WINCHESTER — Winchester Public Schools had a 9.4% increase in support staff turnover in 2019-20 compared with the previous year.

The statistics from the annual staffing report were presented at Monday night's School Board meeting.

Of the 9.4% uptick, 6% workers left over coronavirus-related concerns, according to Doug Joyner, the division's director of human resources.

However, COVID-19 did not result in any WPS teachers or administrators quitting during the 2019-20 school year.

The division's support staff turnover in 2019-20 was 30.3% (81 out of 267), up from 20.9% in 2018-19 (56 out of 267).

The turnover rate among all staff — support staff, teachers and administrators — was 17.8% in 2019-2020, compared to 15.5% the year prior.

Joyner told the board that support staff turnover generally tends to be higher. He said after the meeting that it's difficult to hire bus drivers right now because the coronavirus pandemic has slowed operations at the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, and that has made it difficult for people to apply for the appropriate license to become a bus driver.

Other data in the report showed:

• 44 teachers and two administrators out of a 445 professional staff left the division in 2019-20, or a turnover of 11.28%. That's compared with a 12.2% rate in 2018-19 when 55 teachers/administrators out of 449 left.

• Of the 46 professional staff members who left the division in 2019-20, five went to work in Loudoun County Public Schools and four went to Frederick County Public Schools. Retirement and a desire to pursue other teaching/career opportunities were the main reasons staff left.

• Of the 46 new professional staff hires in fiscal year 2021, 11 are from racially diverse backgrounds, or about 24%. That's up from 23% in FY20, 14% in FY19 and 13% in FY18.

Attending Monday night’s meeting held in-person and streamed virtually from John Kerr Elementary School were Winchester Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum, School Board Chairwoman Erica Truban, School Board Vice Chairwoman Karen Holman and board members Bryan Pearce-Gonzales, Mike Birchenough and Marie Imoh. School Board member Elyus Wallace was not present.

— Contact Anna Merod at

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