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Chesapeake Public Schools host State of the Schools

Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton said the division has focused on developing students' futures.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake Public Schools are working to grow the next generation of employers. 

Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton said the school division is future-focused in an address to staff members at the annual Chesapeake State of the Schools Wednesday.

He said division staff has stuck with that goal throughout the school year by exposing students to a variety of job opportunities while also working to fill vacancies.

“We’re trying to teach our students that there are many different opportunities they can pursue," Dr. Cotton said. "The more you expose our students to those, the better prepared they’re going to be.”

He said division staff has boosted efforts to get students ready for the future through work-based programs like Grow Our Own. The program allows students to work in different school departments like health, tech and transportation.

“We look forward to continuing the program this summer with the support of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council," he said.

Dr. Cotton said other programs like Teach for Tomorrow are assisting in recruiting teachers giving students a glimpse of what teaching looks like and a guaranteed contract.

“We want teachers who look like our students," Cotton said. "By recruiting our students to go down that path, that’s going to help us meet that need.”

Though, it’s not all about recruitment. Dr. Cotton says retention efforts like a 10% pay raise last year help keep employees within the district.

“We make sure we pay them competitively," he said. "We have a great benefits package, but it’s also important that we treat our employees well.”

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