Good afternoon NEA-Jurupa Family,
As we are headed back into our final week of summer break (some of us are already officially back to work), I hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and well 😊 I can only imagine the varying levels of anxiety and stress that many of you are feeling as we embark on this new journey for the 20-21 school year. Please continue to remember that it is a work in progress, that there will be bumps along the way, and that is OK. You’ve got this!!!
I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify questions that some of you may still have in relation to our MOU and the emails send out to teachers from Dave Doubravsky yesterday. This is a little long… On a side note, I’m so very pleased with the MOU that we agreed to, as many districts are requiring members to work from their school sites and having longer portions of synchronous time with students. In my home elementary district, parents received an email expecting their children to be online from 8:30-2. That is not good for students/families or teachers… It’s important to remember that on any given day, students are not usually receiving an entire day of direct instruction, so our schedule allows for flexibility.
1. Work Site: The general assumption from the district is that our members will be working from home. If you are a planning on working from your site/classroom, you need to let your site admin know. Additionally, if you are planning a varying schedule, you also need to let your site admin know. According to the MOU, you need to provide a 48 hour notice to site admin, when you plan on being on campus. This is in part because modifications will need to be made for cleaning/custodial work. If you are not planning on regularly working on site and as per Dave’s email yesterday, air conditioner override in the classrooms will be set for 4 hours. You can override twice if necessary. The rationale is that if you’re not planning on working from your site daily, there is no need to continuously run the AC.
2. Schedules: The district is providing schedule templates for both Elementary and Secondary levels. These are pretty universal, but there may be a few slight variances at the site levels based on start times. All Secondary sites will have three 80 minute block periods daily. 45 of those minutes should be “live interaction” or synchronous time with students. This time can be used for direct instruction, small group (meaning working with small groups while others remain on), review, etc. The additional time should be allocated for independent work/time-value assignments. At the Elementary sites, there will be similar “block” type schedules to focus on ELA, Math, and SS/Science. (This is an example, but sites will use a district template as a guide). Again, it is not expected that you deliver 45 minutes of direct instruction within the given period or block.
3. Attendance: Daily attendance is compulsory at all levels. However, according to the state guidelines, attendance includes time “in class” and/or completion of “time-value” work. As was also addressed in the MOU, the district is required to adhere to state audit guidelines. Of course, those are a work in progress as well, so we need to make sure we’ve got our bases covered. Roll call attendance could mean having students respond when their name is called, typing the name in the chat, and/or checking the participants list on Zoom/Google Meet/Microsoft Teams. More detailed attendance information will be coming out from the district.
4. Student “Face Time”: Many of you have asked if you can require students to show their faces during live interaction. The short answer is NO. You can strongly encourage, but can not mandate students to show their faces. Suggestion is to have expectations/guidelines for synchronous times made readily available to students and families. This should include expectations for video, audio, and use of chat feature.
5. Office Hours: The 30 minutes of daily office hours DO NOT HAVE TO BE LIVE. They are meant to be a set time that you are available to talk to students/families if they request/make appointments. Daily office hours should be communicated to students/families via your PSL page.\
6. Printed Materials: As you may know, Print Shop was closed for quite some time and may be very backlogged. If you need to distribute specific printed materials for your classes (as a MS History Teacher, I always used printed materials as part of my curriculum), please work directly with your site administrator. It is my understanding that there will be opportunities to have materials printed on site. If you currently have them prepared in a PDF format, please let your site admin know.
7. Staff/Department Meetings: This provision of the Contract remains unaffected. Weekly meetings should be no more than 45 minutes in length. If your site admin is scheduling them for longer, please give them a gentle reminder of the time limits.
I’ve also attached additional PD and Instructional Resources below for anyone who is interested:
CTA IPD Trainings on Distance Learning
Teachers on the Frontlines Webinar Recording
The Techie Teacher Blog
Improving Distance Learning for Students on IEPs
Ditch That Textbook Blog
Tricks for Google Classroom
Early Career Mentor and Mentee Opportunities (Stipend Paid for Work Completed)
There are also multiple Facebook groups I’ve come across with a ton of additional resources including This Side of the Chalkboard and Distance Learning Educators. As our kids say, “Sharing is Caring!”
Best Hack that I’ve learned about since we went to Remote Locations: YOU CAN SCAN PDF DOCUMENTS FROM YOUR IPHONE!!! JUST OPEN THE NOTES APP, CLICK ON THE CAMERA ICON, AND GO!!! I’ve scanned 20 pages into one complete PDF set and sent it right from my notes app via email. This has literally saved me on multiple occasions… I hope there’s a similar function on Android devices.
Please feel free to reach out to me, the NEA-Jurupa officers, your area directors, or site representatives anytime… Even though the NEA-Jurupa Office will remain closed, we will be available. As more information comes, so will more clarification. Stay Tuned!
Best to you and your loved ones!
Wendy Eccles 🙂
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