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Dear HEA Members,

Yesterday, the HEA Executive Board rose early (a 7 AM meeting in the summer-ouch!) to review the agreements on the reopening of school that we have achieved with the district to date.  At this stage, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to pause and release information to you and the principals in support of your planning efforts.  Here is a link to the 12-page COVID Reopening Schools Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the HEA website.  

As you go through it, you will see there are things left to be resolved - including Special Education/ESA workload.  We have not stopped bargaining and continue to hold weekly meetings to address all unresolved issues.  After reading the MOU, if you have questions, feedback or suggestions, please use this handy form to share your ideas. (Thank you, HEA Exec Board member Rupika Madhavan for putting this together!)

HEA building reps will soon be invited to a virtual Q&A session to be held Friday, Aug 28 at 2PM.  Please watch for a zoom link coming soon. (Thank you, HEA Secretary Katie Utesch!) If you submit your MOU questions by Aug 26, we will try to address them at this meeting.

Impact Bargaining Calendar. Please note the calendar updates and changes coming out from HSD, along with Professional Learning Options. HEA and HSD have collaborated to find ways for HEA members to access professional learning related to remote instruction platforms earlier rather than later, should you choose to do so. But this is an option only, and no one should feel pressured to do so.

Impact Bargaining Gains.  While gains were made for elementary in terms of planning time (WAC time-external to the instructional day-was increased by an hour per week) and secondary class size (overage starts at 28 students or 73 per day), there is no getting around the fact this is going to require our full on efforts to meet our students’ instructional needs.   We encourage you to collaborate with your natural team or build a team with members teaching the same subject/class across buildings in order to help with workload.

Impact Bargaining Workload Reductions.  Throughout our negotiations, two important themes from the HEA team were: 1) the need for the district to shift workload that was imposed in the spring and 2) the need to streamline processes.  Both of these are necessary in order to create time to plan and teach using multiple modalities. Below are areas that we are encouraging HEA members to follow up at their own worksites either through SLTs or HEA Reps. 

1)  Taking Attendance.  OSPI has yet to issue clear guidance on what this entails for remote learning. The paperwork and family contact associated with this activity must transform into a manageable electronic-based task.  If you are spending more time than you typically do on tracking student attendance please talk to your SLT and complete the feedback form.

2)  Locating absent students.  Your job is to plan and teach.  Your SLT should work with your administrators to ensure that another team is locating those students who are not attending class and breaking down barriers for them to do so.  We need your feedback if this is not the case.

3) Ease of access to translators. You should have a simple way to request a translator and have access to any language you need.   If connecting with a translator is not working, talk to your admin first.  If it still is not improving, please let us know using our feedback form.

4) Grading and progress reporting.  As details emerge, please provide feedback if this becomes a workload issue.  You should be spending the same or less time on this activity than you typically would.

5) Technology Access.  The district must provide a streamlined process for requesting the technology you and your students need for instruction.  And then getting them into the right hands in a timely manner.  Continue to provide input to your admin as to the types of resources you and your students need to be effective.

6) Principal-directed time.  All principal-directed meetings and trainings must fit into the allocated time on Wednesday (60-minutes elementary and 90-minutes secondary.)   Any administratively-directed staff meetings, grade level meetings, department meetings and professional development must fit into this time.

7) Professional Responsibilities.  Meeting with your principal for an evaluation meeting or a school-based team (up to one hour per month) at a mutually agreed upon time continues to be one of your basic contractual responsibilities.  Using your traditional “WAC time” (non-instructional time inside the workday but outside the student day) is highly encouraged.   Meetings related to stipended positions or IEP meetings are also professional responsibilities.

8) Flex Time.  Principals have been encouraged to use no more than 6 hours of flextime during the opening of school (now through October) in case we move into hybrid and the hours are needed then.

9) Wednesday Collaborative Planning. There will be 150 minutes of teacher-directed collaboration time on Wednesdays, and teachers must be free to collaborate with natural teams based on what you need to accomplish, examples include your paraprofessional colleagues, your content or grade-level team, or a group comprised of job-alike members in another building. 

10) Instructional time.  Your students’ needs must drive the way you use your instructional blocks.  You are not expected to be on zoom throughout the entire block with your class.  The expectation is you are providing activities for students to do independently, collaboratively and in a small group with you or a support person.  Whole group minilessons are short and the only portion of the lesson you need to record.

11) Posting of direct instruction/recorded lessons.  Instruction can now be recorded safely, without students appearing on your recording.  If you are comfortable doing that, you do not need to make a separate recording, video, or screencast, but rather can post a Zoom mini-lesson recorded with your class.  Teachers can also divide up the work and post other teachers’ recordings of the minilessons covering core content. HEA and HSD share a commitment to making direct instruction on new material accessible to students outside of regular school hours.

12) Individual planning time. Labeled as “Internal Planning” in the MOU, because traditionally it would take place inside the student day, this is still your individual planning time and no one can direct how you will use that time.  You may use it to plan, grade, and contact families or students but you have 24 hours to return emails - or longer if you are trying to access a translator.

HSD Reopening Expectations.  If you have not reviewed district expectations posted on its website , here is the link. Again, we continue to bargain expectations.  In particular, we are concerned about the lack of access some students may have to instruction during a traditional school-day model employed by the district.  It is very important during the month of September to refer all family inquiries about alternative school schedules to your principal and not set up your own work arounds.  This is an important job action we ask you join in solidarity with our families and our students.  We will hold a townhall for families (including yours) on September 17 to learn more about their needs (info coming) as we move closer to the October 1 deadline.

Stay tuned, and please continue to save the date for a HEA General Membership Meeting on September 2nd, time TBD.

In solidarity,