The week of March 13th-17th is Classified School Employees Week! Please join us in recognizing our classified staff by showing your appreciation for Deer Park’s amazing support staff who work diligently every day to help us create amazing educational experiences for the kids we serve.
We occasionally mention the importance of classified staff at different times throughout the school year; this “occasional mention” generally takes place at times when their critical role becomes evident in relation to some event, activity, or issue. That said, take just a moment to think about schools without these folks – imagine the “day to day” of a typical school district minus secretaries, custodians, maintenance staff, cooks, bus drivers, mechanics, IT technicians, paraeducators, and specialists. Of course, the task is impossible, as our schools simply wouldn’t be able to great places for kids without the contributions of our classified staff. It’s been said before, but it’s important to say it again – these folks are are the operational backbone of our school systems.
Without the work of our classified staff, school just wouldn’t be possible: Most students would never arrive at school, buildings and facilities wouldn’t be clean and well-maintained, employees wouldn’t receive paychecks, computers wouldn’t get fixed, phones would go unanswered, kids would go without necessary nourishment, and many impactful academic interventions would be impossible to administer.
A few quick facts about the work of our classified staff in Deer Park:
- In the 2015-16 school year, Deer Park’s food service staff served 171,380 lunches and 130,450 breakfasts.
- Deer Park bus drivers drove just under 300,000 miles in the 2015-16 school year getting kids to and from school and to their various activities. Also, DPSD mechanics received an “exceptional” rating for their bus maintenance from the Washington State Patrol in 2016…as they have each year for at least the last decade!
- In addition to the daily tasks related to attendance, registration, announcements/bulletins, answering constantly ringing phones, checking students in and out of school, and providing a welcoming smile to guests at our schools, secretarial staff in our buildings made over 27,000 changes/updates to student information in the district’s student information system in the 2o15-16 school year.
- Paraeducators work with kids and provide support for teachers in myriad ways, providing various intervention services to some 1400 of our students each week! The 68 paraeducators working in Deer Park Schools provide an annual average of 97,000 hours of instructional support that make a huge difference for kids.
- In addition to typical maintenance tasks, which include daily care for over 360,000 square feet of building space in nine separate facilities around the district, our facilities/maintenance/custodial staff moved over 5 feet of snow from walkways this year (and dumped 2 pallets of de-icing salt and sand on walkways), they mow 65 acres of grass on a weekly basis during the growing season, and they care for over 10,000 furnishings in our schools.
- Deer Park’s payroll department (consisting of 1 person!) processed over $20 million in employee/benefits for DPSD employees in the 2015-16 school year.
- Deer Park’s accounts payable department (again, consisting of 1 person!) processes district payments to over 200 vendors on a monthly basis.
- The three people that make up Deer Park’s IT Department, provide service and support for just under 2300 end-user devices (consisting of 5 different operating systems), over 50 switches, over 100 wireless access points, 20 servers, as well as support and management for no less than 20 software products.
The list of contributions our classified staff makes is seemingly endless. Fact is, providing students with a safe and productive learning environment is an incredible team effort and our classified staff do an amazing job of keeping our district operating efficiently and safely. Please, don’t let this “behind the scenes” work go unnoticed. Take a moment to thank a classified staff member for the work they do. Deer Park is fortunate to have so many phenomenal classified staff members who help to ensure that students are safe, secure, and cared for from the time they leave home in the morning until the end of the day when they return home.
Thank you to our classified staff! You play a critical role in our success as we work together to provide the best educational experience possible for the kids in the Deer Park School District. Please join us in recognizing these dedicated individuals as we celebrate Classified School Employees Week!