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In this Issue:  Secondary Transition, Moving Forward, Accommodation Requests, Leave Options, Heritage and Hope from RECN, Countering Hate/Supporting Wellness, Family and Community Listening Sessions, HEA Office Nominations Open

March 19, 2021

Dear HEA Members,

With the governor’s proclamation secondary schools throughout the state will open on or before April 19.  This has accelerated both the health and safety work and the labor negotiations already underway between HEA and HSD.  There is a lot of information in this issue based on member request.  I hope you find what you need.  I am happy to hear from you if you don’t.  In the meantime, please register for our secondary HEA member discussion groups scheduled for Monday, March 29 at 4:30.  Members only, please register in advance for this zoom meeting.

All my best,


Transition Planning Underway.  To meet the timeline required for this opening, the following steps are taking place:

1)  HEA and HSD are jointly reviewing the August MOU, Elementary Addendum, Secondary IAC Shared Agreements, and Supplemental Provisions Document to identify existing agreements that can apply to the Secondary setting.  This work began this past Wednesday.

2)  HEA and HSD will begin impact bargaining additional terms and working conditions resulting from the HSD Instructional Model presented on March 18.  Impact Bargaining teams meet Monday.

3)  The District Safety Committee (consisting of HSD, HEA, Teamsters and Non-represented groups) are meeting weekly to upgrade the Safety Template for Secondary and eventually review and approve every secondary building’s safety plan.  The committee meets weekly starting yesterday.

4)  Building Safety Committees are revising Site Safety Plans in light of changes to the HSD Instructional Model.  Their drafts are due Wednesday.

5)  Systems for implementing, monitoring, and enforcing Site Safety Plans are being codified on an accelerated timeline.  This process has been underway since the first week of March and is being disseminated.  Given the nature and age of the secondary facilities, HEA will be requesting independent audits of ventilation in all pre-millennial buildings prior to regular in-person use.

6)  Support for the work of Secondary HEA COVID Co-Captains has been directed to address site-specific concerns.  I initiated this process this week through personal outreach to each HEA Covid Co-Captain. I am waiting to hear back from some.  In addition, I shared specific actions HEA Reps could take to support compliance with the August MOU and secondary opening timeline.

Moving Forward.  Given the existing shared agreements and the Governor’s Proclamation, the Representative Council will be presented with the new Secondary MOU Addendum at the next regularly scheduled Representative Council Meeting to be held on April 5 at 4:30.

If, by that time, the HEA and HSD Bargaining Teams have not reached agreement on a Secondary MOU Addendum, HEA Reps will decide on actions supportive of the bargaining progress.  An Emergency Representative Council Meeting will then be called no later than Friday, April 12 to review the final negotiated document.  HEA Representative Council Meetings are open to all members and, given the topic, will be held as a webinar with a registration link sent to members.


Accommodation Requests.  At the March 18 webinar, Chris Larsen presented the process to apply for accommodations that starts with members emailing human.resources@highlineschools.org to receive an electronic accommodations application form.  Staff must submit their requests by March 28 to be included in the first round of accommodations granted.  Requests, however, may be submitted at any time as situations are known to change.  Please keep in mind that Human Resources, not principals, grant accommodations.  


Types of COVID Leaves Offered Under Our MOU and other Shared Agreements:


EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT (EPSLA):  You may qualify if one or more of the following apply:

  1. Subject to federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  2. Advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
  3. Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  4. Care for an individual who is subject to quarantine/isolation order or has been advised by healthcare provider to quarantine 
  5. To care for a son or daughter whose school or place of childcare is closed due to a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19

WHAT IT PROVIDES:  Up to 80 hours (2 weeks) of paid leave

  1. For reasons 1-3, 100% of pay up to $511/day and $5,111 total
  2. For reasons 4-5, 2/3 pay up to $200/day and $2,000 total


  1. You need to care for a son or daughter whose school or place of childcare is closed due to a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19

WHAT IT PROVIDES:  Up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period

  1. First 2 weeks are unpaid  (However, during this time you may access your own sick/vacation leave balance OR access Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (ESPLA) OR take the time without pay)
  2. Remaining 10 weeks are paid at 2/3 your daily rate, up to a maximum of $200/day and $10,000 total (This should take you up until the end of the school year)>


Repost from the Rainier Educators of Color Blog.

