The week of March 12th-16th is Educational Support Professionals week in schools. Please join us in recognizing these professionals by showing your appreciation for the work they do each and every day to help us create amazing educational experiences for the kids we serve.
Take just a moment to try and imagine schools without the vital work of support staff – fact is, school simply wouldn’t happen without the critical contributions of the support professionals throughout our system. The “day to day” in of a school system includes contributions from paraeducators, cooks, maintenance staff, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, mechanics, IT staff, and a number of other specialist roles. The diverse skill-sets of these employees ensure we’re able to provide the very best environment for each and every one of our students. It’s been said before, but it’s important to say it again – these folks are are the operational backbone of our school systems and we sincerely appreciate the work they do!
Without the work of these people, many students would never arrive each day, buildings and facilities wouldn’t be safe, 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 some of our most vital academic interventions would be impossible to administer.
A few quick facts about the work of education support professionals in Deer Park:
- In the 2016-17 school year, Deer Park’s food service staff served over 172,000 lunches and 130,00 breakfasts.
- Deer Park’s bus drivers drove over 300,000 miles in the 2016-17 school year getting kids to and from school and to their various activities. Also, once again, DPSD mechanics received an “exceptional” rating for their bus maintenance from the Washington State Patrol…they’ve made a habit of receiving this important distinction!
- The secretaries in our buildings do an amazing job of making everyone’s life a little easier by attending to a huge list of critical tasks, including: attendance, registration, announcements/bulletins, answering constantly ringing phones, ordering supplies, checking students in and out of school, and providing a welcoming smile to guests at our schools.
- Paraeducators work with kids in every setting, providing support for teachers in myriad ways, administering various intervention services to some 1400 of our students each week! The 71 paraeducators working in Deer Park Schools provide an annual average of almost 100,000 hours of instructional support that make a huge difference for kids.
- Each and every day our facilities/maintenance/custodial staff perform critical cleaning and maintenance tasks for over 360,000 square feet of building space in nine separate facilities around the district and care for over 10,000 furnishings in our schools. In a year where the flu was especially bad, our custodians made extra efforts to ensure surfaces in our buildings were clean!
- Deer Park’s payroll department (that is, a dept. of one!) processed almost $21 million in employee/benefits for DPSD employees in the 2016-17 school year.
- Deer Park’s accounts payable department (another dept. of one) processes district payments to over 200 vendors on a monthly basis, ensuring bills get paid and fiscal operations remain smooth.
- The four people that make up Deer Park’s IT Department provide service and support for approximately 2500 end-user devices and a network infrastructure that includes over 50 switches, 120 wireless access points, 20 servers/systems, as well as support and management for no less than 20 different software products.
The list of important contributions Deer Park’s support professionals make is seemingly endless. Without a doubt, providing students with a safe and productive learning environment is an incredible team effort and these folks do a fantastic job of keeping our district operating efficiently and safely. All to often this “behind the scenes” work goes unnoticed, but we’d like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to our support staff, recognizing the vitally important work they do. Deer Park is fortunate to have so many quality people 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.
Thanks for helping us recognize these dedicated individuals during Education Support Professionals Week!