Thank you for being patient. However, I’m going to have to ask you to be a little more patient. I know these are unsettled times for all of us, and not knowing is difficult to deal with.
I can tell you that today I submitted to district administration a Demand to Bargain letter. A Demand to Bargain is a legal document that requires districts to consult and negotiate changes in our contracted working conditions with Association representatives to work on a path forward through this crisis. Your safety and the safety of our students is paramount. As leaders in our respective communities, people look to all of us for leadership and answers. It is crucial to remain calm and be the voice of reason. People buying up toilet paper at stores is not the voice of reason.
Thankfully, the state has guaranteed California public school districts will continue to receive state funding even in the event of closure. The order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and/or independent study, provide school meals and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours. It’s that, or we add two weeks to our school year, and I don’t think any of us want that.
I have no idea what any of this looks like yet as it will be different from district to district based on our negotiations. Just be prepared for the possibility that we will be called upon to teach through technology, prepare packets, or ? In other words, you’re on call starting next week. I wish I could be more specific. However, I will be demanding that we receive training in distance learning and/or independent study as well as time to prepare for that.
Yes, students don’t have their textbooks at home. Some don’t have their devices at home. Some don’t have internet access at home. All I know is, all of my students have better phones than I do, and they’re always seeming to borrow pencils from me. 😊 We will get through this.
We have to keep our eye on the ball and remember what is important. We are working with the district to do what is right for you, our students and their families and just as important, our local community and our country. District admin and Association representatives are working 24/7 on this. We will have very specific details early next week.
Let’s suck it up and face this crisis head on…TOGETHER. In Solidarity is not just a catchphrase. We need to work together and remain calm. That’s how we do it in Manteca. We have a great reputation as educational leaders, and all of you are the reason why. Please take care of yourselves and each other. More details will be forthcoming on Tuesday.