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Message from the Superintendent: RCPS gives retention bonus, vaccination incentive bonus for all employees
Posted on 01/12/2022
RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsJanuary 12, 2022

In recognition of the extraordinary dedication, hard work and commitment of Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) employees, RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts authorized retention bonuses for all employees in addition to offering a vaccination incentive bonus for all employees.

"I thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to doing your part, whether that is teaching students or supporting those who teach students. I am especially grateful for your persistence and professionalism as we continue to navigate this public health crisis. For the last nearly two years, we have contended with this pandemic as it has evolved and at different times presented distinct challenges to school operations. Despite these challenges, the vast majority of you have persevered and continued to provide our district’s students with great learning experiences both in-person and virtually.

"As we began this semester virtually for the first two weeks, and as we prepare for the resumption of in-person teaching and learning after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, I want to share some important reminders as well as some new information regarding our ongoing efforts to prioritize our students’ and staff’s safety and well-being, as well as demonstrate our district’s profound gratitude to you for your commitment to lending your talents to RCPS as an employee.

"I committed to budgeting for a second retention bonus for all RCPS full-time and part-time employees using our discretionary emergency federal funding. The bonus amount is $1000 for full-time employees, and $490 for part-time employees. Additionally, long-term substitute teachers that meet a designated threshold of substitute coverage within a defined period of time as determined by Human Resources will also be eligible for a retention bonus.

"As a district, we have led the state in establishing a strong multi-layered mitigation structure that includes foundational and high-impact mitigation measures. Where we have particularly distinguished ourselves as a district is in the comprehensive pediatric and COVID-19 services that we offer our staff, students, and their families through our telehealth partnership with Kids'-Doc-On-Wheels. These comprehensive services include regular access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination events. Particularly important is getting fully vaccinated, which means having two full doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines plus the booster when eligible or one full dose of the J&J vaccine plus the booster when eligible. Since the widespread availability of vaccines, I have consistently encouraged our staff and students to get vaccinated. I have specifically encouraged our staff to get vaccinated as you serve such a critical role in teaching our students or supporting those who teach our students. I have been pleased with the fact that a significant portion of our staff has gotten vaccinated; however, we still have some work to do in increasing vaccination rates among our staff.

"To further encourage vaccinations, I am announcing a vaccine monetary incentive award in the amount of $1200 to our RCPS classified and certified full-time and part-time staff that become fully vaccinated by March 4, 2022. This monetary incentive will be awarded to those staff members that are already fully vaccinated as well as those who become fully vaccinated by March 4, 2022. Because we know how important reliable and accessible substitute teachers are to our ability to maintain adequate staffing during this pandemic, we will also offer a monetary incentive in the form of an additional $10 added to the per diem pay of our substitute teachers that are fully vaccinated or become fully vaccinated by March 4, 2022. More specific information will be forthcoming from key members of my Cabinet on the bonuses I have authorized.

"Indeed, these are extraordinary times in which our educators are encountering once-in-a-century challenges that have taken their toll on all of us. As Superintendent of Rockdale County Public Schools, I am so grateful for those educators who remain committed and dedicated to the awesome task of providing our students with rich and engaging learning experiences despite the challenges posed by this public health crisis. Thanks for all you do!"