Who are Classified Employees?

Who are Classified Employees?

Classified employees in the Rio School District are represented by the California School Employees Association (CSEA). Along with confidential employees, they perform a wide range of essential work, including: security, food services, office and clerical work, school maintenance and operations, transportation, academic assistance and paraeducator services, library and media assistance, computer services.

Rio’s classified employees are our support staff, they help us run a more than $50 million annually budgeted government agency serving children and families on their journeys to become productive and thriving adult members of the community. Our support staff carry out a wide variety of tasks and take on a wide variety of responsibilities. Many are on the frontline of community interactions such as the folks who help make our offices and departments run smoothly, while others work more behind the scenes to ensure that we provide safe learning environments that are conducive to the 5Cs of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and caring.

As with all our employees, we ask classified employees to engage in the 5Cs as role models of 21st century learning and living. Classified employees embrace this challenge and know that in many cases our community’s children are as connected to them as they are their teachers. Our classified staff know the deep meaning of collaboration and working together. This is where they shine in the sense that they are really the connectors that bring buildings and services together to care for and educate our community’s youth.

Who are classified employees? They are the glue that holds our organization together. They are the long term and short term employees who care to get the details right. They are the people you can depend on daily to do their work tirelessly and humbly. Their work is often not the glamour work. Their work is often the things that need to get done.

This week, Classified Employees Week, we celebrate the many special people who serve children and the organization as classified and confidential employees and we thank them for all they do.

Thank you for your work and for who you are.

John Puglisi, Ph.D.

Just 18 days left

Just 18 days left

There are just eighteen days remaining of the Rio School District 2016-17 school year. The more than 5000 students who attend our eight schools are surely thinking about the year’s closure. They are surely thinking about their classroom cultures coming to an end. They are surely thinking about their relationships with their teachers and classmates. They are surely thinking about who they are, what they have done, and what they have experienced this year. Some are thinking about grades and test scores, others about summer while 5th graders and 8th graders are contemplating changing schools in the coming year. Our children are surely filled with thoughts about the past, present, and future.

Together, we aim to keep the learning processes going through each of the last few days. We aim to make special end of year events and celebrations authentic and sincere. We aim to finish strong and connect the school year to the summer and what will follow.

For me, this is the 31st school year I will have seen through as a public school educator. Each one has been an adventure and a great learning experience. My very first classroom of 4th graders at 93rd street school in south central Los Angeles would be in their 40s now. Many, perhaps, with 4th graders or older of their own. Some few have stayed connected through writing or other means over the years and social media has created a flourishing growth in this area. Still, each year, each classroom culture has its own unique beginning, middle and end. As is the case, every small “c” culture is a group of people coming together over time for a purpose. They develop a language and rules of what to do and what not to do. These small “c” cultures have a life of their own. Some that yield great nostalgia, others great sorrow, and most are rich with memorable stories, characters, and plot lines.

In my work as superintendent I take the time to engage with classes and students at multiple schools. Teaching with some regularity, still not quite the full development of a class culture that connects students to teacher and students to students in ways unlike other cultures. In our public schools, we take all comers. The classes are composed of whoever enrolls. Often times, the neighborhood kids or kids who have chosen a special type of open school. These classroom cultures are our chosen model for helping to develop and guide the next generation of American adults. They are deeply important cultures that help shape and form what types of people that our students will become. All this said, our aim is to complete this year and every year in a way that leave each child with fond memories of their school year and with hopeful anticipation for the school year to come.

A great appreciation is offered to every teacher and every staff member, every volunteer and parent that contributed to making positive and learning filled school year for the children of the Rio School District. We look forward to finishing strong and getting ready for summer programs and the 2017-18 school year to come.