Frequently Asked Questions
September 9, 2020


1) Who is responsible for the supplemental materials/activities during Strong Start days? 
Activities for the Strong Start days will be developed by school staff using SEL and instruc- tional curriculum and materials provided by the District and accepted by each school’s BLT.

2) Is the 2-hour instructional block inclusive of independent work or is it 2 hours of instruction block plus a full day's worth of independent work? How much live teaching is expected?
The MOU does not state explicitly the minimum amount of synchronous instruction on Strong Start days. However, it is the expectation that teachers will provide asynchronous instruction to supplement whatever time they are not teaching “live” with the students. Teachers can supplement with SEL or family connections activities.

3) How and when do we submit the tech time form?
Staff who qualify for 32 hours of technology time will be asked to complete 8 hours of time prior to September 11, 2020, to attend virtual technology PD provided by the District on technology platforms and tools that are supported by the District. Click here to access the tech time form. Although you do not need to submit the form until the end of the school year, you can submit the form at any time upon completion of the 32 hours or in no less than 8-hour segments. If you are a part-time educator, you can submit hours for the proportion of FTE you work. For example, if you are 0.6 FTE, you can submit for 19.2 hours (.6 x 32).


1) After reading the email about how to take attendance, it implies I am supposed to mark a student present if they complete work asynchronously but do not show up for the live classes during the day. Is that correct?
Yes, OSPI has published guidelines in addition to our MOU that state a student should not be marked absent if they show evidence of participating synchronously OR asynchronously. Asynchronous evidence may include, but is not limited to:
  • Daily logins to learning management systems
  • Daily interactions with educators to acknowledge attendance (including messages, emails, phone calls or video chats)
  • Evidence of participation in a task or assignment

The MOU does not explicitly state how quickly the educator should update the attendance. It must be a reasonable amount of time for both the student to show participation as well as for the teacher who needs to examine the evidence of participation and enter the information.

2) In the same email, it implies I am supposed to make contact with my families every day a student is absent from a synchronous class. That has not been past practice at my school. What am I supposed to do?
This is not in line with our MOU or CBA. Pre-Covid, past practice was a robocall to families if their student was absent. During negotiations this summer, we suggested that we turn off robocalls because that could be confusing and erroneous given a student may work asynchronously in the evening.

Note, SEA and SPS did not determine how many absences would elicit the need for intervention, we left that decision to be made at each building through their site-based decision-making process. In the MOU it clearly states that interventions may include, but are not limited to:
  • Teacher trying to contact student and family
  • Attendance Secretary at school building/program will call all students marked absent in the morning and afternoon.
  • School support team (e.g., MTSS, Social Worker, School Counselor, Family Support Worker, Nurse, or other) works to contact family

SEA has asserted to SPS that it is an unreasonable workload expectation to ask teachers to contact home every day about an absence.


1) What options of work do substitutes have?
Given school schedules and educator expectations are much more defined this fall compared to the spring, SEA believes educators will request substitutes on a daily basis more frequently than during the spring. SEA is working with SPS to develop a substitute lesson plan template that educators will use to communicate work expectations to the sub as well as to help ease the transition for subs to take over during the educator’s absence. The template will be available by the end of September.

Also, as agreed to in the MOU, each building was allocated a finite amount of substitute hours to be utilized to support students at the start of the school year. Both certificated and classified substitutes are encouraged to contact buildings (especially buildings in which you have worked and have a relationship with the staff and students) to inquire about what opportunities the building is making available.
2) What is the criteria for “essential work”? 
The Superintendent can deem any work, or duties, essential. The superintendent (or her designee) is the only person that can deem any work essential.

3) What if my supervisor states that certain provisions of the MOU don’t apply to me?
All SEA-represented staff are covered by the MOU and CBA. If something is not explicitly stated in the MOU, then look in your CBA. The MOU expires August 2021, the CBA is in full force and effect until August 2022.

4) Are educators liable when students say and/or do inappropriate things in Teams breakout rooms?
Liability coverage extends to anything that happens by virtue of performing work duties. We do not believe there would be any question of liability coverage. Access your SEA liability insurance form here (only members have liability coverage):

5) How do I get leave accommodations?
WEA has provided template letter for employees who may need accommodations or a 504 due to the COVID pandemic. Access the accommodation template here:


1) Can my principal require me to split the building hours with the other SAEOP at my building?
The MOU clearly states that SAEOPs should work in collaboration with the building principal to establish school-based office hours for which at least one office professional will be on-site during those hours. While schools may be “open” during the week, the school doors and offices will remain locked. All SAEOPs in a building/program/department will meet with their supervisor/principal on their start date to coordinate work distribution and daily schedules to ensure equitable workloads as outlined in Article IV, Section C.
SAEOPS should not report to buildings until all safety protocols and health guidelines are followed. Paramount to these guidelines, the Covid Site Supervisor must be present at all times the building is considered “open.” Remember, all work that can be done remotely will be allowed.
2) If there are only two SAEOPs at my building and we both are in the high-risk category for Covid, what should we do?
The MOU states all SEA-represented staff may meet with their colleagues and supervisor to request coverage, alternative assignments duties and/or a flexible schedule. Additionally, you may access leaves and accommodations for which you qualify in order to work remotely. Communication from the district stated that for buildings with 2 SAEOPs, the building needs to be staffed 30 hours per week. If you needed to access leave, you would only need leave for the work that could NOT be done remotely (the timeframe listed in the MOU and district communication), NOT your entire day. All work that can be done remotely will be done remotely.


1) What could override an IEP team decision for essential in-person services?  
An IEP Team determining essential services would be composed of an administrator, guardian, general education teacher, special education teacher, related service providers, student (if age appropriate), school nurse or Health Services representative, and program specialist. If a student’s behaviors or needs would create an unsafe environment for staff or student (inability to wear PPE; inability to maintain safe distance; required services fall within an unsafe range of time and distance without a mask), the student would not be eligible for in-person services as determined by Health Services or a school nurse. A program specialist may also provide input to indicate additional methods available to provide more robust remote instruction or opportunities for recovery or compensatory services.  The decision on whether in-person services are necessary and can be safely delivered rests with the IEP team.

2) What is the SpEd stipend amount this year and who receives it?
All special education certificated staff who receive a stipend will receive their full stipend, including ESAs who are certificated staff. This stipend has been increased to $3000 for all, and there is an additional $500 for case managers who manage a caseload of 18 or more.

How to Stay Connected:
The 2019-2022 Contracts are posted on the SEA Website!