District Films Video to Lure New Teachers

$10,000 Used to Upgrade District Recruiting Method

A professional camera crew hired by the MVLA school district was on campus for the week of January 14 filming students, teachers and classrooms for a video intended to promote the district as an employer at teachers’ job fairs and similar events.

Associate Superintendent for Personnel and Technology Steve Hope hope the video will attract teachers to the district by showing off its positive features, including a diverse student body and a supportive, progressive staff culture. Before filming began in early January, he selected a small committee of new and old teachers to discuss which aspects were important to display in the film.

“[Potential teachers] get to see what the students are like here,” said junior Diane Strain, who was filmed in her dance class. “They might not have those exact students but they’ll still have a connection.”

Many students noticed the camera crew’s presence at the spring sports assembly on January 18, when students packed into the gym to celebrate the opening of the spring sports season. Also that week, English and dance teacher April Oliver gave the crew an interview and allowed them to film one of her Jazz Dance classes.

“They asked me what working for the district is like and how I deal with working with the diverse community, and I think they asked me about the spirit of collegiality and that kind of thing,” Oliver said.

According to Hope, the film is designed to played on a computer and will contain links to information on the district website. Teachers can click and follow the links for further information about applying for employment.

“Since it links to the website, we can be changing things on the website without having to reshoot the video,” Hope said.

Hope expects to use the video for at least five years before having to replace it. The video will cost a total of $10,000 and should pay for itself in about two years because of funds the district normally spends on printed promotion materials. According to Hope, the district office contacted a local cable company that was looking to expand its service and was able to work out a contract. Filming is expected to conclude mid-February.

“I’m surprised they need to do it, to be honest,” Oliver said. “One teacher suggested that maybe [the benefits of working in this district are] not as common knowledge as we think. So, maybe just to widen the pool of people who apply so that we get the best possible people. I think it’s a good thing.”