School Reopening Updates

Happy Fourth of July!

We hope that you and your family have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

As we get closer to returning to school, please keep an eye on this space as we anticipate that the updates from AFT NM, the PED, and our own district will become more frequent.

As you may have seen NM PED has issued its Reentry Guidance for public schools.

The PED has identified three modes of educational instruction for the school year: Remote, Hybrid, and Full Reentry. All schools will begin the school year in the Hybrid classification. Through its “Requirements for Reentry,” the PED will act as the gatekeeper, to ensure that all schools continue to operate safely through the school year.

The Reentry Guidance calls on Districts to create local policies that will best protect students and educators. The District’s Reentry policies will necessarily change terms and conditions of employment and must first be bargained with your Union before they are rolled out.

On your behalf, we will soon be requesting that we bargain these issues, some of which include:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for students and educators;

Accommodations for High-Risk Groups (Educators and Educators living with high-risk persons);

Paid COVID-19 Exposure Leave;

COVID-19 education and training;

Hybrid learning and the Duty Day.

PED’s Reentry Guidance provides important safeguards for educators and students. We will work hard to make sure these protections are guaranteed.

You can help:

- If you receive communications from the District/ Management regarding policy changes relating to COVID-19, please send those immediately on to your Union Representative.

Your support and active interest in these important Union matters will result in District policies that are better for students and for educators. Below is the link to our Reopening Concerns survey. Please continue to use it to list the concerns you have about the PED and District reopening plan. We will continue to update you.

ATF Reopening Suggestions

Whitney here- One of my favorite parts about union work is hearing what places around the state are doing and then bringing those ideas back here. Our friends with the Albuquerque Teachers Federation sent this plan out to their members yesterday. I want to share this plan with you now so we can have it on our radar in the event that we continue to see cases spike across the state and an in-person reopening is not doable. Of course, every plan has a lengthy list of pros and cons but here is one more idea to throw into the mix.

As educators we know that real school is best for students.

We all want to return to real school.

However, real school has to be really safe for all staff and every student.

We do not believe that the current data supports a safe return to in person schooling in early August.

We propose the following:

· Start school on the original start date in August for all staff.

· Delay in-person schooling for students until after Labor Day.

· Start the hybrid model for students on September 8th if the data indicates that it is safe.

During the first month of schools we will:

· Engage in virtual home visits in order to establish a relationship with students and their guardians/parents.

· Assess what supports the students/families need in order to successfully engage in online learning.

· Distribute technology and establish in-home broadband hot spots for all families and staff.

· Learn more and develop expertise in online learning.

· Collaborate with our peers to develop engaging age-appropriate online learning lesson plans.

· Coordinate with fellow educators who share students in the same family to establish workable schedules for online learning.

· Coordinate with administration and bus drivers to ensure families have the same school schedule when we return.

· Work with site administrators to create an appropriate schedule for September that takes into consideration the complexity of High School and Middle School course needs that purposefully includes an advisory period that supports each students' social emotion learning.

· Work with community partners to assess the day-care needs of every family.

· Coordinate the daycare needs for our own (educators) children.

· Rearrange each classroom and school to ensure social distancing is possible.

· Work with our district to identify bathrooms and other school facilities that are out of date or broken and do not support current cleaning and safely guidelines.

· Work with the district to conduct a survey of all employees in order to determine who may be at-risk because of age and/or preexisting conditions, ensure that they have an appropriately safe position within the district so that we do not suffer mass retirements, and ensure that parents have choices for their online learning beyond September, and for medically fragile students.

· Develop school-based plans for lunches, specials, etc.

· Order and receive the appropriate PPE for all staff and every student.

· Teach.

Big picture

Tell The Senate: Don't Forfeit Our Future

hey packed their sunscreen. They watered the plants. They turned on their "out of office" replies. But the Senate forgot to do one big thing before going on vacation: They forgot to pass the HEROES Act.

Our states, communities, and schools cannot reopen safely without the resources in the HEROES Act. That's why we need you to write to your lawmaker now and tell them to pass the act when they return. Click here:
PED Townhall

Here is the link to this week's PED Town Hall.

Big picture