Seattle Tentative Agreement

“A big thank you to both negotiating teams,” said Acting Superintendent Brent Jones. “This agreement represents a commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff and a focus on excellence in the education of our students. We have the best educators on the planet and we are all ready to do our best for 180 days of excellence for the next school year” The agreement increases the safety measures of the 2020-2021 Health and Safety Agreement, improves clarity and transparency, and reflects and exceeds the latest public health guidelines. Both parties are committed to keeping abreast of evolving public health and scientific evidence surrounding COVID and the emerging Delta variant. We will return to the bargaining table as needed to adopt new strategies to protect our communities. The agreement will be submitted to EES members for ratification and next week to the SPS Board for approval. Jay Inslee announced last week that he was issuing an emergency proclamation calling on state school districts to offer a hybrid model of personal and distance learning to all K-12 students by mid-April. According to the proclamation, all schools must offer part-time in-person instruction options by April 5 for K-6 students, and April 19 for K-12 students. Over the past two weeks, SPS has negotiated in good faith the 2021-22 health protocols with the Seattle Education Association (SEA), which include an agreed plan to implement new guidelines from the Washington Department of Health (DOH). We are generally aligned in our approach and are close to a final agreement. The agreement goes beyond the state`s health recommendations. Included in the agreement: The agreement in principle is to be voted on at the Seattle Education Association representative meeting on Friday night. It must then be approved by a vote of the school committee.

The district and the teachers` union worked to reach an agreement. SPS families and students have been asking for consistency and predictability when we return to in-person learning this fall. This requires that clear expectations to support student learning be included in our 2021-2022 agreement with SEA and our educators. This preliminary agreement is subject to the approval of SEA members and the Seattle School Board. To ensure full transparency with our families, students and staff, spS`s proposed Memorandum of Understanding 2021-22 is attached below. We will continue to work closely with SEA to reach an agreement that supports the health and safety of our community and the learning needs of our students. SPS response to SEA`s draft language summary: The district and the Seattle Education Association have reached an agreement in principle for the 2021-2022 school year. Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association reached an agreement in principle Tuesday on a safe return to school buildings for kindergarten and elementary school students and staff. The agreement includes a commitment to bring students back into the classroom on March 29 with intensive special education services before kindergarten and elementary school. All other elementary students whose families opt for the personal model start on April 5, as do special education students.

More details will be available next week after the two organizations ratify the agreement. Negotiation efforts will then focus on an agreement to bring middle and high school students back into the classroom. “Sea educators look forward to welcoming our students back into the buildings with that added peace of mind,” said Uti Hawkins, vice president of the Seattle Education Association. “This agreement transparently demonstrates that every student in every building will have the same protection against COVID, regardless of their postal code. According to the publication on the agreement, “it focuses on creating safe learning environments and supports inclusion in special education by keeping students with IEPs in the classroom with their general education peers.” “Teams will review the data to determine if the student needs personal services to make meaningful progress toward their MYP goals and determine how to provide personal services safely and in accordance with health guidelines,” the agreement states. Many special education families complained that services for their children were scarce – or non-existent – in the spring. This fall, the district committed to personally serving special education students when their needs could not be met remotely. However, the agreement states that the district must first complete a long list of health and safety precautions before employees have to meet with students in person. The union is due to vote on the contract on Friday, and details have not been made public, but a draft received from KUOW sets more concrete expectations for staff and students than in the chaotic crisis mode of spring, when the pandemic was new. The agreement would also give schools and staff more flexibility than the district had previously proposed. The union, which represents Seattle public school teachers, has reached an agreement with the county on new mandates for masks and COVID vaccines. Seattle schools announce the return of students without union agreement, sparking controversy and confusion Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) have reached an agreement in principle to support multi-layered COVID-19 health and safety strategies to protect our schools and communities.

The agreement provides families and employees with transparency regarding the agreed safety measures for the 2021-2022 school year. KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report. Unlike in the spring, teachers now have to participate by looking at things like students` daily online registrations, communicating with students, or participating students in an assignment or assignment. If a student has an unexcused absence, the teacher, support secretary or other school staff member is required to contact their family. “We look forward to welcoming more of our students back. I am grateful to our bargaining teams for dedicating very long hours to creating a plan that gives our students better access to personal learning,” Superintendent Denise Juneau said in a written press release. On Wednesdays, middle and high school teachers would allow at least 35 minutes to check online with students and meet their social/emotional needs, as well as extra time to offer live small group lessons and communicate with families. Posted: August 14, 2021 | Update: September 15, 2021 SPS and SEA have agreed on a hybrid teaching model where students are taught in person four days a week, in the morning or afternoon, with distance learning and learning on Wednesdays. All families can also opt for 100% distance learning. Decisions about students eligible for personal special education services are made by the Individualized Student Education Program team, as well as a school nurse or county health services employee.

Bargaining teams will return to the bargaining table as needed to adopt new strategies to keep communities safe. Further information will be made available to families via e-mail and on the SPS website. Probably the biggest challenge of these precautions for the district is the requirement that its HVAC systems and building air conditioning are sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus. These strategies include masking required, improving ventilation and air quality, cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, contact tracing, and responding to COVID symptoms and cases. These ongoing practices will help ensure consistency and predictability of learning for all students in 104 schools, and there is enough time built into teachers` schedules to easily accomplish these critical tasks that are already performed regularly by many of our educators. .

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