This evening, both sides came together for another hours-long bargaining session. We want to thank everyone who joined for all the serious discussion in our caucus and with the School Committee regarding the Elementary Hybrid model. This is a very difficult problem to solve with pressure felt to deliver excellent lessons and support for in-person students, provide support for our students at home, and understand parent expectations for both their students in school and at home. This decision will have serious effects on the school year for the youngest students. We are determined to reach a solution that can best meet the needs of students, families, and educators.
We do appear to have agreements on the Middle School expectations and the K-8 schedules for Wednesdays. The District has also agreed that staff may elect to work from home on Wednesdays, provided we can come to amicable terms regarding expectations for elementary school “face time” as referenced above. Due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, however, staff will not be allowed to bring their children to the buildings on Wednesday. Dr Marotta has also proposed developing an on-line tutoring help center, staffed by interventionists or other educators to provide “drop-in” assistance to provide additional live support for K-8 at-home learners throughout the week.
The final issue to be resolved is whether or not your technological skills should be used to determine your proficiency as an educator in the evaluation process. We contend that it is not fair to judge your effectiveness as an educator based on your ability to learn how to teach during a pandemic while the crisis is ongoing.
Again, thank you to everyone who put in so much time this last week, this weekend, and tonight trying to resolve the K-8 Hybrid delivery concerns. Your presentations framed the discussion in a constructive manner that appears to be having an influence on the School Committee and the Superintendent. We may not be able to get to a perfect solution for each grade level but we are trying to get the best agreement possible for our members, our students, and our families.
Nancy Koorapaty and Christine Hickey
Bargaining Team Co-chairs