This announcement originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.

The district will join with education company Upbeat to implement evidence-based solutions to challenges identified by teachers themselves

Greenville, SC, November 13, 2019 – Greenville County Schools (GCS) in South Carolina announced today a partnership with Upbeat, an innovative teacher retention organization led by former teachers and school leaders. The new initiative reflects the district’s commitment to address the factors contributing to teacher retention, as noted in its latest strategic plan, BluePrint 2023.  

Upbeat will equip GCS leaders with key insights into the district’s current efforts by engaging teachers in a comprehensive survey examining research-based categories, including school climate, hiring and onboarding, professional development, and teacher appreciation. GCS is deploying Upbeat surveys following the successful completion of a pilot during the 2018-19 school year — which resulted in a uniquely high 90% participation rate and better data on the issues that currently impact teacher recruitment and retention, such as leadership, communication, evaluation, expectations, and safety.

“We are committed to identifying and making shifts that can lead to greater teacher retention. This new initiative is the next step in ensuring our teachers’ perspectives are informing the actions we take,” said Dr. W. Burke Royster, Superintendent of Greenville County Schools. “We chose Upbeat because they intentionally designed their solution for teacher retention. Founded by former educators, Upbeat not only captures critical and relevant data, it also provides these insights to coaches working alongside principals and district leaders to develop action plans that will positively influence the areas that strongly contribute to teacher satisfaction or turnover, such as climate and school leadership. Upbeat will be providing a thorough, well-researched survey that generates insightful data and clear-cut staff climate solutions for our school district.”

Upbeat’s unique approach empowers districts with fast data on teachers’ opinions through surveys customized to examine the most pressing issues in its schools. The company then equips leaders as partners in implementing research-based strategies that address the identified challenges through tailored toolkits, intervention strategies, and actionable next steps for principals and superintendents. 

“Strengthening teachers’ voices in decisions related to school climate and retention is critical to addressing these issues in communities across the country,” said Henry Wellington, founder and CEO of Upbeat. “As a former educator, I recognize both the day-to-day and systemic challenges that affect those leading our classrooms and I’m excited to work with the innovative leaders in GCS to strengthen teacher engagement and retention in their district. 

Upbeat continues to build strategic partnerships with schools and districts across the country in an effort to improve teacher engagement and retention using data. More information about the company and its approach can be found at https://teachupbeat.com.  

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About Upbeat

Upbeat works with K-12 districts across the country to administer a research-grounded survey to elevate teacher engagement and retention by fostering strong school environments. Founded and led by former educators, we bring together data scientists, technologists, and experienced former school leaders to deliver a research-backed solution. Our surveys paired with tailored toolkits and intervention strategies, surface real-time insights so that principals and district leaders are able to better understand and uncover the conditions affecting employee morale and establish actionable plans to improve teacher and staff retention. 

 

Media Contact for Upbeat
Jenna Talbot, (202) 851-3607, jenna@whiteboardadvisors.com