Tupelo teachers could get help with child care

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District is exploring options to supervise its teachers’ children during the time when those teachers have morning or afternoon school duty.
The recommendation comes from the Teacher Advisory Council, a group of teachers that meets regularly to discuss various issues in the district.
The problem, several teachers have said, is that they have to be at school earlier and later than children are generally allowed there, making it difficult to drop off and pick up their children.
Jan Rogers, a first-grade teacher at Joyner Elementary School and a member of the advisory council, and TPSD Community Liaison Mary Ann Plasencia made a presentation about the issue to the school board on Tuesday. Rogers said the council will continue to study possible solutions and will make a recommendation to the board later this summer.
One possible solution could be to allow children of staff members to be dropped off earlier and picked up later, perhaps at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, Rogers said. Other staff members could supervise the children in a common location, and the students could do homework while they wait.
A second option may be for children to be dropped off early in the mornings and for buses to bring them to their parent’s school in the afternoons. A third option could be to give teachers with children a flexible schedule that allows them to get to their child’s school at the appropriate time.
Interim Superintendent David Meadows said some schools already have various arrangements and that the best plan may be customizing practices to meet each school’s needs.
Rogers and Plasencia presented a survey that was sent to all Tupelo staff members. In it, 75 respondents said they needed help before school and 96 said they could use such a program after school. Those totals include 68 respondents who asked for both services.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com