In most school districts, support staff (para-educators, secretaries, custodians, food service, etc.) make up nearly 50% of the workforce. However, I have noticed many school districts do a poor job of including these employees in all-staff activities, celebrations, and strategic planning. In the districts I have worked we have been very intentional about allowing our support staff to participate in all-staff activities and giving them a voice when it comes to decision making. For example, last month we met with our district para-educators and allowed them to develop a plan for how to use 25 additional hours that could be used in a fashion that best meets their needs. The result of this conversation and other opportunities has been support staff who feel appreciated and believe they are an important part of our team.
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