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Classified School Employees Week: It’s the Law!

Britney Henderson
The science courtyard windows exhibited decorations made by Barlow’s leadership team from March 4th-8th in honor of Classified School Employees Week.

On April 24, 2023, the Oregon Senate approved House Bill 2708 which declares the first week of March, beginning in 2024, as Classified School Employees Week. Classified staff include most school faculty outside of administration and teachers such as custodians, receptionists, special education assistants, and many others. 

Then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan was the first to proclaim the importance of classified staff in 1969 stating, “The classified employee is proud of his status and the integral part he plays in the total field of education throughout the State of California,” (California Schools Employees Association). California would go on to enact Bill 1552 in 1986, identifying the third week of May as Classified School Employees Week. President Reagan’s speech may have been directed to California, but his message was universal as many other states would follow suit over the next half-century. 

Before 2024, the governor of Oregon would dedicate the first week of March to classified school employees, but this year Oregon is among the last states to make it a law (Oregon School Employees Association).

Just like any other school, Barlow is not solely run by the administration and teachers. Classified staff, whom you may or may not see daily, keep Barlow functioning at its highest level. While a single week of recognition is not nearly enough for all that they do, Barlow’s leadership team ensured March 4th-8th 2024, was a special week for all of Barlow’s classified employees. 

Deciding the theme for the week would be “Under the Sea,” leadership set out to work. Decorations reflecting the importance of classified staff appeared on the science courtyard windows with phrases such as “You helped me come out of my shell” and “We whale-y appreciate our classified staff!” Further, each classified employee was given various gifts or treats throughout the week including thank you cards on Monday, sea-themed snacks on Wednesday, and finally a custom-made notebook stamped with a Bruin head on Thursday.

The community at Barlow hopes to have made the first official Classified School Employees Week one to remember! Classified School Employees Week may only come once a year, but the importance of classified staff will never be overshadowed. 

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About the Contributor
Britney Henderson
Britney Henderson, Editor in Chief

Hi I’m Britney! I am a Senior and this is my second year on the Bruin Banner. I enjoy reading and writing. Outside of school I love playing softball and paddle boarding!

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