History and Heritage Months... a Reflection.  As we close out February, don't close out on Black History Month. Are you prepared to bring that same #BlackHistoryMonth energy into March and the rest of the school year? Words without actions are meaningless. Celebrate the Black Joy, Black Excellence, and Black Genius year round. Just because it's going to be March, doesn't mean we just turn off Black history and move on to the next highlighted group's history or heritage. It's living and breathing in us every day. From the choices made by our ancestors, to the choices made by our contemporaries, Black history is US History. We give thanks for the strength of our ancestors.

The next heritage month is Arab American Heritage Month then Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. But why must any one culture be limited to a calendar month or a span of 30 days of celebration?!? Why not celebrate their culture and influences to the "American way of life" and "American history" for more than just a month? Yes, I absolutely agree we need to honor and celebrate the individual communities on their hard-fought-for month of recognition. However, I feel we need to do more than honor them once a year. Our country has such a rich tapestry of cultures and communities that make up who we are today. And that tapestry should be reflected every day, not just on one day or one month a year.

This repost is particularly poignant to me given the evil specter of hate once again displayed this week-this time in Atlanta.  I also fear a backlash on our southern border where the US government is attempting to meet the needs of unaccompanied minors seeking safety.  As an educator and union leader I am always trying to push myself to learn more and to lead from the heart as much as the head.  I must continually think beyond my personal experiences and grow my perspective.  I appreciate our membership and my fellow HEA leaders who lead me to a deeper understanding of the varied lives of our members and help me to become a better leader.

Eileen Yoshina, from the PSESD, shared this handout, with a good number of resources from the Japanese American Citizens’ League.  

In addition, here is a link to a Wellness check in session offered by Asian Mental Health services.  Dr, Shajaira Lopez was kind enough to share it with me. 

Fresh Opportunities to Listen to Our Families.  I encourage members to join the Family and Community Listening Sessions set for this coming week.  The purpose of these session is to find out what families are thinking about the return to in-person learning and to gather what questions they continue to have after attending the March 22 HSD Family Webinar.  HEA leadership believes gaining input from our families and community memberships will help us better understand their needs and develop fresh ways to address them.  In addition, providing the district with information about what families and community members want to know about the hybrid model, hopefully will address a need that arose during the elementary transition to hybrid.

We Need Your Help.  If you can assist as a facilitator, note taker, or interpreter, please sign up here for one or more Family and Community Listening Sessions. We greatly appreciate your support.  The registration links, dates and times are below:

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/gtKKA8mCBqajMwVW8

Tuesday, March 23rd 5:00-6:15PM  MRHS, Pacific MS, and Aviation HS 

Register in advance

Tuesday, March 23rd 7:00-8:15PM  Highline HS, Sylvester MS, Glacier MS 

Register in advance

Wednesday, March 24th 5:00-6:15PM  Evergreen HS, Cascade MS, Glacier MS 

Register in advance

Wednesday, March 24th 7:00-8:15PM  Tyee HS, Chinook MS, Glacier MS 

Register in advance

Saturday, March 27th 11:00-12:15  Big Picture, Choice, New Start, PSSC, WELS 

Register in advance 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining these meetings.

Nominations for HEA Officer Elections close on April 5 at 4:30PM (see nomination form for timeline, directions and details): 

  • President (2-year term)
  • Vice-President (2-year term)
  • Middle School Representative (2-year term) 
  • Special Services Representative (2-year term)
  • Primary Representative (A) (2-year term)