Take Note

April 10, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print


For teachers at Highland Park High School in Texas, keeping students focused on learning has always been one of the challenges of the job. But when the school began major renovations two years ago, teachers suddenly found themselves struggling to think, let alone teach.

To combat the strain caused by the construction, the 1,750-student school developed a program that offered teachers convenient stress-busting services.

Enlisting the aid of local businesses, the school began offering teachers a pickup laundry service, car washes, oil changes, and on-site massage therapy.

Teachers pay for the services and don’t get any special discounts, so offering the services doesn’t cost the school district a dime, said Principal Robert Jolly.

But the convenience offers some relief from the distractions caused by the construction, he said.

“The idea was to make life simpler so teachers could focus on instruction,” Mr. Jolly said. Local businesses also benefit, he added, making the effort “a win-win situation.”

His school is located in the upscale, independent Highland Park school district, which is entirely surrounded by Dallas.

For months, teachers have been educating students as construction crews tear down walls, split floors with jackhammers, and regularly force classes to move from one room to another. The work involves modernizing the 1930s-era school and adding more than 25 additional classrooms and a student parking garage.

“It has caused major stress,” said Mr. Jolly.

Many teachers now drop off their car keys or laundry at the school office; their cars and laundry are then picked up from the school and later returned there by local businesses. Teachers can also receive massage therapy on their lunch breaks or during free periods from one of two local masseuses who come to the school every Friday.

“The less that [teachers] have to worry about outside the building, the more [they] can focus on inside the building,” Mr. Jolly said.

—Marianne Hurst

A version of this article appeared in the April 10, 2002 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read