The forgotten workers at Aspen School District
There’s an often ignored section when speaking about the culture and climate at the Aspen School District. We’ve heard about the low morale and dissatisfaction from teachers and parents, and yet no one mentions the support staff. These members toil every day to make the school run, make sure children arrive to their destination safely and on time and make sure the district is clean, warm and serviceable areas. And yet you mention nothing from the custodians, maintenance workers and transportation members.
There’s always been an understanding within these staff members that they just don’t matter to the district as much as administrators or teachers. Decisions, professional developments, attitudes are all geared toward teachers and how it benefits them.
The way requests are made are sometimes ridiculously and callously rude as if they think maintenance literally doesn’t have a million other projects or requests they are working through. Comments are made as if they would know better on how to do their job than the people who actually work in those positions.
The support staff doesn’t make comments to teachers and administrators about their performance or jobs, and yet it’s perfectly OK to criticize support staff on their work. Even with a lack of understanding regarding logistics, regulations and the everyday minutiae that go into the positions. And you know what? The staff deal with this, put their heads down and work through all of this because they have to; because besides for their departments, who cares about them?
But to hear that it was blatantly stated in a board meeting by our board president, Dwayne Romero, that the reason there is no representation of custodian, maintenance or transportation on the climate/culture committee is because teachers are more important? Well, it’s clear that this board and community isn’t concerned about the district’s overall climate, just how the teachers feel. And that really puts it into perspective, doesn’t it?
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Cases are at an all-time high. Stress, anxiety, worry and fear are becoming unbearable for people. Extreme actions and decisions are happening.