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In this Issue:  September 13 Explained (again) and September Reassignments
1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events-Please Vote by Sept 13
2. Did You Get the Memo?  Previous Efocus links with COVID MOU language
3. Health & Safety COVID MOU:  Reporting Immediate or Systemic Safety Concerns
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September 10, 2021

Dear Members,

I am calling Monday, September 13, Mental Health Monday. When we negotiated Family Connections, HEA and HSD recognized that many of these would need to be done outside the regular workday, but we also did not want to push ALL of that work outside of typical working hours. As a result, the joint bargaining teams included a nonwork day in September to provide flexibility to accomplish your professional responsibilities, including Family Connections. 

September 13 is much like the “grading” days in January and March.   You are not required to work onsite on September 13. In fact, you are not required to work on September 13 unless you choose to.  It is a day you can get necessary work done if that makes sense to you, including Family Connections. Some schools may have additional interpretation resources available on that date, which you may want to take advantage of, but that is your option and not a requirement. Some educators may rejuvenate, some may contact student families, some may plan or work with colleagues, and some may spend time with their own families.  

For those educators responsible for family connections, they do not need to be finished by September 13. They are due on September 24.  Please note, if you have more than 27 families to contact, talk with your administrator.  There are others available to do those extra connections, or there is additional compensation available.  

Finally, in deference to families, the district is allowing them to shift students to remote instruction this month. Hundreds of students are moving into HVA and remote elementary classrooms. Transitions were made rapidly this week to make the “fourth day count” - which is critical for state funding.  This is creating large temporary overloads so please talk with your principals if you need support; HEA and HSD have agreed on mitigation in September for remote elementary classrooms overloaded by these last-minute switches.   

As is typical for the fall, HSD is identifying where they will need to “collapse” classrooms so teachers can follow students, including the creation of new remote classes.  We will begin meeting on Monday, September 13 to review potential displacements and reassignments.  Volunteers who wish to move to a remote class or another worksite will be solicited first.  If there are no volunteers, our letter of agreement is still in effect to protect provisional teachers from displacement.   In addition, those displaced last year are protected from displacement this year.

We know that this is a very difficult time and my heart goes out to those whose classrooms will be disrupted.  If you are a classroom teacher, regardless of your location, who has been reconsidering your placement and wishes to move to a remote instruction assignment, email human.resources@highlineschools.org to express your interest ASAP.

Loads of appreciation for all you are doing for our students and community!

Sandy

1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events

Here are some items of note.  Please reach out if you need support participating.
  • VOTE TODAY for WEA!  The WEA Board of Director election is underway for Rainier UniServ.  While there are three great candidates to select from, our very own Shawna Moore is running, so vote today.  Contact Lori Fleck if you need to access your Ballotpoint ballot. Voting closes September 13 at 4:00PM.
  • RECN.  Our monthly meet up for Rainier Educators of Color and White Allies & Accomplices is the third Thursday of the month (Sept 16 4:30-6:00PM) Contact Shawna Moore for the registration link. 
  • HEA EXEC BOARD POSITIONS.  Nominations remain open for HEA Elementary Representative and High School Representative on the Executive Board until October 4 or until filled.  Email Sandy if you are interested would like more information and put “candidate” in the subject line.  
  • PRE-RETIREMENT SEMINAR.  A Pre-Retirement 2-part seminar (via Zoom) will be held on Thursday, December 2 and Thursday, December 9 from 4:30-7:30 pm. You must sign up for both dates. Contact Lori Fleck for more information. This is a very helpful seminar to attend in your first five years, five years before you intend to retire, and as you near retirement.
  • HSF BRAT TROT.  HEA is sponsoring 10 Brat Trot participants on Saturday, September 26.  Email Portia Robinson for the special HEA Registration code. 


2. Did You Get the Memo? 

Starting on August 27, I have been taking portions of our COVID MOU and sharing them in the EFocus.  The entire MOU and the negotiated Letters of Agreement are on the HEA website.The previous EFocus editions are linked here and topics listed below.  Hopefully you find this helpful. 
  • August 27 Efocus:  Three-foot Distance Guidelines and Family Connections Explained
  • September 3 Efocus: Covid Related Reassignments and Leaves (including Temporary Remote Work)

3. Health and Safety – from the COVID MOU

If you have a Safety Concern, please use the following steps to get it resolved: 
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IMMINENT/EMERGENCY SAFETY ISSUES. Notify a building administrator about the problem that needs immediate attention. Follow up via email if the initial notification was verbal. For many individual problems, the administrator may be able to resolve the problem immediately.
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OTHER SAFETY ISSUES. If problems are not imminent safety concerns, or if an issue was not immediately resolved through the step above, notify the principal and the HEA COVID co-captain (and the administrative COVID co-captain if that is not the principal) via email in order to resolve the concern in a timely manner. 
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SAFETY ISSUE TRACKING.  All safety concerns should be tracked on a building-based log. The log should minimally include: 
  • the name of the staff member submitting the concern
  • the nature of the concern
  • the outcome/resolution (if any)
  • the date submitted
  • the date resolved
The building safety committee should review this log at their regularly scheduled meetings in order to address trends or patterns of concern.
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UNRESOLVED ISSUES.  If an issue is unable to be resolved at the building level, then advance it to the district level by completing a “Safety Concern Form.”  Until that form is readily available, email Scott Logan, Sandy Hunt, your principal, and your COVID CO-Captains with the information listed above.  If possible, share briefly how you have already attempted to resolve the issue.

It is your right to receive additional layers of protection if your room is over-capacity (students are spaced closer than 3-ft.)

or

if you are working in a space where any student is maskless (such as the lunchroom or when a student cannot wear a mask).