School opening plans without teacher input.

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“We don’t know anything,” a 4th grade teacher told me this week about his school district’s plans for the start of school at the end of August.

The district had sent out an update in their online newsletter.

“Exactly how school will look when classes begin has not yet been determined. The administrative team is currently working on plans based on guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, recommendations from building leaders and the input of parents. The COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing requirements have left us with the unique challenge of fulfilling our mission as a school system while maintaining public health and addressing the needs of families.”

Translation?

We have no idea.

And we have no intention of involving the union or asking teachers.

Another teacher, a local union president, told me that parents had been sent a survey, but nothing to teachers.

There’s this thing called impact bargaining, but she’s been told that she must wait for the plan from the board before she can bargain it.

I asked her what happens when the conditions change again.

Which they certainly will.

Presently the infection rate in Illinois is running at less than 3% of those tested. What happens in October if there is a spike like we’ve seen in other states.  I mean, her district may try to open with some kind of hybrid plan? No way will one plan work for the unknown circumstances of a year of the coronacrisis.

Her IEA Uniserv director has told her she should demand to bargain every scenario.

Sure.

I keep thinking about the fact that there are 600 school districts in Illinois and they are all going through this madness.

Multiply by 50 states.

Her board took months to a respond to a simple request to roll over the existing contract for one year that was set to expire last July 1st.

Trump may scream to open schools for the sake of the economy, but he’s nuts.

Every teacher will tell you it’s crazy and that they have no idea what’s going on.

And nobody is asking them.

Just ask them.

 

2 thoughts on “School opening plans without teacher input.

  1. Asking teachers across our nation to weigh in on the development of safe effective back to school plans focused on the health education and welfare of students will yield the “wrong outcomes” for school administrators, board members and politicians. Just like testing for COVID 19 will reveal far too many new positive cases, aka “true results”, The powers that be just don’t have the best interest of students at heart. It’s Politics! They know that teachers will develop a child centered plan where students can learn in a safe healthy environment. They know that teachers will welcome the lower teacher/student ratio, not just because it will reduce potential exposure to COVID 19 but because its a better teaching and learning environment for students. Many parents who may be surveyed are often stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to choose between an unclear, unproven, subject to change, return to school proposal and the challenge of how to manage their children in a home schooled environment. Because of this tug a war, parents may be more inclined to go along with a vague back to school plan while hoping for the best result.. Teachers on the other hand will want to have certain concrete conditions of teaching and learning firmly established and agreed to, before the return to school. Now that’s a plan!

  2. It’s a mistake to prematurely open Schools…that will become apparent when America returns to “shelter at home” in a few weeks…after mass infection with COVID 19…born of willful ignorance.

    It’s the greedy operators of Capitalism who are in a hurry…for us.

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