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In this issue:  Wednesday’s School Board Public Comments and HEA Responses
1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events-Local Candidates Need Our Support This Month!
2. Did You Get the Memo?  Previous Efocus links to COVID MOU language
3. Health & Safety COVID MOU:  Extra Layers of Protection for Overcrowded Classrooms

October 11, 2021
Dear Supporter,
Wednesday’s School Board meeting was long and painful.  
Staff and parents as well as a community member and student questioned the closure of the CTE classes taught by Sandy Gady at Pacific MS. We heard from members of the transportation department about their concerns over enforcing the vaccine mandate.  (All school district employees must be fully vaccinated or be granted an exemption to continue working in any WA school district.)  We also heard from a parent speaking out against the IRI curriculum and CRT.   Finally, we are beginning to hear that the school board must address the climate catastrophe as part of every decision they make.  These are on-going issues which are being addressed collectively as members of a union through education, bargaining, and organizing.  For example:
  • The “all students graduating bilingual and biliterate” strategic goal has implications for staffing as dual language classes expand to secondary schools across the district.  We will be addressing this issue in the DL joint committee this year.  This goal also impacts elective options at all our comprehensive middle schools. 
  • We are working individually with principals at DL schools to address supports needed for teachers who were moved to different assignments and not given time to plan for that transition.
  • After October 18, all staff who have not received an exemption or provided proof of vaccination will be placed on leave. Loudermill meetings for individuals not complying with this legal requirement are scheduled for October 19.
  • Please join the Rainier Educators of Color Network (RECN) as we work together to create safe and just schools for all students.  The next meet up is Thursday, October 21 (4:30-6:00PM).  The registration link will be sent to all personal emails next Monday.  Check your filter and email Lani Nguyen if you need support getting the registration link.  

Thank you for all you are doing.  Please reach out to your HEA Reps or HEA Covid Co-Captains if you need support.  They are in regular communication with your Executive Board and with me. 

Hope to see you on Friday at the Candidate Forum Happy Hour (see below)!


P.S. With the selection of the next superintendent and deputy superintendent in the balance, the HPS school board race has never been more important.  Contact Sandy Hunt to support texting WEA members who live in our district or learn other ways you can support through donations of time or money to our endorsed candidates.

1. Ongoing and Upcoming Events

Here are some items of note.  Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to participate.
  • BLM at SchoolOctober 14th is Justice for George Day.  October 14th is George Floyd’s Birthday.  Justice for George is a day to remember him and call for the defunding of the police and the redirecting of those funds towards social programs and education. Please email both Sandy Hunt and NEA Director Jeb Binns for information on how to participate in actions and build momentum for change in HPS.  
  • NEW! Burien City Council Candidate Endorsement Interviews. – Thursday, Oct 14 7:00PM.  Please email Mike Williams to join candidate interviews for Burien CC position 1 and position 5.  

  • NEW! Member Happy Hour with Local Candidates – Friday, Oct 15 3:00-5:30.  Come meet the candidates HEA has endorsed for the HPS School Board and Local City Council races in our service areas. This is an outdoor event. THis is an outdoor event held at Smarty Pants Garage with appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages provided by HEA. Candidates listed below will address HEA members at around 4 PM. See you at 626 SW 152nd Street downtown Burien.  Space may be limited so arrive early. Lots of parking is in the back.  Please bring proof of vaccination.

  • NEW! Help Candidates Reach WEA Members.  Just after ballots arrive we will be texting from the comfort of our own homes with a texting app-next weekend and/or just before the Nov 2nd election day.  Iris Guzman is an HEA social worker and is running for SeaTac CC.  Our other wonderful endorsed candidates are listed below.  A few more may be added by Friday.

  • NEW! VOTE this Weekend.  Check out the HEA website for links to the city council candidates or visit the Our Voice website to find educator and labor-friendly candidates in your community races. 

*Jennifer Fichamba has been endorsed for Highline School Board District 2  

*SeaTac City Council:  Iris Guzman, Mohamed Egal, and Jake Simpson

*Des Moines City Council: Gene Achziger and Soleil Lewis

*Burien City Council:  Hugo Garcia and Krystal Marx 

NEW! HEA Member VIRTUAL VEBA 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.  Here are two sessions targeted just to our HEA Members. To access the zoom link, go to the HEA Events Calendar 
October 14, 3:30-4:30 and 4:30-5:30 
December 6, 3:30-4:30 and 4:30-5:30
VIRTUAL VEBA BENEFITS SESSIONS. A quick presentation to Washington public sector employees will be followed with a Q&A.  Please see VEBA Plan Benefits Guide for Plan information. 
October 12, 10:00-10:30am Click here to register
October 12, 4:30-5:00pm Click here to register
October 15, 11:30am-12:00pm Click here to register
October 20, 9:00-9:30am Click here to register
October 20, 4:00-4:30pm Click here to register

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)
  • October 1 Efocus:  Ventilation Requirements - what to do if you have air flow concerns in your work or teaching space.

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 with unmasked students.  Please connect with your principal to discuss your needs, particularly if students were just added to your classroom after balancing.