To Gloucester City School District Superintendent Vespe and school board members-
As you seek to save money and are making changes to school staffing I would like to urge you to reconsider your current plan and look to make changes with the least impact on the children our district serves. If I am to understand correctly the latest plan leaves current paraprofessionals in place giving them a one year contract.
Again if I’m understanding correctly, current security personnel will be moved to an evening shift of 2 pm to 930 pm these employees will replace the current part time evening security officers and new armed security will be on duty during the day. First question this plan raises is how will that save money? Instead of a full-time daytime and part-time evening security force we will have two full time shifts?
I am at Cold Springs school everyday dropping off and picking up children, I attend VIP days and volunteer to read to the class. I can only speak in regards to this school building but I can honestly say it is dirty all the time! Custodians gossiping in the hallways and acting as if there’s no work to be done is common place. It’s disgraceful. More than once, in more than one classroom,I have witnessed teachers cleaning. That should never be and wouldn’t be necessary if custodians were doing their job!
I am sure current security members all do a fine job but none more than Mr. Robert Bennett. He knows every child by name and recognizes what parents belong to what child. He can be seen walking the grounds daily. He has been employed by the district for decades and has a vested interest in our community.
To have him present during school hours gives me piece of mind as I have no doubt he will protect our kids no matter what. His presence is also a comfort to my little ones who occasionally are apprehensive about going to school. He greats them with a smile and reassures them. I implore you Mr. Vespe and members of the board please keep Mr. Bennett in place he is truly an asset to our district.
There is money to be saved elsewhere, namely the schools cleaning services. I challenge all the school board members along with superintendent Vespe go take a look at the school for yourself and you will see how dirty it is. If my job performance was half as bad as that of our school custodians I’d be fired. Why are these custodians sitting in the break room from 7-11 pm? If asked they claim their work is done.
I think they’re cashing in on taxpayers dollars with no one supervising them and making sure things are cleaned properly they can sit around and collect a paycheck. Perhaps they need only be part time employees if they can finish their work so early or maybe it’s time to outsource them. Another question-with locked doors requiring one to be buzzed into the building why do we need all security to be armed and what safe guards will be in place to ensure no child will have access to said guns and what assurances can be given that an armed security officer will use his gun if needed?
Lilly Dailey, Gloucester City NJ
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