Recruitment & Retention Download

DOWNLOADABLE: A Recipe for Creating a School Culture Teachers Don’t Want to Leave

By Laura Baker, Caitlynn Peetz & Francis Sheehan — September 28, 2023 1 min read
Principal David Arencibia chats with a student as they make their way to class at Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas, on April 18, 2023.
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Creating a positive school culture is a recipe, rather than a single action.

It takes the right ingredients—hiring staff who truly believe in the district’s goals, supporting those staff members’ personal and professional growth, celebrating their (and their students’) accomplishments, and having a bit of fun along the way.

If districts can strike a good balance of all these things, they can create a school culture that staff members don’t want to leave, as evidenced by Colleyville Middle School in Texas.

The work is nuanced and takes time, but the payoff is worth it, experts say.

A positive school culture can help retain employees and recruit new ones, when needed. And it can lead to more satisfied—and therefore more effective—teachers and better student performance on standardized tests.

Here are some tips from Principal David Arencibia, who has built up a school culture so enticing that staff members have been known to forgo big raises and shorter commutes to stay at Colleyville.

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From left, Principal David Arencibia converses with Learning Liaison, Brooke Schuster at Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Principal David Arencibia, left, talks with Brooke Schuster, a learning liasion, at Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Emil T. Lippe for Education Week

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