Updates/Important Survey Link for Returning to In-Person Instruction

Greetings NEA-Jurupa Family,

 

Where to start? THANK YOU for your continued compassion, empathy, grace, kindness, patience, and understanding as we continue to navigate through these times. It still seems so surreal that we have been in distance learning for almost a year.

 

I feel like my head is spinning with all of the information coming at us so quickly. I can only begin to imagine how you must all be feeling, the varying levels of anxiety and stress that you are dealing with, especially given the news from yesterday (specifically the community letter and the announcement that the Governor and State Legislature have come to an agreement about returning to in-person instruction). It’s so much to digest in such a short time period.

 

 

My apologies in advance for the loooonnnggg email, but I know that you all must have a ton of concerns/questions. Thank you to all of you who have reached out either to your site reps, area directors, or to me directly. I have compiled a “list” (attached above) that has been shared with both the board and the district. It is more imperative than ever that our members be heard. In each and every conversation we have with the district, we continue to address these.

 

*We ask you to complete this survey by Friday, in order to inform our conversations with the district. I plan to share the results with you, the board, and the district on Monday.* 

 

Here are some of the details of the agreement that was announced yesterday. It’s my understanding that it will come up for a vote on Thursday and the Governor has committed to signing it.

    • The “early action” bill will provide $6.6 billion in one-time Prop 98 monies. $2 billion in incentive grants to provide in-person instruction and $4.6 billion in Expanded Learning Opportunity Grades to provide academic and other supports and to prioritize vaccines for employees. PLEASE NOTE THAT DISTRICTS MUST OFFER OPTIONAL IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION IN ORDER TO RECEIVE INCENTIVE GRANT MONEY.

In order to receive incentive grants, districts MUST meeting the following requirements: 

    • Comprehensive Safety Plan aligned with CDPH guidance/state checklist that is approved by county/state (must be done 5 days prior to returning and must be posted on district website).
    • Timelines for returning to in-person instruction. PURPLE TIER (>25/100K) Districts must offer optional in-person instruction for TK-2 and small cohorts for high needs students. RED TIER (>7/100K) Districts must offer optional in-person instruction for TK-6 (or highest elementary grade) AND must offer optional in-person instruction for one full grade level at secondary and small cohorts for high needs students. There is a 1% reduction in funding for each day in-person instruction is not provided beginning April 1st.
    • Small Cohorts: Districts must offer optional in-person instruction for following high needs groups (inline with our Small Cohort MOU): Students with special needs, students at risk for abuse, neglect, or exploitation, homeless students, foster youth, English learners, disengaged students.
    • Testing Cadence: Districts in Purple Tier must meet asymptomatic testing cadence (every two weeks). Districts in Red Tier do not have to have testing cadence. 

Provisions attached to the Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant including:

    • Extending instructional time (examples: increased instructional days/minutes, providing summer school)
    • Tutoring or other one-on-one/small group learning supports (ELO)
    • Learning recovery programs
    • PD for certificated and classified staff
    • Integrated student supports including: health, counseling, or mental health services, school meal programs, before and after school programs, programs to address trauma and SEL

Vaccinations are NOT required for us to return to in-person instruction. The agreement requires that 10% of state’s vaccine supply be offered to child care/K-12 education staff. Many of you have received at least one, if not two, doses. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO RECEIVED YOUR FIRST DOSE AT THE RHS CLINIC, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOW UP DATE FOR SECOND VACCINE WILL BE ON MARCH 12TH, NOT MARCH 5TH AS PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED. STAFF RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM DANIEL BROOKS LAST WEEK.

 

THE DISTRICT IS NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER INTO AN MOU IN ORDER TO ENACT THEIR PLAN, HOWEVER, BOTH THE ASSOCIATION AND THE DISTRICT ARE COMMITTED TO HAVING AN AGREEMENT IN PLACE. We have worked collaboratively throughout the entirety of the pandemic and will continue to do so.

 

Now for the big question: what does this mean for JUSD?

 

The case numbers have been trending down and it’s very likely we will be in the RED TIER in a matter of weeks. Today’s numbers were just released and Riverside County is at 11.3/100K and positivity rate is at 5.8%.

 

Many of you have expressed concerns over the fact that little to nothing has been shared with the staff or community about the district’s plans. I know that this has been beyond frustrating, the not knowing part, especially considering that many of you live in, have children in, or have friends in surrounding districts and have heard much about their plans. 

 

They have been working on plans all along and those are currently being fine-tuned, but are not quite finished. It is my understanding that the district will bring their completed plans to the school board on March 8th. The board can choose whether to or not to take action at that time. I have asked the district to either provide time for staff and community to see the plans prior to the board meeting OR to consider setting an emergency board meeting after the 8th, for the same reason. 

 

Please know that I am in constant contact with school board members and the district.

 

Some of the things that MUST happen prior to any return:

    • Safety Plan must be approved and posted.
    • Schedules must be prepared and all impacts to working conditions negotiated. 
    • Families must be contacted and indicate whether their students will opt for in-person instruction or remain in virtual. They will be given a set of guidelines that must be adhered to in order to go in-person. There will be no “ins and outs”, in-person groupings must be stable. 
    • Sites/classrooms must be prepared and district safety protocols must be in place. 

If you would like to reach out to our school board members, here is their email info:

Robert Garcia, TA 1: robert_garcia@jusd.k12.ca.us

Eric Ditwiler, TA 2: eric_ditwiler@jusd.k12.ca.us

Karen Bradford, TA 3 (Board President): karen_bradford@jusd.k12.ca.us

Joseph Navarro, TA 4: joseph_navarro@jusd.k12.ca.us

Melissa Ragole, TA 5: melissa_ragole@jusd.k12.ca.us

 

As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, we have striven to provide you with clear and consistent communications, sharing the most up to date information. We will continue to do so, especially with things moving so very fast.

 

Here is one of my most favorite movie quotes ever:

 

 

Can’t wait to take a day off like Ferris did…

 

Best to all of you and your loved ones. Please continue to stay safe and well 😊

 

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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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together“- African Proverb