Wrap-around Services Help Keep Teachers at Schools
Wendy Surak
Wendy Surak
Sr. Director of Business Development Sodexo School Services

Every year, about 13% of the nation’s over 3.4 million teachers transfer to different schools or leave the profession altogether, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education in collaboration with the New Teacher Center. It’s estimated that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, with 40-50% of teachers quitting within five years.

Not only does this loss impact schools, it also impacts the entire community, including parents, local companies, and other stakeholder groups. Teacher attrition costs state governments between $1 billion and $2.2 billion annually.

Experts attribute teacher attrition to inadequate teacher preparation, lack of work-life balance, dissatisfaction with compensation, better career opportunities and challenging working conditions.

Often times, local school districts don’t always have the resources or awareness to address key issues causing teachers to leave. With benefits costs on the rise and compensation packages increasing, many districts are opting for ‘wrap-around services’ provided by a managed services provider to help attract and retain faculty.  For example, Sodexo’s On the Go service allows staff to pre-order meals to give valuable minutes back into the educator’s day. Districts are also leveraging Sodexo’s recognition packages to celebrate special occasions and reward school teams. Other wrap-around services such as 30-minute meal plan workshops led by professional chefs are teaching teachers how to plan, shop, make and enjoy an economical weekly menu at home, stretching paycheck dollars while promoting healthy eating.

How about responsibilities outside of work for teachers and administrators, such as caring for an aging relative? These responsibilities can impact their time, energy and finances. Offering in-home senior care services as part of a comprehensive benefits package can help take the burdens of care away and allow teachers to obtain personal balance. Alternatively, if a teacher feels overwhelmed by the demands of teaching, a program such as Circles, which offers help with personal tasks like running errands, can help bridge the gap in getting everything done.

Finally, we know teachers go above and beyond to ensure their students have supplies, with many of them paying out of their own pockets. Managed services providers can be a conduit for causes like these through community service fundraisers such as teacher supply funds.

Our teachers and administrators are the nucleus of our schools. Ensuring we care for and support them is the critical path to driving student achievement.

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