Dear HEA Members,
The need to protect HSD employees and our Highline community has never been more important. Please read your personal and district email regularly to stay up to date in a rapidly changing environment. As of this writing, Highline administrators are anticipating the need to close school buildings and the district office earlier than anticipated. The current plan is to keep buildings open through Wednesday of this week; it is likely that buildings will be closed and access extremely limited beginning on Thursday.
As a result, even though Monday-Wednesday are non-work days (for building-based HEA members and other nonessential personnel), we would encourage you to go in and retrieve materials and/or secure expensive equipment and personal belongings before Thursday, if it is possible for you to do so. Buildings may be opening slightly later and closing slightly earlier than usual, so the best timeframe to go in is from 9 am – noon. Given the advice that we avoid unnecessary contact, there is no need to check into the office.
We expect HSD will issue guidance soon about building access after Wednesday. The more we can limit contact with others, the more likely we can slow the spread of transmission into our communities. Once you have secured or retrieved your belongings, for the good of our community, please consider taking safety measures such as self-isolation for you and your family over the next few weeks.
Please know that we are working hard to address the needs of HEA members which, first and foremost, involves prevention of transmission. Membership-wide elected leadership (Sandy Hunt – President, Jeb Binns – Vice-President, Thara Cooper – Secretary), with the support of Elizabeth Beck, our WEA UniServ Director, are already in discussions with Superintendent Enfield and HSD administrators to reach agreements that address changing working conditions, new OSPI requirements, and our new public health landscape. Thank you to executive board members, bargaining team members, HEA reps, and members who have already emailed their input and ideas.
The HEA Executive Board will meet virtually on Wednesday at 9 AM to review and endorse the initial agreements we have reached. Please check your email Thursday morning for details on how we will work safely in the coming weeks. Also be aware that externally-driven time constraints (such as Executive Orders from the WA Governor, WA Superintendent of Public Instruction, King County Public Health and/or national decrees) may require changes as we go.
Thank you for your support and, as always, I am open to hearing any feedback and pushback. Once we have reached some initial agreements, we will work to establish a regular system for Q&A. In the meantime, I truly appreciate each of your patience, grace, and professionalism during this period of change and uncertainty.
Stay safe-stay healthy-(stay home)!