Starting in the 2023-24 school year, Henrico County Public Schools designated select schools with high rates of vacant positions and provisionally licensed staff as Opportunity Schools through the HCPS Career Ladder. The new pathway within the Career Ladder assigns schools, selected by HCPS, additional staffing resources and specialized professional learning. Fully licensed instructional staff can also earn a compensation supplement.
The purpose of an Opportunity School designation is to provide holistic support to recruit and retain fully licensed instructional personnel in schools having difficulty doing so. The additional support for designated schools includes:
A new recruitment and retention incentive to licensed instructional personnel employed by the school in positions that require such licenses, totaling approximately $3,000 per person each year.
A full-time teaching fellow assigned to each school to provide limited direct classroom instruction and coaching support to staff in the building.
One additional permanent substitute teacher assigned to the school.
Additional opportunities for tailored professional learning for teachers specific to one’s position and licensure status.
One additional administrative leader in each of the secondary schools.
Principal professional learning opportunities tailored to the needs of leaders.
The HCPS Department of Professional Learning and Leadership will work directly with principals to tailor the support to the needs of the school community and adjust as needed.
For the initial implementation in the 2023-24 school year, any HCPS school with a combined vacancy and provisional rate of 25% was designated as an Opportunity School. Based on data from October 2022 and February 2023, participating schools are:
The Academy at Virginia Randolph/Virginia Randolph Education Center.*
Fair Oaks Elementary School.
Glen Lea Elementary School.
Laburnum Elementary School.
Elko Middle School.
Fairfield Middle School.
John Rolfe Middle School.
Highland Springs High School.*
Varina High School.
*The Advanced Career Education centers at these campuses were considered separately from these schools.
An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Highland Springs Elementary School qualified based on the school’s combined rate; however, because its program includes additional support, the school did not receive the new designation.
Once identified, schools receive the designation and associated support for three years, regardless of any changes in their combined rate of vacancies and provisionally licensed individuals. The compensation incentives are only provided to eligible, licensed staff employed at that school during that time period.