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Middle School teacher’s Amazon wish list disappears, but ACPS says it still wants donations

Students return to George Washington Middle School (staff photo by Vernon Miles)

(Updated on April 29) Headsets with microphones, recycling bins and Play Doh were among the items that a George Washington Middle School teacher recently put on her school-wide Amazon wish list.

The teacher went around and asked her colleagues what they needed and put their requests on the list, which was taken down after ALXnow sent questions about it to Alexandria City Public Schools.

Turns out that the George Washington Middle School PTA asked the teacher to remove the links, “because we were able to fund her requests,” Joy Pochatila, GWMS PTA president, told ALXnow.

In a note shared on social media, the teacher says she is worried about retiring colleagues, and took a proactive step of asking them what they needed, if anything. The list also ended up including batteries, 3 printers and microscopes.

“As a teacher that is smack in the middle of my career, I’m worried,” the teacher wrote. “I’m worried about the new teachers that are drowning and looking for (and finding) other jobs. I’m worried about my most experienced colleagues retiring early because they just can’t anymore. I’m worried about administrators that aren’t able to do their actual jobs because all they do is contact trace and try to keep up with the constantly moving goalposts that are COVID protocols and policies. I want them to stay in education and I’m worried they won’t.”

ACPS saw 42 staff members retire at the end of last school year, but data on their replacement was not available. There are 27 staffers expected to retire at the end of this school year.

Terri Mozingo, the ACPS chief of teaching, learning and leadership, said that every school in the system receives funding for materials and supplies, which are designated to meet the needs of the school and are overseen by the school’s leaders.

“Teachers work with their department heads to ensure they have the supplies they need for their classrooms,” Mozingo said. “All staff members are encouraged to reach out to their principals for any supplies they need to deliver instruction.”

Donations to ACPS are still welcomed, including from individuals, PTAs, boosters, organizations, corporations, and community groups in alignment with all ACPS policies and regulations, Mozingo said.

“The GWMS PTA, for example, provides mini-grants of up to $500 to support instruction and provide GWMS teachers with funds for specific projects and experiential learning.ACPS has a strong partnership with Donor’s Choose, which provides staff at all of our schools with the opportunity to secure additional funding for specific needs or new projects,” she said.

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