Have you thanked the ESPs in your school today?
Today, on Education Support Professional (ESP) Day, we recognize and honor the over 2.8 million K-12 and higher education ESPs nationwide
… who work tirelessly everyday to keep schools, colleges, and universities operating from morning to night.
… who work passionately to take care of our nation’s students.
… who ensure a healthy and safe school environment for fellow staff and students.
ESPs are vital members of the school community making up 40% of all school staff nationwide. Today’s national day of recognition focuses on the importance of these school employees and the role they play in academic achievement and school success.
Many ESP jobs have a direct impact on health and safety:
- Health and student services staff such as school nurses and health aides perform medical procedures, dispense medications, help students manage chronic diseases such as asthma, and work with families to encourage student immunization.
- Custodial and Maintenance Staff are the guardians of the indoor environment. They ensure that schools are properly cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected to prevent the spread of infectious disease. They also work to ensure that schools have good indoor air quality and are free of biological and chemical pollutants such as mold and asbestos.
- Food service workers serve safe and nutritious food to students and staff while taking special precautions for students with dietary needs or food allergies.
- Clerical staff such as school secretaries often dispense medications to students when a school nurse or health care aide is not available.
- Security Officers ensure the safety and security of students, staff, and school property, and are prepared to handle incidences of violence, bullying, and school crises such as natural disasters.
- Paraeducators often work with medically fragile students, dispensing medications and performing sensitive medical procedures.
- Transportation staff such as school bus drivers ensure that students are transported to and from school, field trips, and sporting events safely. They are often responsible for handling situations involving violence and bullying.
- Skilled trades workers such as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning mechanics ensure that schools have adequate ventilation and comfortable temperature and humidity levels.
- Technical services personnel such as computer support techs and programmers ensure that computer labs are set up safely to prevent slips, trips and falls and fire hazards. They also check to make sure computers are set up correctly to prevent ergonomic injuries.
We know that the school environment impacts student and staff morale and performance, so join us in recognizing ESPs for the many hats they wear and their many contributions to health and safety! For more information about ESPs, visit NEA’s ESP Quality website.