KEYS SCHOOL OFFICIALS SEEK WAYS TO ATTRACT & RETAIN TEACHERS

School board members listen to a presentation on the strategic plan, at the Coral Shores High School library on May 10.

A strategic plan is in the works for the Monroe County School District. Recruiting and retaining a workforce, as well as maintaining a safe environment on school grounds, were among the items discussed during a May 10 school board gathering at Coral Shores High School.

Elisa Levy, strategic planning consultant, said focus group meetings show many teachers relaying a need to live in the Keys. Financially, that’s becoming a challenge due to a hot housing market and a lack of workforce housing.

“We understand what the need is here and the gravity of the situation,” Levy said as she unveiled a list of goals and strategies, which included developing workforce housing. “You’re already working on Trumbo, which would be useful probably all the way up to Marathon.”

The school district is seeking to develop its administrative headquarters property on Trumbo Road in Key West. The 5.9-acre property is adjacent to the Lang Milian public housing complex that is also ripe for renewal. Included in one company’s proposal for Trumbo Road are 76 rental apartments, a new two-story, 20,000-square-foot administrative building, and 1.27 acres of green space.

Levy said another notable topic discussed within focus groups was the fact that many new teachers are overwhelmed when it comes to finding a place to live. A housing resource guide and a point person teachers could call for assistance were among the possible activities the district could do. Later in the meeting, Henry Russell, executive director of personnel and instructional leadership, told school board members that a new employee resource guide is out to assist school employees with housing options.

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