Positive Work Atmosphere and Incentives Curb Teacher Absences

Students are notorious for flimsily excused absences, but in some regions of the country teacher absences are just as frustrating for administrators.

A middle school in Kentucky, however, has successfully boosted teacher attendance 57% by utilizing incentive strategies and general improvements in school work environments.

Schools use several conventional methods to combat this problem including tracking teacher absences, sharing this data with employees and other administrators, and sending teacher absences to a principal rather than a secretary to increase accountability.

Some schools even change the structure of paid time-off schedules and reduce potential black-out days during the holidays.

As schools struggle to keep their budgets sound, reducing teacher absences both relieves the strain on the budget and increases student success. Past absence-reduction strategies work more with the stick than the carrot, but a school in Greenville, KY recently showed that making a work environment more positive can be just as effective.

Finally, although some see it as extreme, schools are experimenting with a four-day school/work week. Still, the majority of incentives are often far simpler and usually cost less, especially when compared to the cost of chronic teacher absence.

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