Tacoma Specialists
news & updates
January 2021 Vol. 25 View previous issues 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
New Guidelines
leave room for interpretation
Guidance on teaching during COVID is being updated as regulations are adjusted. Here are the latest from TPS, DOH, and other local agencies.

Be aware that there are some inconsistencies and contradictions. Though there is contact information for requesting clarification, you may receive different answers depending on who you ask. Many of us in more than one building are seeing a wide array of interpretations on a variety of topics.

Some of us are being asked to double and triple classes while simultaneously teaching students both in the classroom and at home. While many buildings are finding that this is "the only way the schedule can work", this is counter to both the CBA and the MOU(Section III.G.2), and limits both the quantity and quality of instruction students receive. This also creates more inequities across the district, both for students and staff. If you are being asked to work outside of your contract, please contact Shannon Ergun at TEA. She is gathering information on how widespread this practice is.

As "team players", many of us are choosing to do whatever it takes to get through the year, but we need to be thinking of the future as well. If you agree to conditions outside of the contract (there are valid reasons why you might), please follow the CBA language (pages 9 and 102) officially waiving your contract rights. This protects you and others by limiting the duration and scope of the changes as well as triggering a process to inform others about and evaluate the success of the plan. This helps the district and union to gauge where the CBA might need to be amended in the future.

If what you're being asked to do is truly, "the only way the schedule will work", the union and administration need to hear that as well, so that staffing and deployments can be adjusted enabling us to reach every child in a meaningful way.
In partnership with the Specialists, the Principal will identify opportunities for synchronous lessons which, when feasible, should be provided at least once a week to support student learning and maintain relationships with students. This may not be possible for all classes or schools due to scheduling variations...
from the office of Academic Achvmt & Innovatn

Information Needed!

As the plan for your building coalesces, let us know how/if your building is allowing for quality, equitable access to specialist instruction and what you need to be able to deliver quality, equitable instruction to your students.

Are you teaching all of the students? Synchronous? Asynchronous? One Class at a Time? All at home? All at School? Half and Half?
Click the "What's Happening" button for information and to add your voice to the discussion.
Save the Date!
You’re Invited!!!

Your Advocacy Council would like to invite you to share your concerns “in person.”  We are hosting two opportunities via Zoom to gather and talk with other elementary specialists.  We will send links as we get closer to these dates. Both meetings are open to PE, music and library specialists….choose whichever date works best with your schedule:

Monday, February 8th
4:30 PM

Wednesday, February 10th
6:30 PM
Topics of discussion will include
  • Logistics of teaching hybrid sections
  • Schedules
  • Waivers
  • One Job, One Educator
  • Formula for deployment
  • Deployment before contract signing
  • Equity issues for staff and students
If you have other topics for discussion, please email them to
by February 6.
"You want me to teach some of the students some of the things without using any of the tools or strategies necessary?"
with questions and concerns about vaccinations and returning to the classroom
Where do you fit?
Tech Tips for Specialists

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