Unionville officials debating whether students should be permitted to give teachers expensive gifts

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> At the end of the school year, many teachers often receive gifts from their students. Now, Unionville-Chadds Ford school directors want to make sure those gifts aren’t too expensive.

At its work session Monday, March 13, school directors approved on first reading six new policy items, but tabled one policy regarding teacher gifts so they could study the matter in depth.

“We’re looking at what level of gift it is,” said John Murphy, school director. It has to be significant. We don’t’ want to stop the generosity of families for their appreciation of school teachers. But (teachers) shouldn’t accept gifts of a significant value. We need to know how that is defined.”

Some popular gifts for teachers around the region include anything that says #1 teacher, a coffee mug, fancy soaps, homemade food, a gift certificate to a movie theater, restaurant, store or local salon, Amazon gift cards and a Starbucks gift card.

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In other business, the board plans to vote on spending money in eight areas to improve facilities. Rick Hostetler, supervisor of buildings and grounds, said the items are part of the district’s long-range plans.

The district plans to spend $24,650 for a four-wheel drive lawn mower to navigate the steep slopes at Pocopson Elementary School. And $31,000 is targeted to repair tennis court surfaces; $89,600 to finish locker replacement at C.F. Patton Middle School, $46,000 to replace carpeting at Hillendale, Unionville and Pocopson elementary schools; and $39,540 is planned to be spent on replacement door hardware at Hillendale Elementary.

Roofing projects are planned at C.F. Patton Middle School, Hillendale Elementary and Chadds Ford Elementary. Three new vans with a total cost of $90,000 are set to be purchased this year, and the board plans to spend $235,000 on three new school buses. Two of the buses will be 77-passenger buses, and one a 48-passenger bus.

The board announced that Eric Roe, the new state representative who represents the Unionville area, will visit school directors at its May meeting.

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Fran Maye

Fran Maye is an award-winning journalist and a graduate of Shippensburg University. He and his wife Marianne live in East Marlborough. He enjoys golf and is a 4.0 tennis player. Reach the author at kennettpaper@gmail.com or follow Fran on Twitter: @kennettpaper.