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In this issue: Dr. Baker-Bell and Black Linguistic Justice

  1. Black Lives Matter at School Resources for Educators
  2. Bring RECN Equity Conference Learning into Our Classrooms
  3. Youth & Family COVID Education: Media Resources
  4. Use this Safety Concern Reporting Form
  5. Upcoming Event and Activities (including WEA's HCR Leadership Conference:  Feb 12)
February 7, 2022
Dear Supporter,

Those of us who were able to attend this year’s Rainier Educators of Color Network (RECN) Equity Conference were not disappointed.  Keynote speaker Dr. Baker-Bell challenged us as educators to champion Black linguistic justice.  The Black Language Syllabus.com is an open access resource that takes us beyond code-switching and the translanguaging model to build spaces for language solidarity. Her goal is to provide educators with approaches to center the Black language in ways that dismantle systems that do not value our students’ linguistic resources.  I encourage you to join a study group (link below) that will be learning how to use these resources to dismantle educational practices with our own control as educators that discourage and discriminate. 

Today, Central Office members are returning to guest teaching one day per week. Please join me in extending appreciation to our central office and building-based specialists and other non-classroom teachers who have been continuing to cover unfilled jobs since the start of January. The $100/hour emergency coverage rate for planning period loss has been extended through the month of February.  Many thanks to those who are providing support during your planning periods as well.  A reminder that there is contract language to support building-based specialists and deans for ESC pay outside the school day.  Please talk to your administrator if you have work that must be pushed outside the school day to access up to 5 ESC hours per day.  

Those who are substituting have had varied experiences across schools and classrooms.  A number have asked me to request that classroom teachers provide a folder/binder with lesson plans, class lists, bell schedule, classroom management strategies used, and positive mantras or other supports employed with your students.   Guest teachers also appreciate receiving names of a near-by adult who might support them if they have concerns or questions.  Generic activities that support a substitute when you have taken ill or have an emergency absence are also valuable and may be required by your administrator.  Because I have received multiple requests to share this information, so additional follow up with administrators is underway.

In addition to supporting guest teacher retention, HEA and HEA are exploring new approaches to customize retention strategies for each school or site.  Each of you fill a critical role within our schools and across the school system. If you have ideas for supporting retention for your role or school, please connect with your building rep or attend your HEA building rep meeting during February.

My best,


1. Black Lives Matter at School Resources 

Your union dues were put to work on developing curriculum supports for you!  Our very own Rainier UniServ Council/Rainier Educators of Color Network (RECN) leaders have assembled and written toolkits for Black Lives Matter at School Resources for Primary through High School.  While BLM at School is always the first week of February, these resources are great to use throughout the month and all year long.

2. Bring RECN Conference

Equity Learning in Our Classrooms!

Members are encouraged to dig deeper into Dr. Baker-Bell’s book, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, which brings together theory, research, and practice to dismantle Anti-Black Linguistic Racism (a term Baker-Bell coined) and white linguistic supremacy. This resource provides ethnographic snapshots of how Black students navigate and negotiate their linguistic and racial identities across multiple contexts.  She captures what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in community with Black youth. Linguistic Justice provides a range of multimodal examples and practices through instructional maps, charts, artwork, and stories that reflect the urgent need for antiracist language pedagogies in our current social and political climate. (citation here)

Please email Sandy if you are looking for support in your practice or at your school through a book study or other group activity.

3. Youth and Family COVID Education:

Media Resources

How-to videos on self-testing available in multiple languages.  The King County COVID-19 self-testing website has new how-to videos in multiple languages. Please share these videos to aid in using home test kits.  
Youth access to vaccinations.  Use the following videos created for youth, by youth in collaboration with Public Health – Seattle & King County. It’s important for parents and guardians to know that when our children get vaccinated, it protects the entire community. Kids ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. You are welcome to share this video with young people as well.  These videos were designed, written and created by Magdalene Tran and Yuhaniz Aly, in collaboration with Public Health – Seattle and King County.

·       Here is the link to the video about the COVID-19 Vaccine 12-17 year olds on Facebook and Instagram. This first video was produced and created by young people for young people*. It is about the importance of 12-17 year olds getting vaccinated. Getting vaccinated protects young people from getting and spreading COVID-19. ‘

·       Here is the link to the video about the COVID-19 Vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds on Facebook and Instagram.  This second video was also produced and created by young people*. This one is geared to parents and guardians of 5-11 year olds and  discusses how critical it is to get children vaccinated. 

4.  Use this Safety Concerns Report Form

New this school year is a protocol for reporting your safety concerns.  If you have raised your concern with your building administrator and it is not or cannot be resolved, report the issue to HR using the “Safety Concern Form”.  This link is actively monitored by HR and HSD to achieve a timely resolution to member issues. Please navigate through the Frontline Central to access and complete the link.

5. Upcoming Events and Activities:

Find details & links on the HEA Events Page

  • Local Levy Races-Please Vote!  (Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday).  Local district levies are being run around the area.  Please vote to support the school district in your community by February 8.  Last year’s Highline Levy passed with over 70% approval!  We appreciate the Highline Community and are looking forward to community support for our “Bonds are for Buildings” campaign.  And please support the democratic process by registering or updating your voter registration.  Here is the voter registration link for those residing in King County.
  • Human and Civil Rights Leadership Conference (2.12.22).  Open to all.  This Summit focuses on our collective and individual leadership for racial and social justice from the classroom to the association. Register here today! 
  • HEA Executive Board Meeting (2.28.22@4:30). Members can email HEA Secretary, Katie Utesch  at least 24 hours in advance for the zoom link.  Note: Executive Sessions are closed to members.
  • HEA Representative Council Meeting (03.07.22@4:30). Appointment Ratification Vote for HS Executive Board Representative Amanda Stanley.  Nominations will open for HEA Officer Positions for SY 2022-24 (HS Rep, Elementary Rep, Secretary) To attend, members email HEA Secretary, Katie Utesch at least 24 hours in advance for the zoom link.  Note: Executive Sessions are closed to members.
  • Elementary Trimester Non-paid Day (March 11).  This is not a workday for those who work in elementary schools.  Those with split assignments should either place a non-work day on either January 28 or March 11. Please talk with your administrator.
  • VEBA Retirement Readiness Seminars (March 21, repeated March 28 both @4:30).  This is designed to help you get the most out of your VEBA account. See the HEA Events page.
  • Gold Star Bash (March 24). Save the date and watch for details coming from the Highline Schools Foundation.