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School of the week: Bonaire Primary School

Right now we're seeing teachers leave the profession at a high rate. A Bonaire Primary teacher came up with a solution for her school.

BONAIRE, Georgia — As the work and school week comes to a close, we're celebrating our school of the week!

They're not only being recognized for the work they do on a national scale, but also aiming to solve some issues in the education field while doing it.

Right now, we're seeing teachers leave the profession at a high rate. With the amount of teacher turnover happening, a Bonaire Primary School teacher decided to find a solution.

Bonaire Primary School is going into its 4th school year. Jessica Hawk, their early intervention teacher has over a decade of experience teaching young learners.

"They just have my heart. I knew from early on in my life that I was going to be a teacher," says Hawk.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 300,000 public school teachers and other related staff left the education field between February 2020 and May 2022. It's an issue Hawk thinks will impact kids in the long run, so she's aiming for a solution.

"Here at the school I built a task force and we created a mentorship teacher program. Our hope is to support these new teachers," explained Hawk.

Teachers are paired with veteran teachers at the primary school so they can have a support system. They meet with the teachers to collaborate on instructional learning. 

The school is committed to growth, has seen it, and is now being recognized for it. They were named a model professional learning community school by Solution Tree says principal Ashley Watkins.

"This is an award that a school has to have 3 years of data to support this work," says Watkins.

First graders saw their achievement percentile grow in English Language Arts from 90 to 97. Math went from 94 to 99. Second graders saw an increase from 91 to 98 in ELA.

"We're proud of the work we do whether we have the award or not, but it's nice to be recognized for all that we're doing here," says Hawk.

This is the first year they're kicking off the teacher mentoring program. They introduced it this year with 8 new teachers at the school.

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