Staff Appreciation Reminders for Our Local PTAs

We love our incredible school and district staff, and appreciate all they do for our students and families. Staff Appreciation Week is a time to celebrate our schools’ staff and all they do. As our PTAs and PTSAs plan and approve plans for our schools’ Staff Appreciation Week activities, please keep the following in mind:

  • Gift cards are considered cash by the IRS, and teachers/staff will have to pay income tax on the gift card “unless the gift card is redeemable for a specific item of personal property that is minimal in value.” Make sure, if you choose to give gift cards, that their value is under $25, and that the funds are part of a member-approved budget for staff appreciation. (Source: WSPTA, “Gift Cards as Appreciation”
  • School staff members are state employees, and the State of Washington has limits on the value of gifts they can receive. The general rule is to keep gifts under $50 in a calendar year. There are a few exceptions. Click here to review the RCW on Gift Limitations.  
  • School staff is not just limited to teachers. Do your plans recognize and include not just the general classroom teachers, but special education teachers, librarians, music/arts and PE teachers, para educators, instructional assistants, office staff, custodians and bus drivers?

Some ideas for staff appreciation:  

  • Food & beverages: Provide snacks in the staff room, lunch or light breakfast items (or all three). Hire a coffee cart or create your own beverage cart with water, soda, iced tea and coffee drink choices that you deliver to staff.
  • Flower bouquets or potted plants
  • Decorate the school and staff room.
  • Purchase supplies for classrooms and office wish lists (idea from Rockwell PTA’s Facebook page).
  • Involve families and students in writing notes of appreciation, drawing pictures or creating some of the decorations that go up around the school.  
  • Reach out to your community: Do you have a parent who might lead a free yoga class for staff? An artistic parent who might lead a painting class? A licensed massage therapist who’d volunteer to give massages?