identify possible future teacher candidates. Current NUSD teachers are part of the interview process(so teachers help hire their own future colleagues and, in some cases, former students as future peers). The program looks to hire: NUSD Graduates, Diverse Candidates, current Classified Employees, and Candidates for Hard-to-Fill Positions. To learn more about our Recruiting Diverse Future Teachers program please go to https://natomasunified.org/departments/human-resources/recruiting-diversity-in-nusd
  • Representatives from our Human Resource Department also have connected with universities across the country, in particular visiting a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

As Natomas Unified grows and expands student programs, the school district will continue to be innovative and pilot ideas to address the national teacher shortage head-on.