The doors may now be shut on schools statewide as New York and the nation fights to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, but the vital behind-the-scenes work that goes into making school districts run hasn’t stopped, at all.
In fact, School-Related Professionals are working harder, perhaps, than ever before under the most difficult of conditions — ensuring payroll is on-time, calendars are kept, buildings and facilities remain tended to, and children’s needs continue to be met.
Today is Administrative Professionals Day — a day to recognize the important work performed by these unsung heroes. But this year’s Administrative Professionals Day is like none other and thus, recognizing these workers has never been more necessary.
“Administrative professionals are the backbone in our workplaces statewide, and their efforts and dedication during this unprecedented time, in the face of such unusual circumstances, has been nothing short of remarkable,” said NYSUT’s Second Vice President Paul Pecorale, who leads the statewide union’s SRP program.
Cheryl Rockhill, president of the Brushton-Moira Support Staff Association, couldn’t agree more.
“Our administrative assistants basically run our schools,” said Rockhill, “and the fact that they are now having to work from home without having everything at their fingertips yet have still been able to keep things running as smoothly as they have, is amazing.”
Like NYSUT’s teaching and health care members, the union’s School-Related Professionals have been instrumental in serving the needs of their communities throughout this pandemic.
In Bruston-Moira, besides the critical work administrative professionals are performing from home, SRPs are conducting four bus runs per day delivering meals to 436 kids — half the district’s student population.
There are also SRPs working daily cleaning district buildings, making meals for students and families, creating and delivering homework packets and helping classroom teachers prepare for and carry out lessons.
Rockhill notes it’s particularly challenging working during this pandemic trying to ensure staff stays safe and that they remain properly distanced from the families they serve.
And, she says, it is a scene that is now playing out in every district across the state each and every day.
“Everyone is working together and rising to the occasion,” said Rockhill. “I just couldn’t be more proud of my members.”