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In this Issue:  Ventilation Upgrades, Robust Ventilation, Student Debt Seminar on Thursday, WEA Professional Certification Registration NOW Open.

April 16, 2021

Dear Members,

I hope you were able to unwind a bit this week.  Work has continued on ventilation enhancements and repairs along with remote assignment and leave requests.  Here is a response to the ventilation assessment requests by Big Picture, Sylvester, and New Start teachers completed by the King County DOH.  In addition, my link to the room assessment report requested by members is shared here.  

In this issue you will also find the registration link to our one-hour training on student debt relief that HEA is hosting this Thursday at 4:30 on Zoom. If you have any student loans, I hope you can join us.  Finally, you will find WEA’s upcoming member-only certification offerings including NBCT renewal and NBTC support and a link to spring and summer offerings.

Thinking of you!



Ventilation Upgrades Continue.  The HSD HVAC maintenance team and outside contractors have been working on our buildings through the break.  At the time of publication, three rooms in the district have been decommissioned from use, and the teacher located to another room.  The district has located a local Austin portable ventilation unit supplier and has been delivering these units to rooms that need them.  Classrooms in several buildings are still being worked on and a meeting is scheduled for Friday morning to make a determination as to readiness for use.  Principals along with COVID Co-Captains and building reps should have received a report by the time members are reading this.  

Keys to Robust Ventilation.  Below bears repeating so we are including it in this week’s HEA newsletter again.  Please get to know your room’s ventilation system and then set up your classroom accordingly.

  • **NEW** In-between student groups if your space is not air-conditioned, if available, open doors, open windows, turn up fans to high in order to add extra air exchanges in older buildings.
  • Listen to the motor in individual “univent" units (units attached to the wall) or through the vents blowing air into the room. These are fans that actively pull in fresh air and circulate it around your room.  Email your custodian to initiate a repair order if your fan is not running.
  • Locate your exit vent(s) and remove any furniture that might be blocking.  These vents can be anywhere in the room.  They are critical to create a pull of fresh air into the room.  Ask for help if you can’t find it.
  • Open windows if you want more air (unless your room is air conditioned). 
  • Avoid seating a student directly in front of any fresh air supply blowing into the room or in front of any fan you are running.  You do not want air flowing across a student and into the room. 
  • Email your Covid Co-captains (HSD and HEA) to request a ventilation check and for mitigation if air circulation seems low.  You can do this at any point in the school year. You are welcome to cc Sandy. 

Navigating Student Debt Seminar.  Use this link to register and join fellow members on Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm to learn the latest.

HEA and NEA Benefits are collaborating on several fronts to help members with the student loan debt relief.  Please join us to learn the facts about the current federal loan forgiveness programs (including some of the changes currently becoming effective as part of the new stimulus bill) and to gain access to the NEA Member Benefits Loan Forgiveness Navigation tool available at www.neamb.com/start.  A knowledgeable NEA Benefits specialist will help you on a personal level to better understand these programs and move you forward toward loan forgiveness. 

WEA Professional Certification Training Registration Open.  WEA is offering a series of spring and summer trainings to help you navigate next steps with your certification. All trainings are online, open only to WEA members and provide free clock hours.  They are led by WEA’s amazing Certification Cadre and National Board trainers. Trainers are all practicing educators and will support you through a variety of online instructional approaches.  Learn more about course content, training dates and registration here. 

There are five different WEA certification training options being offered:

  • Certification 101.  Free, 2-hour trainings to help educators understand the latest state certification requirements for teachers, CTE teachers and Educational Staff Associates (ESAs)
  • Professional Growth Plan (PGP) Support.  Free, 2-3 hour trainings to support certificated educators to create PGPs for certificate renewal and salary advancement purposes
  • National Board Information Sessions.  Free, 2 hour training options to support certificated educators considering National Board Certification process through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • National Board Certification Jump Start. Pay $75 registration fee and after completion submit receipt to Portia Robinson  for reimbursement. Relevant for new candidates beginning the National Board Certification process in 2021-22 (Offered as 3-hour modules over the course of one or two weeks.)
  • National Board Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Jump Start & Support.  Pay $20 registration fee and after completion submit receipt to Portia Robinson for reimbursement.  Focus on the new MOC process for renewing one’s National Board certificate; relevant for NBCTs renewing their National Board Certificate during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 candidate cycles. (Offered multiple times.)