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In this Issue: Safety Concerns including a Link to Frontline Safety Concern Reporting Form 

1. Contents of HEA Rep Council Letter
2. HEA-HSD January Timeline
3. For Your Health! KN95 Masks and Boosters
4. Substitute Data to Date 

January 14, 2022

Dear Members,

A week ago, the district identified a two-week plan for staying open that we are jointly monitoring daily and reviewing on Wednesdays.  We are one week into this plan.  Some classrooms have moved to remote teaching but the district is committed to following through with the mitigations they have put in place for now. Please see last week’s Efocus for details. 

On Monday the HEA Representative Council directed me to send a letter with our concerns to the district in response to their plan for keeping schools open during the Omicron surge.  I am asking our Reps to hold building meetings this coming week if that hasn’t happened since our return from break. Please take time to attend.  We need to come together to listen to each other and share our concerns, interests, and ideas with each other.  

It is also important for you to be communicating about safety concerns in your building and bringing your needs forward to your administrative team and the HEA/HSD Covid Co-captains.  If you perceive that they are not being resolved, please follow the MOU language from August shared here. This is how we are tracking and resolving your issues.

"If the problem cannot be resolved at the building level, the concern should be escalated to the district level by completing the “Safety Concern Form” linked here."

HEA and HSD are meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the ten issues raised by the Rep Council (see below).  You are welcome to join an HEA Member Discussion on Zoom Tues, Jan. 18 @ 5:00PM to learn what was shared.  By sending the complete HEA Rep Council letter after the HEA member meeting on Tuesday, we will be able to include the district response to proposals 1-10 listed below. Below is also the January timeline for how we are moving forward. Email Katie Utesch for the meeting Zoom link or ask your HEA Rep. You will find the substitute data below that we are monitoring.

Our community appreciates that you are showing up for students and families and it is time to listen to you.  Please join upcoming member meetings as you can.

In solidarity,

Sandy


1. CONTENTS OF HEA REP COUNCIL LETTER

EXCERPT FROM HEA REP COUNCIL LETTER TO HSD ADMINISTRATION:  HEA members require transparency and a willingness by the district to enhance and enforce the existing MOU agreements at every site. We are committed to continuing to problem-solve and engage in impact bargaining, as needed, when situations change.  The proposed, prioritized actions outlined below are viable, defensible, and responsive to the needs expressed by Highline staff, students, and community.  They will also contribute in positive ways to the futures both students and staff will choose.  If the MOU cannot be implemented by the district at specific sites for a variety of reasons, then we contend that remote teaching would best meet the need for safety at that site. Actions we believe are necessary include the following:

  1. District Transparency
  2. Universal Masking with Well-fitted Masks
  3. Correct Mask Use along with Physical Distancing
  4. Keeping Schools Healthy by Keeping Sick Students Home
  5. Responding to Symptoms and Cases of COVID
  6. Universal Cleanliness Routines
  7. Contact Tracing and Testing Combined with Quarantine and Isolation
  8. Work Assignments and Highline Sick Leave Pool
  9. Time and Money
  10. Healing

HEA-HSD JANUARY TIMELINE.  As we continue to move forward, these are the actions being taken, although developments may require an accelerated time.

  • 1/3/21 Mon: Return from break (late start).  HEA Executive Board Meeting.
  • 1/5/22 Wed: District presented plan via Labor/Management (L/M) meeting to gain more subs coverage to alleviate shortage.  Agreement was secured to meet gather substitute data and review weekly on Wednesdays with HSD leaders.
  • 1/6/22 Thurs: Emailed Rep Council Meeting Materials with request for Reps to hold building meetings to gather the concerns and interests of members
  • 1/10/22 Mon: Rep Council Meeting - Reps shared issues of concern being expressed by members and directed the President to present priority needs in a letter to the district.
  • 1/11/22 Tues: HEA 15-min Building Meeting materials emailed and Reps asked to hold meetings and collect input from members.
  • 1/12/22 Wed:  HEA and HSD L/M meeting for leaders to review substitute data and the HEA Rep Council letter which was emailed later that day.
  • 1/13/22 Thurs:  HSD Cabinet reviewed HEA Rep letter to develop response to member needs.  
  • 1/14/22 Fri: Today’s EFocus presents the HEA Rep Council letter topics and this timeline.
  • 1/17/22 Mon: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration:  No school
  • 1/18/22 Tues: HSD plans to present a response to HEA Rep Council letter on a special L/M meeting.  Later that day, HEA plans an open Zoom meeting for members at 5:00PM.  The Rep Council Letter with HSD Response will be emailed to all members after the meeting.
  • 1/19/22 Wed: HEA and HSD regular Labor/Management meeting followed by next steps based on our responses to the decision-making information shared by the district.
  • 1/20/22 Thurs: HEA Member Meeting if needed (TBD)

3. FOR YOUR HEALTH

  • FOR YOUR HEALTH!  It is recommended by public health officials that you always wear a KN95 mask and get boosted.  Soon, you will be required to be boosted with your third shot, assuming you are eligible, if you want to avoid quarantining after a close contact.  Reduce your use of sick leave, support healthcare workers and protect loved ones with a booster, if eligible.  Find and schedule a booster vaccine here.  Walk-ins are available at SeaMar and Kaiser Permanente (Longacres site in Tukwila).  And please support your students and colleagues by staying home if you have these combinations of symptoms, with public health officials identifying a scratchy throat as a common early symptom. 


4. SUBSTITUTE DATA TO DATE

HSD SUBSTITUTE DATA TO DATE:  We appreciate everyone who is helping to make this work.   Filled positions listed here include Highline Substitutes, Central Office Specialists, and Central Office Administrators. Today's fill rate was 68% with 8 central office administrators covering classes.