Camden City School District plans for 2 teachers in elementary classrooms this fall

The school district said it's all about maximizing the most of the $115 million in federal funding.
CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- There's a new plan in place for schools in Camden, New Jersey, starting at the beginning of the school year in September.

Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade will have two full-time teachers in every classroom.

The district said it's all about maximizing the most of the $115 million in federal funding for COVID-19 from the American Rescue Plan.

"We were able to cut of dropout rate and have increased our graduation rate to 70%, and also have incremental gains in math and reading," said Camden City School District Superintendent Katrina McCombs.

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The district put some of the money towards building upgrades and making sure there are adequate air purifiers. But the majority of the grant is making sure they can hire elementary teachers.

The district is about 60% of having two teachers for the elementary grades. McCombs said a big help was having a high teacher retention rate. But now they need additional teachers.

Camden City School District is recruiting from local teaching colleges like Rowan University and working with historically Black colleges and universities.

The big question, of course, is how will it work with two teachers? The district says the model is flexible.

"It might require there is more intensive small group intervention or more personalized instruction is taking place," McCombs said.

The district said based on the results - there might be a chance that the co-teaching model expands to the middle and high school levels.

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