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April 3, 2020
Substitute Teachers, OSPI Resources, HPS Links, Impact Bargain Update, Impact Bargain TImeline, WEA PD, Employee Assistance Program, Resources for Talking with Kids

Dear HEA Members,

It has been a real joy for me to be invited to your HEA building meetings this week.  I am sorry to have missed Hazel Valley’s today, but one ray of hope in this crisis has been the increased collaboration between HEA and Teamsters leadership.  This afternoon we held our first joint labor meeting during that time and planned another Zoom for the week following spring break.  I was reminded of our mutual dependence and encourage you to reach out, using district email if needed, to a classified colleague who you may not have spoken with recently. 

We have an amazing group of classified employees who have stepped up and are on the front lines of this crisis.  Certificated and other central office staff members have also filled in to support the critical work of food distribution, day care, and technology support.

Please remember to email Human Resources and your administrator if you need to access leave anytime during this health crisis.  Your union is also available.

To your continued good health and that of your family, friends, and roommates!

Best wishes for a restful break,


Resources for Substitute Teachers.  Access to unemployment benefits continues to expand.  Please be aware that leave replacements and those in long term positions are being retained on contract with salary and benefits until the return of the educator on leave.  We encourage all substitute teachers to sign up for updates from employment security,  as changes designed to expand eligibility continue to roll out.  HPS will continue paying their portion of SEBB benefits for all substitutes already receiving benefits, and will cover the substitute’s portion so they will not lose coverage during the school closures.  In addition, if you were a substitute on track to work enough hours to obtain SEBB benefits, please contact HR to learn how to access your benefits. If you are a substitute teacher and believe you are not eligible for unemployment payments, please email me.

Resources from OSPI.  Not that you need more ideas, but OSPI is offering clock hours for remote training, directives and guidance on how distance learning will work in Washington State, and of course lots of online resources for teachers and families.

Please Read the HPS Website & Check Back Regularly.  The district is doing an amazing job with resources and updates so please visit it often and look there first. Our only three JOINT messages can easily be located on the Coronavirus page by date: 
•    March 17 Update.  We reached a broad agreement on March 17 so look for that memo.  Our agreements provide guidelines that allow flexibility both to address members’ personal needs and to respond to changing OSPI expectations. 
•    Joint Message from HPS and HEA.  A joint message went out on March 26 clarifying use of personal cell phones for everyone in the district. 
•    HPS and HEA Joint Message.  Heading into spring break, a joint letter sent by Dr. Enfield and me on Apri 2 described the philosophy behind our current and future agreements.

Impact Bargain Update.  We continue to meet regularly with the district regarding time and responsibilities that we believe need to be negotiated, given the school closure, and then communicated to all certificated employees.  This week, communication went out from TLL and principals and support staff began working on implementing these new directives.

Based on what TLL communicated, we continue to discuss:
•    Meetings (such as IPT, SLT, PBIS and PCT) as well as a potential new practice of office hours.
•    Assessment/feedback/scoring/grading expectations as workload drivers.
•    Directives that require meeting a certain number of times or holding a new type of meeting.
•    Equity and access for students and its implication for workload, for example, on ESAs, SpEd teachers, and Gen Ed teachers who have students with IEPs or are newcomer ELLs.
•    Teacher-directed vs. Principal-directed time in your week.
In the meantime, HEA members should NOT engage in bargaining for our working conditions at the building level.  Any major changes to our working conditions must be negotiated through HEA leadership.  Finally, remember to avoid sending or forwarding email messages that include the phrase "THIS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" as this sends a mixed message.  Please keep in the forefront of your mind that not all of our colleagues have the same level of time and flexibility in their schedules now that they must carry out all their work at home.

Impact Bargaining Timeline.  Our hope is to have more definition around our agreements in next week’s E-Focus.  If that is not the case, we will be communicating a bargaining update through your reps and BSTs over the following weekend.  In the meantime, if you have concerns that directives you are receiving from an administrator or member leader do not align with the March 17 joint agreements, please reach out to one of your HEA Reps to express your concerns.
WEA PD - Sign up Early.  WEA's Inclusionary Practices Project and Special Education Support Center will provide online workshops, in real-time, by a WEA trainer, using Zoom. Members can register for each course in the below. Class is limited to 400 registrants to allow for small group discussions and online engagement. Registrants will receive a Zoom link upon completion of their registration. Remember, HEA will reimburse your nominal course registration fee upon confirmation of attendance; email Portia Robinson with your documentation.

After registering, within 24-48 hours of the course date, additional Zoom/Course information will be emailed to registrants for participation. Attendance will be taken during the online session. Clock hours will be provided.  For the week of April 6, here is the list of courses offered.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Every HPS employee has access to our EAP which provides you, your spouse or domestic partner, and children up to age 26, with coaching and problem solving services with a licensed behavioral health provider that are free, convenient, and confidential. Receive up to three sessions with a qualified clinical expert and access a range of online resources.
The EAP helps with a variety of family, relationship, emotional, behavioral, mental health, and substance abuse concerns and also provides the following work-life resources:
• Legal and Financial
• Childcare and Eldercare
• Identity Theft
• Home Ownership
You can access the EAP 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just call 800-777-4114 or login online at www.firstchoiceEAP.com using the username highlinesd.

Children Need Our Support.  OSPI has a variety of resources to support you in talking about school closures with your own children and supporting families with those discussions.  Check out this article and download this resource to share.