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In this Issue:  Equity Conference This Weekend. Vaccine Partnership. Opening Secondary Buildings.  Know Your MOU.  DOH Safety Roles.  HEA COVID Co-Captains.

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February 5, 2021

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Dear HEA Members,

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Thank you to all who are taking time to recognize Black History Month and access amazing Black Lives Matter at School resources to share with our beloved students.  The union has been thrilled to support this work even in the virtual world.

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This week, we began the challenging task of reassigning our youngest learners to new teachers.  This is an extremely difficult time and the feelings this is generating should not be ignored.  The grief you are feeling for the loss of your community is real.  This is all the more challenging given the lengths you have taken to build your relationships with your learners.

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 I do want people to know that throughout this process, our work has been guided by the following approach:

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1) Decisions we make must create confidence in our staff to work in person.  We have attempted to accomplish this by using the Washington State K-12 Decision-Making Tree while also basing all decisions on DOH, L&I and CDC Regulations.  We have also been working hard to gain vaccine access for our staff and our community.  Two vaccination sites have now opened in South King County.  Read ahead for a local option coming.

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2) Staff must have the tools to manage their unique situations.  Our policies and procedures recognize that members and others have personal health and other risk factors, family circumstances, and seniority rights that should be honored. 

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3) The impacts of the district model on mandatory subjects of bargaining will be bargained if they have not already been addressed under our existing agreements.

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Over the next month, HEA member needs and wants about this approach will either be met or they won't.  Please plan to attend the February 23rd HEA General Membership Meeting at 4:30.  Please register as soon as the invitation lands in your personal in-box at the end of next week.  At the meeting you will receive a description of the agreements we have reached in order for the membership to determine next steps.

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In the meantime, I am available to help you troubleshoot your individual situation so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help advocating for your unique situation.

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In solidarity, 

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Sandy Hunt, President

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Highline Education Association



Don’t Miss Out on #IGotNext.  The second annual RECN Equity Conference is being organized by a group of dedicated local educators from the Highline and Renton School Districts.  We hope you will register and attend as many sessions as you can starting this Friday, February 5 from 4:00-7:00PM and Saturday from 8AM to 4:15PM.  Please use this link to register or visit the Rainier Educators of Color Network website.  They are also the very members who put together the Black Lives Matter at School resources funded by your very own Rainier UniServ Council  (Your dues dollars are working extra hard for you this month!)


Vaccine Partnership. Dr. Enfield announced at the school board meeting that they have formed a partnership with St. Anne Hospital (former Highline Hospital) to host a vaccine clinic for district staff who currently are or soon will be working in schools.  The all-day weekend event will be scheduled soon after the next phase opens.  

Currently eligible are Washington residents over 65 and those over 50 living in a home with three or more generations.  At this time, vaccine supplies are irregular but you can still sign up using the state Phase Finder link and with your healthcare provider such as Kaiser Permanente.  

Local pharmacies are being shipped more vaccine (particularly for those living in smaller towns), and mass vaccinations spots are open in South King County and Eastern Washington for Washington State residents with ID.  Here is an interactive map of all Washington State locations.

If you are a nurse, a social worker, a counselor providing in-person services, or working with our highest need students in buildings, sign up for your vaccination NOW. The goal of this phase is to limit transmission to Washington State’s vulnerable populations, and you are essential workers carrying out physical and mental health services with vulnerable students.

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Opening Secondary Buildings to Learners.  Teachers at some secondary schools have been asked to submit the names of struggling learners for a program to start up in their schools on March 1.  While this may be a solid idea, the roll out so far has not. While we all feel a sense of urgency to address our students needs, principals must be working with SLTs and Safety Teams (including COVID CO-Captains) to ensure your program is well planned, clearly communicated, and strictly adheres to all safety standards.  


Know Your MOU.  Shared Leadership Teams and Safety Committees should take time in February to review Part D of the August MOU.  This document not only outlines the safety standards that must be addressed but also the family communication as well as staff and student training that is required prior to bringing students into a building.  Please build time into the coming weeks and months to ensure all sections of the MOU are implemented, meaning, they are planned, communicated, trained, and carried out.   


DOH Safety Roles.  King County DOH has provided specific guidance and training resources that the district has used to prepare for students to be in buildings.  Starting on page 6, you can read how the following roles/tasks must be covered on-site when students are in the building.  It is the administrator’s job to ensure daily coverage and that each person who is assigned to these roles completes all the training needed to implement that role with fidelity. 

1)  School Covid-19 Coordinator:  Administrator COVID Co-Captain

2)  Covid-19 Screening Lead

3)  Covid-19 Isolation Supervisor


HEA COVID Co-Captain Role.  In addition, each building has a HEA COVID Co-Captain.  The role of the COVID Co-Captain is to represent member voice when the safety plans are being customized for your building and troubleshooting with administration if portions of the plan are not working.  They are also there for any staff to report whether plans are not being implemented or rules, such as mask-wearing, are not being followed.  If the HEA COVID Co-Captains are not able to resolve an issue successfully with the principal, they can email Chris Larsen directly to ensure it is quickly and confidentially handled.  Please also cc Sandy Hunt on that email.