As many of you know, our bargaining team reached a tentative agreement on professional development and the start of the school year with SPS. This tentative agreement was announced Monday night. You can read the details here
. What I failed to note in the jointly-crafted press release was that we had not yet reached an agreement on professional development for substitute educators. I apologize for the confusion this caused. SEA is still fighting for subs to have access to paid PD to fully prepare all subs to work in a remote setting.
To be clear, our SEA Bargaining Team is still meeting every day to reach a tentative agreement on many other important issues including health and safety, family engagement, technology, evaluation, work expectations, leaves, schedules, attendance, calendar, and childcare.
Please join our virtual community rally on SEA's Facebook Page
today (August 20) at 5pm with the big message, SPS Families and Educators want SPS to FINISH THE BARGAIN!
We will have speakers from our Bargaining Team, various labor unions in Seattle, community members who are impacted by the ongoing uncertainty about our upcoming school year, and SEA members.
Since the announcement of the tentative agreement Monday night, there have been many questions about the start of the school year. Below are responses to the most common questions.
Q: Why would we start school the Friday before a 3-day weekend?
A: Originally, the student start date was going to be September 2 (the first Wednesday of the month) which was agreed to during contract negotiations in 2015. In order to have additional time to prepare for remote learning, we agreed to ask the state for a waiver on student days (from 180 days to 178 days) moving back the first day of school to Friday, September 4. We also agreed to open with a new model called "Strong Start." It's an approach to the start of school that emphasizes building community with our students and families. Yes, it's an inconvenient start date. But we also knew we couldn't reach the 1027 hours state-wide requirement if we asked the state to waive a third day of instruction. The first week of school is about making student and family connections, that important work needs to start soon and use the available time before the start of a 3-day weekend.
Q: If September 2 and 3 are now professional development days, when will Kindergarten teachers be able to administer the WA Kids assessment?
A: The timeline to administer WA Kids has not changed. Strong Start for preschool and kindergarteners, scheduled for September 8 through 11, is dedicated time for Kindergarten teachers to complete the WA Kids assessment.
Q: I'm a part-time certificated teacher, can I attend all of the professional development?
A: Part-time certificated employees can attend all of the professional development. To be compensated for the additional time, part-time employees must complete and submit extra time forms for the hours worked above their FTE.