Supporting our teachers

Published 12:21 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Schools will be back in session before we know it. Students who attend Cumberland County Public Schools (CUCPS), Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) and Buckingham County Public Schools (BCPS) will be starting back Aug. 8, with Fuqua School starting back Aug. 15.

However, school staff and teachers have returned to school far before that, either taking part in summer programs or soon to be taking part in convocations.

It’s important that we as community members take time to appreciate the positive impact each school division has in our area, and also taking a proactive approach when an issue presents that we can help play a role in alleviating.

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This column hopes to advocate for two different goals, to encourage teachers to apply for vacancies in this area, and to involve the community in supporting our school systems and teachers. One such role facing each of the schools in the Heart of Virginia, and throughout Virginia as a whole, is one of teacher shortages.

A preliminary report released October 2017 from the Virginia Secretary of Education cited that “the number of unfilled teacher positions across the state has increased by 40 percent over the past 10 years (from 760 to 1,080), and has reached crisis proportions in certain divisions—especially those with high levels of poverty.” The report also cites that Superintendent’s Region 8 (Southside Virginia, which includes Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward,) faces the most severe teacher shortage when examining the ratio of vacancies to total positions.

Education holds such importance in this area, and to teachers looking to apply at each of these schools, please know you have the support of this community and of the amazing administration who work to make sure schools and staff and their students are supported and receive a well-rounded education.

EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@