EDUCATORS UNDER ATTACK
Today, OSPI Superintendent Reykdal increased public pressure by asserting that educators should not wait for vaccinations before returning to in-person. Reykdal down-played our health and safety concerns when he said a return to in-person is “not without risk. Unfortunately, every year we have a loss of life of some students and staff to virus.” What Reykdal failed to note is that the science has shown the risks from COVID-19 are much greater than our annual flu. We all have a right to care about and protect our health and safety as well as our family’s and community’s.
Earlier this week, Governor Inslee insulted educators by saying that educators working remotely need to “step up” by returning to in-person and that "we're not asking more than we're asking of our grocery clerks" or bus drivers or childcare providers. Educators have great respect and gratitude for EVERYONE who has been working in hazardous conditions this past year to support our community including our neighborhood grocery clerks, bus drivers, childcare providers, nurses, firefighters, and so many others. We oppose any attempt to pit working people against each other. What we need right now is collaboration and support from our state and local leaders to invest in protecting workers, not shaming of educators or pitting certain workers against others.
Finally, we must not forget the serious equity issues at stake. So many students and families cannot return to in-person because of concerns over their own health and safety, and we cannot leave them behind. We must continue to support their needs as well, as we work collaboratively on a plan to reopen safely and equitably.
Thankfully, we have many families and community members supporting us because they understand and appreciate how much educators have been stepping up to the plate. Your dedication and enormous efforts are making a real difference in the lives of our students and families.
From the Bargaining Table
Yesterday afternoon, the SEA bargaining team sat down with the district and SPS introduced two new instructional models.
SPS proposed students enrolled in preK-1st grades would be split into two different cohorts (A and B). Each cohort would attend two days of in-person instruction (M/T or TH/F) and attend remotely the other three days. For example, classroom educators would be teaching in person to Cohort A while simultaneously providing asynchronous instruction to Cohort B on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, educators would serve both cohorts remotely. Then on Thursdays and Fridays, classroom educators would be teaching in person to Cohort B while simultaneously providing asynchronous instruction to Cohort A.
SPS also proposed students enrolled in special education intensive service pathways preK-12th grades would attend school four days (M/T/TH/F). SPS updated families and staff impacted by these instructional models via email. Link to family email here. Link to staff email here.
The SEA bargaining team has not yet finished the work to review and counter the district’s latest proposals. As the SEA Bargaining Team does this work, we are calling in members to help review and write language. Be on the lookout for emails requesting your bargaining support!