Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is partnering with a national group to create a program that will serve as a teacher pipeline to help address shortages in the district and increase diversity.

The school board recently approved a contract with New-York based TNTP, formerly known as the New Teacher Project. The same group helped Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools implement a similar initiative.

The organization will work with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to create a teacher residency program. The accelerated one-year experience will provide hands-on learning and serve as an affordable and alternative pathway for licensure in the state.

Recruitment will focus on those in the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County areas. Educators in the program will teach in places with the highest need, including general elementary, secondary math and science, and special education.

"It's going to help us with any misconceptions people have when they come on about what teaching is going to be," says Tina Lupton, the executive director of teacher effectiveness with the district. "And it just helps us streamline the experience and expectations that teachers have.“

Lupton says the district will submit its teacher residency program to the state Department of Public Instruction, which will have to approve the plan.

Funds for the teacher residency will come from a more than $250,000 federal grant. It's expected to officially begin in summer 2023.

Currently, the district has around 140 teacher vacancies.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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