Sunday, May 26, 2024


Westport Schools Add 64 New Teachers

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Westport school officials added 64 new teachers this fall, and of those almost 38 percent had no experience.

The Board of Education discussed a staffing report during its meeting Monday night.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said the vast majority had experience before coming to Westport, and nine of the teachers had earned tenure elsewhere in Connecticut.

The number of new teachers added to the district, however, is down from previous years by at least 36 percent, he said.

“We used to have at least 100 new teachers per year,” he said. “I think we’ve slowed down because of slower growth and more stability.”

Last spring, 53 teachers on the 524-person staff elected to not return, Landon said, which equates to approximately 10 percent.

Of those, 19 left the district via resignation, he said, and all did not have tenure with the district.

Twelve found a position with another district, he said, and nine left because of relocation.

Dan O’Day, a board member, said the report shows the comments that there is a wholesale exodus from the staff by resignation are untrue.

Landon said the district has high standards for its teachers, and the principals and department chairmen take pride in those standards.

The resignations are where things don’t work out, he said, and many times teachers will say Westport is not the right place for them.

Of the new staff, Landon said, about 40 percent were secured during job fairs last spring.

Other districts, he said, may have higher numbers of unexperienced teachers among those new on the staff.

Westport, however, has good opportunities for professional development and extraordinary students that are highly motivated, he said.

Both bring experienced teachers when school officials seek new teachers, Landon said.

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