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In this Issue:  Honoring Educators, Workload, Asynchronous Tasks, Hybrid Preparation, The HEART, RA Delegate Nominations Open, New Member Grants, Vaccinations

December 11, 2020

Dear HEA Members,

You continue to amaze and inspire me and our community.  We can and will get through these times.  The theme this week is reaching out and asking for help.  No one should be doing this work in isolation.  If you feel you have no one to turn to, please reach out to your union.  Your reps are available or please reply to the newsletter with how things are going for you.  I want to make sure your needs are being met as much as possible to get through this pandemic.  Below, our colleagues have shared some ways they are bringing their workload under control.  Let me know if you need help implementing any of them at your worksite.

During this time we also want to show appreciation and offer support to colleagues teaching in ILCs.  Many have been working directly with students for a month.  HEA will be meeting with Special Education Directors on December 16 so please contact me if you have a special education issue that could be addressed at the district level – especially if it has been raised, but not yet addressed, through the Directors’ regular office hours.  Your building reps and Covid Co-Captains are available if you need help communicating with your administrators.

Finally, tomorrow the National Board Candidate scores will be released.  We honor our members who have demonstrated their commitment to our students and their professional learning through both fortitude and flexibility.   Please know that regardless of the outcomes at this point in time, we believe in you and your successes with our beloved students!    

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home!

My love, gratitude, and admiration,


Educator Workload. HEA and HSD have frequently discussed sustainability of workload and a variety of solutions that might be implemented to meet individual, team, and building needs.  Here are some ideas from your peers:

  • Collaboration Time:  Educators should be controlling two 45-minute meeting times (beyond the 60 minutes of PLC time) on Wednesdays.  If that is not happening at your school, talk to your principal or ask your rep to address this through labor/management talks.
  • Tech Equipment:  If you need additional equipment to do your job, please contact your administrator or your building tech lead assigned by the district.  For example, surplus monitors are available to provide you with a second monitor for instruction.
  • Training:  WEA has amazing asynchronous training on a variety of topics ranging from the tech skills to student engagement.  It is free and clock hours are provided
  • Tutoring Services:  The district recently dropped some $$ on a 24/7 online tutoring services for all secondary (grs 6-12) students, available in Spanish and English.  The service also provides 24-hour turnaround annotated feedback on student papers.  Take time to learn when and how students can access “PaperEducation” services if you believe your students would benefit.
  • Attendance workload:  If you are spending a lot of time on attendance or on tracking down students, reach out to your SLT to ask for enhanced support systems.  Ask administrators to reach out and learn what is working in other grade levels or buildings.
  • Transition time between semesters.  Start working now with SLT to establish times during your workday during the last week of the semester to wrap up periods 4-6 and set up periods 1-3.

Managing Asynchronous Tasks.  Impacts of asynchronous workload vary by grade level and position.  Below are some strategies shared by members from around the district.  If you have additional suggestions to share with colleagues to address workload, please email me.  

  • Record and post your direct instruction and provide targeted instructions at the end of the block for what students should read and record in a notebook.  Not all activities need to be uploaded if you set them up as routines.
  • Assign iReady Math and Reading as well as independent reading/journaling as your daily asynchronous activities.
  • Support students in learning how to access library books for asynchronous learning activities.
  • Principals can access bus drivers to send journals, packets or other classroom supplies for bus stop pick up.  In some cases, they may be able to deliver to homes.  Just ask.
  • Work with your team to identify a very limited number of see-saw activities that you will actually assess or provide feedback on.
  • Start lessons with a review of student see-saw activities as a means to give the class feedback.
  • Work through your SLT to designate how grade levels, teams or departments can use time within an instructional block/period to assign, review, and give feedback to students such that you are not “live” throughout the whole instructional block.
  • If your principal does not agree with your PLC’s student contact schedule, go through your SLT or IPT to establish a workable schedule.  If your principal claims that the district is limiting her or his options, please email me.

Elementary Hybrid Preparation.  We recognize the emotional backdrop to our work is the pressure elementary schools are starting to experience to prepare for a potential move to hybrid instruction in February.  We know that according to the DOH K-12 school reopening decision tree, current metrics indicate we are a long way away from returning to face-to-face learning.  Small groups of high needs students, however, can be brought back under the current guidelines.  

Here is the King County Covid Data Dashboard to bookmark if you want to track thechanging health and healthcare landscape.  For example, we have less than 20% hospital bed capacity in the county at this point in time. 

HEART to Heart.  A small but mighty group met with Shawna Moore, the Highline Equity and Antiracist Team (HEART)  HEA lead, to learn more about the HEART, discuss the combination of qualities members are looking for among the those who will be representing us, and begin to develop a selection process.  The group felt our membership would benefit from representatives who:

  • Hold a strong commitment to the work and will prioritize this over other activities in order to get things done and move the work forward.
  • Are able to explain why this work is important from their experiences.
  • Share a vision for achieving progress for our students that aligns with the vision designed for the committee. See the HEART LOA on pg. 166 of our CBA
  • Demonstrate the fortitude and strength to push back and push forward when that is what is called for.

If you have other qualities or experiences you believe are important for representatives to hold, please email your ideas to Shawna Moore In the meantime, watch for a google application form and interview schedule coming soon.

HEA Elections Process Overview December 15 (4:15-5:00).  Learn more about the WEA and NEA Representative Assemblies and get an overview of the HEA nominations and elections process.  The zoom link is on the HEA website.

  • Nominations are now open be taken for delegates to the WEA and NEA Representative Assemblies.  Any HEA member can email Sandy Hunt to submit their nomination in writing. Nominations also can be mailed to the HEA Office 275 Andover Park W. Tukwila, WA 98818 and must be received by 1.6.20.
  • Candidate statements are due by email to Portia Robinson for a Special Edition of the EFocus by midnight on 1/6/21.  Candidates will be given the opportunity for 2-minute speeches at the close of nominations on 1/4/21 just after 4:30 during the HEA Representative Council.
  • Electronic ballots will be sent to your home email on 1/8/21 with elections closing at the end of the workday on 1/20/21.

New Member Grants.  One source of our power is our high union membership.  Has your new teaching partner joined HEA?   Joining the union is easy.  This one form  enrolls our educators in HEA, RUC, WEA, and NEA.   I hope you will take a few minutes to share this link with any nonmembers on your team. 

 Our new members can access a grant for up to $200 (depending on their prior teaching experience) to spend on teaching supplies and equipment.  After joining, they must complete this form and email receipts to our amazing HEA Executive Assistant Portia Robinson, to get a reimbursement check by mail.

COVID-19 Vaccine Public Information Panel.  The WEA is working with the state to consider moving educators further up the line for receiving vaccinations.  That said, it is likely COVID vaccinations will be voluntary.  In the meantime, the Washington State Department of Health is bringing together experts from across the state to answer key questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. DOH staff will not be taking questions during the event, so participants should be sure to submit questions for panelists when they register for the event! Any questions not addressed during the December panels may come up in future panels—stay tuned for a schedule of panels in 2021!


  • ENGLISH EVENT December 15, 5:00-6:00 PM: Making Sense of Vaccines During COVID-19. Making Sense of Vaccines During COVID-19 Tickets, Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite
  • SPANISH EVENT December 17, 6:00-7:00 PM: Vacunas contra el COVID: Verdades, mitos y preguntas. Vacunas contra el COVID: Verdades, mitos y preguntas Boletos, Jue, 17/12/2020 a las 18:30 | Eventbrite