Checking-In/Updates

 Good afternoon NEA-Jurupa Family,

 

I hope that you all had a restful three-day weekend and that you continue to stay safe and well. As always, THANK YOU for your continued compassion, empathy, grace, kindness, patience, and understanding. I hope that you continue to make time for yourselves to relax and rejuvenate, to unplug and unwind.

 

 

My apologies in advance for the long email.

 

This past year has been quite the roller coaster ride, to say the least. Yesterday’s updated Riverside County COVID numbers were as follows: 16.2 cases/100K and 7.6% positivity rate. This is excellent news! Riverside County is now eligible to begin the return to in-person instruction (TK-6), per the attached letter above. The approval is based on the Governor’s Reopening Plan/CDPH Guidance which was released in January. Updated points from CTA are also attached.

 

There are still more questions than answers and the situation remains fluid. The big question that many of you have is “what does this mean for JUSD”? Although there are still many unknowns, here are some simple (and long) answers. Please remember that this is a work in progress and will require substantial negotiations.

 

WHEN WILL WE RETURN?: The guidance from the state was that TK-6 could return for in-person instruction once the county case rates fell below 25/100K for five consecutive days. For 7-12 (secondary), the county must be in the red tier <7/100K for five consecutive days. The decision to return is contingent on the JUSD School Board voting to return to in-person instruction (this may happen at the March 8th meeting). Mr. Duchon has stated on several occasions that once a decision is made to return, it will take about six weeks to get everything ready. 

 

It’s important to note that the Board voted for only Distance Learning back in July and that our current MOU is for the entire school year. There are surrounding districts who are going to be returning very quickly, those boards voted for multiple options last summer and have already gone through a waiver process. This is why they are “rushing” back as soon as next week. 

 

This past week, the state legislature began working on and holding hearings for a new budget trailer bill (AB/SB 86) to address returning to in-person instruction. This graphic breaks down some of the highlights. I listened to the budget hearing on Monday and submitted comments to the Assembly Budget Committee. This bill is much more robust than what the Governor proposed in January AND has better timelines. If you’d like to read to current language of the bill, here is the link.

WHAT WILL RETURNING TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION LOOK LIKE?: The district must provide optional in-person instruction, but will also continue to provide distance learning. There are many different “hybrid” (in-person/virtual) models out there. Until the board makes a decision, we won’t know for sure. I know that the district has been studying the various models and will continue to work with the Association. Here are some examples: AM/PM stable groups, alternating day stable groups (A/B) with virtual days, and concurrent in-person/virtual learning. My niece and nephew’s school will be offering phased in, multiple options all on the same site. It’s a little mind boggling. The instructional minutes in accordance with SB 98 will remain intact. Again, any and all impacts are subject to negotiations.

 

SAFETY CONCERNS: The district must have a comprehensive safety plan (you received an initial copy in January) that aligns with the CDPH Guidelines. This includes addressing stable groups, movement on campus, face coverings/PPE, health screenings, healthy hygiene practices, contact tracing, physical distancing, safety training, testing of staff/students, and identification and reporting of cases. Campus cleaning/sanitizing and ventilation/air flow within a classroom are also top priorities. The district must also have communication plan that adheres to privacy requirements of FERPA/HIPAA. The plan must be approved by the county public health officer. 

 

ACCOMMODATIONS/LEAVES: These will need to be negotiated. For those of you with rights to accommodations under the ADA, the district will work with you. 

 

WILL EVERYONE BE RETURNING TO WORK ON CAMPUS?: This is negotiable and will be based on a number of factors, most importantly, how many families will be opting for their students to return to in-person instruction. 

 

We are currently working on a survey (which will be presented to Exec Board for approval) and then sent out you for input. If you have specific concerns/needs/questions, please reach out to your site reps, area directors, or me. We will make sure to put all of those on our “list” of discussion points with the district. 

 

ITEMS UNRELATED TO RETURNING

STATE TESTING: It was announced on Monday that the Federal Government will NOT be granting waiver’s for testing, much to the disappointment of many. However, they are allowing

 

states to have some flexibility including shortened tests and longer timelines. Here’s a USA Today article for reference. Here’s information about Opting Out(both parents’ and teachers’ rights).

 

UPCOMING CONFERENCES: 

Equity and Human Rights (Feb 24-27)

Good Teaching Conference-Middle and Secondary (March 11-14)

Special Education (April 30-May 2)

For more information and to register, click here.

 

This is probably long enough for now… As more information comes, we will keep you updated. 

 

 

Mmmmmm, tacos… Best to all of you and your loved ones!

 

 

In Unity-

 

Wendy Eccles 🙂

NEA-Jurupa President

Office Phone: 951-681-7997, Google Voice: 951-643-4076

Non-district email: president@neaj.org 

Website: www.neaj.org 

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