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In this Issue:  On-going Problem-solving on Internet Issues, School Board Actions
1. Contract Clarification:  Student Led Conference Safety
2. Your Input Is Needed:  HEA Guest Teacher Survey & WEA SpEd Survey 
3. Upcoming Events: NEW-Parent Leave Workshop (Nov 16 @ 4:30)
4. Local City Council Celebrations!  
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November 5, 2021
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Dear Members,
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Please take a moment to thank our community for passing the levy.  Also we appreciate our HEA Representatives and COVID Co-Captains who are advocating for your working conditions and safety.  Discussions on topics of concern are on-going.  If you are teaching in-person and would like to be part of a problem-solving team focused on responses for staff to lack of internet access, please email me.  We continue to work out additional supports for Remote teachers.
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In addition, much is going on with the HSD School Board.  They have a search firm and processes planned out to select a new superintendent so please watch for surveys and meeting announcements in the coming weeks.  An announcement will be made the end of February/beginning of March.
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Sadly, it was also announced that next month they will be taking up consideration of closing Southern Heights Elementary.  District-wide, student enrollment is down by 300 students this year compared to last, with additional drops expected in the next few years.  Currently, there are about a dozen classes at Southern Heights and those students would be reassigned to surrounding schools.  This action would save the district $1 million per year. 
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Please send in your statement or attend a special public hearing on the Southern Heights closure scheduled for November 18 (5:00-7:00 PM) on zoom.  Call 206-631-3070 or email to sign up to speak or to email your statement and get the link.  You are also always welcome to  attend the Dec 1st school board meeting to share your perspective on these or other issues.  
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Looking ahead we know that Friday may be a challenging day in terms of attendance.  Please be thoughtful and be kind to one another and to our guest teachers that day.
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My best to you in the coming week and please take time to honor those who serve and have served our country.
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Take care of yourselves and each other,
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Sandy

 1. CONTRACT CLARIFICATION

Student Led Conferences.  Section 4.13 of the CBA continues to apply along with district visitor guidelines.  Members should not be asked to vote on an in-person or remote schedule.  The expectation is that those running their conferences will set up the format that works for them in conjunction with the families.  If a family cannot attend a zoom meeting, however, in-person must be offered to them.  If a family cannot attend in-person, then a zoom option must be offered. 

2. YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED

  • HEA’s GUEST TEACHER SURVEY.  This short survey is designed to help us identify celebrations and address the concerns of our Highline Guest Teachers.  Guest teachers, please submit your feedback by November 11th and attend the WEA Guest Teacher Meeting described below.  
  • WEA EDUCATOR SURVEY.  WEA is conducting a statewide anonymous survey on special education and inclusion topics. The first part of the survey is for all members and is relatively short (about 5 minutes.) It is about inclusionary students' services and supports). The second part is for only those who work in special education most of the time.  Because these questions are more in-depth, please plan to spend 15 minutes until Sunday, November 21, 2021.
The survey is designed to gather input from all members who work with any students enrolled in a district’s special education program. Our joint Special Education Team would love to get a high participation rate so our member results could be used to:
*Inform HEA’s advocacy in our Special Education Bargain and Open Contract Negotiation.  
*Inform professional support being planned by our UniServ Council.
*Inform WEA’s statewide educator advocacy around special education issues. 

3. UPCOMING EVENTS

Here are some items of note.  Please reach out if you have any questions.
  • NEW!  PARENTAL LEAVE WORKSHOP…..Considering expanding your family? Attend the virtual  HEA-HPS Parental Leave Workshop on Tuesday, November 16, from 4:30-5:30 PM. Representatives from Highline Human Resources and HEA/WEA will walk you through things you should research and consider in advance, or as early as possible, if you are considering having, adopting, or fostering a child. Topics will include the different types of leaves that may be available to you, the impact of those leaves on your income, benefits changes you may want to think about, and more. The Zoom link is available here, and if you need dial-in access, please email Elizabeth Beck, WEA UniServ Representative. 
  • HEA COVID CO-CAPTAINS. November 10 (7:15-8:00AM) or (4:00-5:00PM). CCCs - check your school email for the Zoom link. If you need release from a principal-directed meeting to attend, email Sandy.
  • GUEST TEACHER WEA MEETING.  Thursday, November 11 10:00-11:00 a.m. Register here to receive the zoom link.
    • Meet fellow Guest Teachers from around the Puget Sound
    • Dig into the Mutual Benefits of Belonging
    • Share your Insights into Safety at the Schools where you substitute teach
  • BARGAINING AND BEYOND CONFERENCE.  Saturday, November 20 (9:45AM-2:15PM).  This is open to all members.  Register using this link. 
  • HEA DELEGATE NOMINATIONS OPEN.  Attend these Representative Assemblies and shape the future of your union.  HEA building reps can provide more information.  You can also email me.  Nominations are open until January 10:
    • WEA Representative Assembly Delegates (one and two-year terms are open) to be held in Spokane (April 7-9, 2022 and April 13-15, 2023).
    • NEA Representative Assembly, if it is held remotely or somewhere other than Texas, (July 2-6, 2022) and in Orlando the following year (July 2-6. 2023).

 4. LOCAL CITY COUNCIL CELEBRATIONS!

Thank you to all who took the time to support endorsed candidates and to vote.  HEA extends our appreciation to Jennifer Fichamba and Soleil Lewis for their candidacies, and Krystal Marx for her service to Burien. Please join me in extending our congratulations to the following candidates who have won their races outright or are currently ahead in the vote count.  Never doubt that your vote and your advocacy matters.
  • Burien City Council:  Hugo Garcia (ahead by 26 votes!), Jimmy Matta, Sarah Moore
  • Des Moines City Council:  Gene Achziger
  • SeaTac City Council:  Mohamed Egal, Iris Guzman, Jake Simpson