It's a time of year when everyone gets into the giving spirit and often that giving extends to your kids' teachers.
But buying for those individuals comes with a few guidelines that are important to know before you shop. Public school teachers are considered municipal employees and therefore cannot accept gifts valued at $50 or more.
Wayland Superintendent Paul Stein recently circulated a list of guidelines. Those are recapped below:
- $50 is the number to keep in mind. Teachers cannot accept a gift from a single child or family worth $50 or more.
- Teachers also cannot accept a group of smaller gifts from a single family that together total $50 or more.
- While a teacher CAN accept a gift of less than $50, the teacher could be required to disclose the gift if it "creates the appearance of a conflict of interest."
- A teacher can accept, once a year, a gift worth up to $150 from his or her class. That gift MUST be identified as from the class, but amounts given and the identities of contributors cannot be disclosed to the teacher. No family can contribute $50 or more to the group gift.
- The Wayland School Committee must approve gifts of $200 or more given to classrooms, schools or the district. The School Committee policy recommends: "In lieu of gifts to individual teachers, parents are encouraged to make contributions to school support organizations such as the PTO, CAPA, Boosters, and the Wayland Public Schools Foundation."
Stein's email reminds readers that many teachers say "Thank You" notes are "one of the best gifts they can receive."
If you're looking for gift ideas, check out one of our past parenting columns. Many of the gift suggestions in this Teacher/Coach Appreciation Gift column will be appropriate at the holidays.