EDITORIAL: Shields’ staff deserve week off for working during winter break

District should find a way to compensate teachers who lost vacation time to tornado damage

The students and staff of Donald T. Shields Elementary faced a tragic loss to their beloved school when a tornado severely damaged the building over winter break. Teachers had to help transform the old junior high facility on Live Oak to make it ready for the elementary students who would be headed back to school Jan. 5. They were able to accomplish this feat by giving up their final week of winter break to put their classrooms together.

But will the teachers at Shields ever get that week back?

The teachers deserve an extra week off, as the destruction of the school was beyond their control. The extra week off could help the teachers get back on their feet physically and emotionally, as the two-week winter break is key to helping teachers rest and relax.

Obviously, it would be difficult for the district to give all Shields’ teachers a week off at the same time. There wouldn’t be enough subs, and students would go a full week without the instruction they need, especially right before STAAR.

But there is a solution. Teachers at Shields could receive one day off each week for five weeks following the administration of the STAAR test. Different groups of teachers could get different days off, so the need for subs would be lessened.

Even though teachers volunteered to help get the school ready to go out of the kindness of their hearts, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive some sort of compensation for their selfless act. The district should find a way to give teachers back the time they lost over the break.