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In this Issue:  Key Local Races in the November 2 Election
1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events-including VEBA Benefits Sessions (pre-register)
2. Did You Get the Memo?  Previous Efocus links with COVID MOU language
3. Health & Safety COVID MOU:  Ventilation Requirements with Reporting Protocols
4. Collaborative Work Day 10.15.21:  Repeat from last week
October 1, 2021
Dear Members,
Local candidates impact our lives and those of our students as much as our state and national candidates if not more!  WEA local leaders across the region and the state have been working hard to locate, endorse, and publicize pro-union, pro-labor candidates and non-traditional candidates.  Please support and take advantage of the work they have been doing.
  • Join WEAPAC or raise your contribution level. 
  • Consult the Our Voice website when voting to view endorsements as well as to write to your elected officials. 
  • For those supporting HEA member Iris Guzman, email her campaign manager Dominick Ojeda. All of their weekend door knocking starts at 11am at Angle Lake and phone banking starts at 6pm. Access the canvasing schedule here for all of the weekend door knocking which starts at 11am at Angle Lake and phone banking which starts at 6pm.                                                                      
We will be sharing information on our endorsed candidates in the coming weeks.  All but one is a challenger in the race. If you live in other districts, please watch for endorsements from your local education association. Our endorsed candidates are educators, work in social services or labor and so understand the needs of those in the communities they seek to serve.  In addition, several are parents of current or former students in our district:
  • Highline School Board:  Jennifer Fichamba (Tukwila Educator/WEA Member)
  • Burien City Council:  Hugo Garcia (WC Community Leader), Krystal Marx (Incumbent)
  • Des Moines City Council:  Soleil Lewis (Bellevue Educator), Gene Achziger (retired Journalist and former Highline College Educator)
  • SeaTac City Council:  Mohamed Egal (Social Worker), Iris Guzman (HEA Social Worker), Jake Simpson (Union Organizer)
Finally, this month, please share information about endorsed candidates with your family, friends, and neighbors.  I worked on a school board campaign in another area a few years ago where the candidate lost by 26 votes. ☹ Ballots are due Tuesday, November 2 at 8:00PM, and EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
Take care, 


1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events

 Here are some items of note.  Please reach out if you have any questions.

HEA REP COUNCIL MEETING.  On Mon. October 4th @ 4:30pm, the rep council will meet via zoom.  Please email Katie Utesch for the link if you would like to attend.  Meetings are open to HEA members.

HEA EXEC BOARD POSITIONS.  Nominations will close for HEA Elementary Representative and High School Representative on the Executive Board at the HEA Rep Meeting on October 4 or will remain open until filled.  Email Sandy if you are interested or would like more information and put “candidate” in the subject line.  

HEA COVID CO-CAPTAIN UPCOMING POP-INS.  HEA CCCs have requested regular sessions to address concerns. Pop in during the dates & times below. Zoom invitations have been sent. 

  • October 13       (7:15AM-8AM or 4PM-5PM)
  • October 27       (7:15AM-8AM or 4PM-5PM)
  • November 10   (7:15AM-8AM or 4PM-5PM)

If you need release from a principal-directed meeting to attend, email Sandy. Stronger protocols for reporting violations were bargained into the summer MOU (Section 1.5) so please use them to ensure issues at your site are addressed.  These were highlighted in the September 9 EFocus.

VIRTUAL VEBA BENEFITS SESSIONS.  New VEBA contributions will begin in January with part-time staff (.5 FTE and above) at $45/month and full-time raised from $50 to $75/month.  Your support team at Gallagher will be conducting virtual VEBA sessions to give you a better understanding of the plan and answer any questions you have. Please pick a date and time that works for you. A quick presentation will be followed by a time for Q&A. Also, please see VEBA Plan Benefits Guide for Plan information. 

2. Did You Get the Memo?

Starting August 27, portions of our COVID MOU have been shared in the EFocus.  The entire MOU and the negotiated Letters of Agreement can 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 3 Efocus: Covid Related Reassignments and Leaves (including Temporary Remote Work)
  • September 10 Efocus:  New Process to Report Safety Concerns (to receive a prompt response).
  • September 17 Efocus: Responding to COVID Cases and Outbreaks and Working with Public Health
  • September 24 Efocus:  Quarantine Impacts on Secondary and Elementary (Instructional Model Choices)

3. Health and Safety – from the COVID MOU

Ventilation: All classrooms and other workspaces potentially used to support in-person learning have been evaluated for ventilation. All spaces being used for in-person work, school, or other activities meet or exceed safety requirements.

In buildings where ventilation is dependent on opening windows and/or doors, school-based safety plans and site training should include guidance and support on alternatives in the event of inclement weather and unhealthy air quality; including procuring additional supports, such as HEPA air cleaners to supplement ventilation.

The District will ensure regular monitoring of ventilation systems. In the event that a classroom and/or school building’s air quality falls below the standard, building administration, custodial and maintenance staff, will work with operations to take the corrective action(s) needed to get back to or above standard.

If unusual circumstances give rise to a ventilation concern, a staff member may request a ventilation review by Facilities to determine if ventilation enhancements or a room change are warranted. The staff member should send a request to both Building COVID Co-Captains to have the building custodian submit a work order for this review. Reviews will be completed as soon as possible, but no later than one week after submission of the work order.

4. October 15—Collaborative Work Day (repeat)

October 15 is much like a team-directed PCT in which the teacher/ESA teams are directing their group time, but the focus must be on one or more building priorities - for example, annual action plan goals or other areas of school-wide focus. Educators select the on-site teams they will partner with to do the work.  Staff should expect to work on site although working remotely with your team from your classroom or office should be offered as an option.  


Specialists or non-classroom educators who do not have a natural team on-site (or who work in areas for which a site does not have specified priorities) should talk with their principal/administrator about joining with a natural team (e.g. a job-alike) from other sites. If the principal is supportive, that’s fine; however, principals have the right to direct them to work with a school-based team on building priorities instead.