The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved a one-time retention incentive stipend for eligible employees as a way to thank them for their work during a difficult year and to encourage them for a new year that may be just as challenging.
This comes after the board approved a compensation package in June that allowed for a possible one-time stipend.
Superintendent Brad Hunt said it is important to incentivize the teachers who stayed with a district at a time when several teachers did not return for the 2021-22 school year.
“We did see our highest number of retirees, and we love all of them and wish them the best,” Hunt said. “But we also saw some staff members who just left the district. Many stayed, and they stayed because they’re committed to this work and our kids and this community. And we wanted to talk about how we could acknowledge that.”
Kristen Eichel, assistant superintendent for administrative services, said
eligible permanent employees who work a daily schedule of eight hours will receive a $1,000 payment, and permanent employees who work a daily schedule of less than eight hours will receive a prorated stipend.
The payment will be included in the employees’ December pay.
To be eligible individuals must have been employed in a permanent position of CISD before the last nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 school year and who will remain employed in a permanent position as of Nov. 30 of this year.
“This is about retaining those individuals from last year but also making sure those individuals continue to have the commitment as we work through essentially the first semester of this year,” Eichel said.
Eichel said the district wants to make sure teachers are continuing to build relationships, helping students make up for lost learning, providing acceleration where it’s needed and continuing to provide programs.
“Retaining those highly qualified and experienced employees allows the district to continue once again to offer outstanding instructional and support programs that meet the needs of all learners in this ever-changing environment while appropriately addressing the learning loss that is taking place because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Eichel said.
At the June 21 board meeting the board approved the district’s compensation package, which allowed for, pending ESSER funding, a one-time lump sum retention incentive payment for eligible employees.
Eichel said if all of the employees who are currently eligible remain eligible by Nov. 31 it would cost the district $1.2 million. CISD is set to receive $6 million in ESSER funding for three years.
“It was unusual and difficult last year,” Board President Nichole Bentley said. “It looks like it’s going to be unusual and difficult this year. I just really respect and appreciate the commitment to our learners and to each other. And I hope there are future opportunities to thank everybody for all of the people who remained in CISD, but they additionally embraced being in CISD.”