February 14, 2012
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (TODASTWD)
The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (TODASTWD) program is promoted annually nationwide by the Ms. Foundation for Women. The day provides an opportunity for districts to extend plans for career investigation activities. Nationally, the TODASTWD is the fourth Thursday in April each year (April 26, 2012). However, many superintendents have expressed an interest in participating in the TODASTWD at a different time than the national event due to state and locally established activities. Thus, the purpose of this letter is to advise school district superintendents about scheduling possibilities and regional coordination of activities related to the TODASTWD. Guidelines and suggestions are offered below.
- While the Texas Education Agency encourages career investigation and community partnership programs, district officials should not consider participation in the TODASTWD as a mandate.
- School officials are encouraged to involve parents and business leaders in their respective districts to determine the level of involvement in this effort by the local district. Districts may also want to consider having career orientation activities on campus prior to the date selected for participation in the TODASTWD. By incorporating the TODASTWD into the curriculum, participation in the TODASTWD will not be an isolated activity.
- Districts choosing to participate in the TODASTWD may select any date between
April 26 and June 8. This extended period will allow for maximum flexibility in scheduling activities. It will also accommodate those districts that have year-round calendars.
- Districts are encouraged to coordinate with other districts both in and outside the region, so that employers in the surrounding area will not have multiple days in which children are brought to the workplace. To coordinate participation, superintendents are encouraged to contact the executive director of their regional education service center who may facilitate selection of a regional or metropolitan-wide date.
- Superintendents are encouraged to consult with employers as soon as possible to discuss district and regional plans so that employers may coordinate the TODASTWD activities with the district.
- The commissioner authorized that students who participate in the TODASTWD activities be counted present for funding purposes for the one day selected for participation by the district within the allotted time frame, provided that the district has a board-approved field trip policy and/or district plan to participate in the TODASTWD. The authorization for funding includes students in the extended-year program under Texas Education Code, Section 29.082. Copies of all board action and correspondence related to this matter should be kept on file in the district for audit purposes.
- Districts that select a teacher workday or a day on which school is not in session for the TODASTWD will not receive average daily attendance funding for the day. Districts that choose to participate on a teacher workday may wish to consider adopting a resolution encouraging participation in the TODASTWD. Superintendents are encouraged to work with local community-based organizations to include students who are not in school and who may not have other avenues for participation in the TODASTWD. Students could come to school on a teacher workday with a school district employee as a mentor or participate in the TODASTWD in other work sites through community- based organizations.
- The commissioner’s rule for extracurricular activities (19 TAC Section 76.1001) no longer addresses absences for participation in activities formerly defined as "co-curricular." The TODASTWD should not be counted as one of the allowable absences for extracurricular activities unless the district decides to do so under local policy. As stated above, a student who participates in the TODASTWD may be counted present for funding purposes and should not incur an absence.
- The national TODASTWD focuses primarily upon students in the middle school/junior high school age range. School districts are encouraged to focus the TODASTWD activities on this age level, rather than on very young students or on those already in high school. More information about the national program is available at www.daughtersandsonstowork.org.
In summary, it is important that district leaders who choose to participate in the TODASTWD activities develop the activity plan and communicate the information to the local community. Parents, students, and business leaders need to be informed that participation in this program is contingent on the local board of trustees adopting a plan to organize structured field trips or to allow individual students to be absent for this day. It should be clearly communicated that individual students are not empowered to participate in the TODASTWD on their own accord. Students who choose to participate in the TODASTWD without board action or local district approval may not be counted present for funding purposes.
Please feel free to contact the Division of Regional Services at (512) 463-9371 if additional information is necessary.
Ann Smisko, Ph.D.
Educator Leadership and Quality