BGPS Classified Staff Support Student Learning
November 7, 2014
Tom Hasart sorted the boxes stacked waist-deep in the Prairie High School office. He had just brought in the last of a few loads from the delivery van parked outside, and then checked in the packages with Prairie's assistant secretary Bree Loyd.
Hasart delivers boxes of supplies (consumable goods like paper and batteries), equipment orders, and mail that Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) receives in its warehouse near Battle Ground High School to schools around the district. "I love the mail run," Hasart says. "I love helping our students by bringing them the supplies they need to learn."
Hasart is one of about 600 classified employees who work throughout the district to support student learning and keep the district running. Some classified staff, such as school secretaries, security, and education assistants, work directly with students, while others work at a keyboard, in buildings, or behind a wheel to provide services. Many classified positions require college degrees or certification in a specialized field such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) repair or technology.
Most of BGPS' classified staff belong to the Public School Employee union. The district office has about 40 classified positions that are not in the union. The 600 classified staff, together with 830 teachers and 60 administrators, make up all of BGPS' 1,490 employees. “It takes a large collaborative effort to provide a quality education for our students” said Mark Hottowe, BGPS superintendent. “Our classified staff play an important role in our district and work alongside our teachers and administrators to provide the support needed for overall success.”
BGPS classified positions are divided into major job classifications that describe the role of the position in the school district. Many job descriptions for specific positions are on the school district's website. The different areas in which classified employees support student learning include
Administrative support—Most of these jobs are located in the district office and support the entire district. Positions include human resources staff; payroll, accounting, and benefits staff; paralegal; and department secretaries in teaching and learning and special education.
Basic education assistants—Crossing guards, teaching assistants, student store operators, preschool assistants, and school health assistants usually work directly with students throughout schools.
Campus security—Campus security, stadium techs, and trackers work to maintain the safety and welfare of our students in school and at school-sponsored events and sports competitions.
Custodial—The people in these positions work to maintain attractive, sanitary, and safe facilities for students, staff, and public. They provide equipment and furniture arrangements for meetings, classroom activities, and events and make small repairs on equipment.
Maintenance—HVAC technicians, telecommunications technicians, maintenance assistants, and grounds operators make repairs to equipment and maintain the property, landscaping, and buildings that the district owns.
Media tech—Print shop operators prepare printed materials from creation to print. Media technicians maintain library, media center, and computer equipment for school libraries and the district's Title I and Learning Assistance (LAP) programs, while science resource technicians prepare experiment kits and maintain an inventory of supplies, organisms, and critters for school science labs.
Professional tech—This is one of the two largest categories of classified employees. It includes many positions, for example, career guidance technicians who assist students in exploring career opportunities; network support technicians who maintain the district's server and computer networks; and braillists who assist blind and visually impaired students and interpreters who assist students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Special education assistants—The people in these positions often work in the classroom either one-on-one or with small groups of students who receive special education services.
Secretarial—This is one of the two largest categories of classified employees. It includes many positions, for example, community education staff members who plan, coordinate, and support the district's Community Education program; secretaries across the district who are often the first point of contact with people who visit school buildings and other programs; and registrars who maintain student records.
Paraeducator—The people in these positions provide one-on-one and small group tutoring in math and reading to students in the district's Title I and LAP and English as a Second Language programs.
Warehouse—These positions are based in the BGPS Warehouse near Battle Ground High School and include staff who transport orders of equipment, materials and supplies to buildings across the district and stock and maintain inventory.