Dayton school leaders send motivational message to staff

About five hours after a tentative contract was reached with Dayton teachers, Dayton Public Schools staff got a motivational message at the district’s annual “convocation” event.

Like many districts, Dayton’s holds an event to fire up staff as they come back from summer break and prepare for a new school year.

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DPS’ pre-recorded video was played in schools and at district headquarters, where more than 100 teachers, administrators and others gathered to watch. Many teachers watched at their schools, as Thursday was the first scheduled teacher training day ahead of Tuesday’s first day of classes – assuming the new teacher contract is ratified by both sides.

Thursday’s presentation included testimonials from students and parents, plus speeches from school board President Robert Walker and Superintendent Rhonda Corr that were recorded well before Thursday’s early morning tentative contract agreement.

Walker and Corr repeatedly expressed their appreciation and respect for the work that teachers and other school employees do, with Walker saying the school board would stand “shoulder to shoulder” with them. The union had called many of the final sticking points in negotiations “issues of respect for teachers.”

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Walker’s theme was that the district faces several “mighty” challenges, including changing the community’s mindset about Dayton Public Schools, but that “we are up to the task.”

Corr urged employees to “believe in the Dayton Public Schools,” running through a series of ongoing changes including individual computer access for students, expanded career tech classes at DPS high schools, expanded music programs and more.

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Multiple teachers who attended Corr’s convocation speech said they didn’t want to comment until they had actually seen the terms of the tentative contract agreement.

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