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In this Issue…. HEA Elections, Health Advisories, SEBB Open Enrollment, WEA Fall Book List

November 20, 2020

Dear HEA Members,

I join with our families and communities to thank you for the amazing work you are doing to meet the diverse needs of our students.  HEA is actively working to find new ways of relieving the workload you are facing.  In the meantime, please work your administrator to identify opportunities for relief.  For example, with the extra work required to complete report cards electronically, you could ask to cancel some small groups for a few days so you can upload report cards during the work day.  You could also discuss whether non-classroom staff can help get translated report card templates sent to our families in bulk.  

This week was American Education Week and Wednesday was National ESP Day.  During this pandemic, ESPs have been at the forefront of meeting essential needs by packing and distributing meals to our families, working side by side with students in ILC classrooms, sanitizing our buildings, maintaining proper ventilation systems, providing translation services -- in addition to supporting our students through remote teaching and materials distribution.  In the coming week, I encourage you to take a moment to thank your ESPs for their dedication and commitment to our students, families and staff.

November 20 is National Substitute Educators Day and serves as an important reminder to prepare for, welcome, and support substitute educators. These professional educators, many of whom are fellow HEA members, provide a critical link in the education of public school children by serving as a bridge to provide continued quality education both in the short term and long term absence of regular classroom educators.

My heartfelt gratitude to you all,

Sandy



HEA 2020-21 Elections.  Nominations are open for HEA’s King County Labor Council Delegates (2 positions)  

  • Nominations are now OPEN to any member-please email Sandy Hunt if you need the zoom link to attend the Dec 7 Rep Council meeting.  
  • Nominations Close: December Rep Council Meeting (12/7/20 @ approx. 5:30PM)
  • Election: Rep Council votes by secret poll at the Dec. Rep Council Meeting. Each nominee will be provided 2 minutes to speak to the council (12/7/20 @ approx. 5:35PM).
  • 2-yr Term: January-December (starting this year alternating, with the lower of the two vote-getters installed for a one-year term) 

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Public Health Advisories.  Hospitalizations are rising as cases continue at high levels and more high-risk people become infected.  As a result, we have been asked to work remotely if at all possible.  

Per information from the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the symptoms listed below may have COVID-19 and should get tested.  King County lists free testing centers and provides additional guidance. 

With some of our most medically fragile students back at schools with ILCs, please work from home or utilize appropriate leave if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC notes that additional  signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in children may include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Poor appetite or poor feeding

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SEBB Open Enrollment.  Don't forget SEBB open enrollment closes at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23. Remember to log into your SEBB My Account to verify the plans you and your dependents are enrolled in. If employees do not make changes by the end of the Annual Open Enrollment period, then current benefit elections (except for medical FSA and DCAP elections) will stay in effect for the 2021 plan year.

Permitted changes include:

  • Change of medical, dental or vision plan.
  • Add or remove a dependent medical dental, or vision plan.
  • Enroll in SEBB medical coverage, if previously waived.
  • Waive SEBB medical coverage.
  • Reattest to the spouse or state-registered domestic partner coverage premium surcharge.

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Color your World with Words.  WEA is now publishing a quarterly list of books by authors of color so you can provide students and family members with books that reflect a variety of backgrounds and cultures.  Check out and download the WEA fall book list.