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Classified School Employees Week 2024

Oregon will celebrate Classified School Employees Week (CEW) under state law for the first time this week, March 4-8, 2024, recognizing in full the contributions of these essential educators.

“Classified” refers to non-teaching staff who do essential work, often behind the scenes, to keep schools running and help students learn. Among the ranks of more than 40,000 classified school employees in districts across Oregon are thousands of educational assistants, bus drivers, office staff, custodial and maintenance workers, nutrition services staff, IT specialists, library staff, athletic trainers and many more.

Classified educators are present daily in the lives of Oregon students and often form relationships that help students grappling with issues like houselessness, hunger and behavioral health challenges. Following the pandemic, students’ needs both in and out of school have increased, making the positive impact of classified employees on their lives that much greater. Across Oregon, classified workers staff school programs which address holistic student needs, from academics and behavioral issues to basic needs like laundry and healthy meals.

Classified School Employees Week is an opportunity for schools, parents, teachers, students and community members to recognize the dedicated classified professionals who are vital to Oregon schools. While Oregon has observed Classified School Employees Week in previous years by a proclamation from the governor, last year members of the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) spoke to state legislators about the importance of their work. After hearing our stories, they finally put the annual Classified School Employees Week into statute.

“Classified educators play a vital role in supporting students’ long-term success, especially those with higher needs,” said Rep. Julie Fahey, HD-14. “From the moment the bus picks students up in the morning, students are surrounded by dedicated classified professionals who will do whatever it takes to help them learn and grow. Classified School Employees Week is one way we can recognize and honor the contributions of these essential frontline workers.”

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