In this Issue: September Displacements at Elementary and Secondary Locations
1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events
2. Did You Get the Memo? Previous Efocus links with COVID MOU language
3. WEA Recertification/NB Renewal Options
4. Health & Safety COVID MOU: Required Responses to Outbreaks
September 17, 2021
Several years ago, the district experienced a loss of 500 students. This year, while hundreds of families have selected the remote learning option in the last few weeks, hundreds of others were no shows. As in previous years, there is an excess of staff in some schools, while other spaces have ended up with significantly more students than anticipated. The district has agreed to keep about half the excess elementary staff in their buildings due to room capacity issues, but others are in the process of moving out of classrooms over the weekend and/or preparing for a switch to remote instruction. In addition to following students into remote assignments, some elementary teachers will move into a temporary assignment in the Covid Active Response Educators aka CARE Cadre. This fully contracted position will provide substitute coverage, filling daily openings at their home schools, when possible, with the goal of limiting their substitute work to a limited cohort of schools. They will also cover long term leaves that are anticipated to open over the course of the year.
Elementary transitions are occurring rapidly to alleviate the overload on current remote instructors and to increase the pool of available substitutes. Of course the unique challenge this year is the collapse of classrooms will lead to an increase of class size for those remaining in their buildings. Please look at the language below about increased layers of protection and reach out to your building Covid Co-Captains to ensure that you can get access to what is appropriate for your situation.
Secondary displacements will take place the following week, and as usual, will be impacted by the endorsements of educators and the needs of secondary schools for teachers with specific endorsements. What we know is secondary educators who are displaced may be moved to another school with an opening in their area of endorsement, be temporarily assigned to the Highline Virtual Academy (HVA) or be utilized in the CARE Cadre substitute role. If there are no volunteers in the necessary endorsement areas, 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. What is unique to secondary is the need to hold specific endorsements to teach in the demand areas—which may still necessitate job postings once all the displacements are complete.
Know that HEA leadership has been and continue to be advocates for the best situation for each of our displaced members as well as for those remaining in their positions. Please reach out to your HEA Reps for support or to your Covid Co-Captains if you have a safety concern.
I encourage all of us to take some time this weekend to do something special for ourselves.
1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events
Here are some items of note. Please reach out if you have any questions.
HEA REP COUNCIL TRAINING. On Monday, September 23 (4:30-6:30) our new and continuing HEA Representative Council members can participate in training and 2021-22 union planning discussions. Watch for the zoom link to be sent out again along with the list of topics to select from.
WEA PD NETWORK.
On Tuesday, September 24 (4:00-5:30)
Dr. Kira Mauseth, from the Washington Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Strike Team, will present Behavioral Health Impacts of COVID-19 for Educators & The Back to Classroom THINK Toolbox. The WEA Registration Link is HERE
with more information linked HERE
HSF BRAT TROT.
The Brat Trot has moved virtual! HEA is sponsoring 10 Brat Trot participants on Saturday, September 26. Email Portia Robinson
for the special HEA Registration code.
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.
The requirement (and opportunity) to contribute to a VEBA account
is being extended to half-time and above certificated staff. Watch for upcoming orientation dates to learn more about this benefit. Contributions will begin in January with part-time set at $45/month and full-time at $75/month.
2. WEA Recertification/NB Renewal Options
WEA is offering a series of Fall trainings to help you navigate your next steps with your professional certification. All trainings are online, open only to WEA members and provide free clock hours. HERE are this fall’s programs
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 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Jump Start & Support
Multiple events with $20 per event fee.
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.
All trainings 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.
You can learn more about course content, training dates and register HERE.
3. 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 can now be accessed 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 2 Efocus: Covid Related Reassignments and Leaves (including Temporary Remote Work)
September 9 Efocus: New process to follow to report safety concerns (to receive a prompt response).
4. Health and Safety – from the COVID MOU
Responding to COVID Cases and Outbreaks and Working with Public Health:
- HSD will strictly follow all health and safety provisions outlined by OSPI, DOH, and L&I.
- HEA/HSD will continue to jointly monitor current guidance and adjust as changes are made.
- The District will maintain a protocol that will be used to respond to cases and outbreaks. District Health Services Team will work in conjunction with Public Health and building administrators to perform required contact tracing, staff and family notifications, and other appropriate responses, including potential deployment of Highline’s COVID testing team.
- Tests are available to any staff or student who may have been exposed to COVID. Testing is not mandatory.
- The District will maintain a “Dashboard” available on the district website to document positive cases of COVID and close contacts. Aggregated data will be shared for the district and by building. If a staff member has a question or concern about the data shared on the Dashboard, they are encouraged to discuss it with their building administrator.
Principals were charged with the responsibility to check in with every staff member who is at or above the soft cap limit for your grade level or program. Please discuss with them any additional layers of protection you may need.
It is your right to receive additional layers of protection when your room is over-capacity (students are spaced closer than 3-ft.), if you work in a space where any student is maskless, or when your duties require you to be closer than 3 feet to others for more than 15 minutes.