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Charter school board to meet Tuesday

By Staff | Aug 4, 2016

Teacher retention rates at the Cape Coral Charter School, and in particular Oasis High School, will be one of the topics on the agenda for the Charter School Board meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall.

“The retention rate at one school, the high school, is higher than it has been in the past,” said School Superintendent Nelson Stephenson. “That is partly due to our rapid growth.”

Stephenson takes issue with claims made at a City Council meeting recently that teachers were being “terminated.”

“I don’t like it being called terminations because it’s just not true,” he said. “These things go in cycles. One year. the middle school had one teacher leave and the next year nine left.”

He said some of the teachers turned in letters that they were not returning. Others claimed their contracts were not being renewed even though they wanted to stay or had been there for several years.

“In the 18 or 19 months that I’ve been here there has been only seven or eight contracts that were not renewed out of 400 employees,” Stephenson said. “Of the 15 teachers who left, only four were contracts not renewed.”

If the meeting gets heated Stephenson said he is prepared to answer any criticism with facts. He expects a large attendance at the meeting from the public.

“I want to save these schools because they are a gem for the city,” he said.

City Councilmember Jessica Cosden, who is the council’s liaison to the Charter School Board, said there are other items on the agenda to be discussed in addition to the teacher retention issue, including the introduction of a new elementary principal and fundraising for the upcoming year.

The school board did not meet in July. Its last meeting was on June 14. After Tuesday’s meeting the board is not scheduled to meet again until Sept. 13.