Thankfully, Dr. Wardynski has just updated his memo concerning gifts to teachers from December 7, 2011 to make it clear that teachers may receive a $25 gift card for Christmas. The new memo is dated December 19, 2012 and you may download it for yourself here Gifts to Teachers Policy 2012.pdf. The relevant text reads:
Public officials, including school employees, are allowed to receive gifts (including gift cards) valuing $25 or less per occasion, but not to exceed $50 in a calendar year from a single provider. We welcome any support of our teachers in their continuing dedicated efforts as long as they conform with the parameters outlined above.
So it seems that the Scrooge analogy was apt: right down to the change of heart at the end.
While I am grateful that this matter has finally been cleared up, it is important to remember that the legislature actually passed this new Act Number 2012-0433 in August of this year. I know that the central office has received calls and questions about this for at least the previous three weeks from a multitude of sources including principals, PTAs, parents and teachers.
While I recognize that it’s been terrible week since Friday, many people have been raising these questions since the beginning of the month when the district was focused on celebrating Dr. Wardynski’s major award as “Tech & Learning Leader of Year.”
Thankfully, Dr. Wardynski did not allow his pride to interfere with doing the right thing for our teachers this year. For that, despite the delay, I say thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
PS. Please remember that just because you can give a gift certificate to teachers (finally), that doesn’t mean that you must give a gift certificate to teachers. I know hundreds, perhaps thousands, of teachers, and I have never known a single teacher who expected a gift certificate during the holidays. I assure you, every teacher I know would be ecstatic to receive a simple Thank You from students and parents.
Considering everything that’s happened this season, our teachers need and deserve our thanks.