Aug. 13 The following letter from employee unions was read to members of the District 65 School Board on Aug. 10:

Dear School Board Members:

 We the presidents of the unions in District 65 are standing together today, representing over 1,000 staff. As a joint union president, we appreciate Dr. Horton and the District administration for being willing to involve various stakeholders regarding the planning for the upcoming school year. We are concerned that school is starting in two weeks and we are just receiving information about staff operations and remote learning this afternoon for returning to school.

At this point we’re still reading through and trying to understand what has been put together by the administration. We’re surprised at really receiving these documents just today and learning about the impact on our members and students. This leaves us two weeks to meet and negotiate these changes and any implications for our work. We know that our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We want to support our students and families in the best way possible, especially during these challenging times. We are concerned about being able to get this done in such a short time.

We have continually asked to partner and collaborate. We know that we have been included on committees, but we feel that the planning and decisions are being made without us. We believe in transparency and partnering. Therefore, we remain committed to working together as partners and putting the best conditions together, especially with health and safety in mind for staff, students and families.

Natalie Copper, President of EACCP; Dawn Jackson, President of ETAA; Meg Krulee, President of DEC; Dana Smalley, President of DESC; Omar Whyte, Vice-President of ECMA



Teachers Have 5 Day of Professional Development Before School Starts

Under the calendar approved by the School Board on Aug. 10, teachers are scheduled to return on Aug. 20, and there are Teacher Institute Days on Aug. 20 and 21, a School Improvement Day on Aug. 24, and Remote Learning Planning Days on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.

All students start remote learning on Aug. 27, the first day of school.

“So if you look at the beginning of the school year now, we actually have five days for educators to come back and prepare for remote learning and students will begin on the 27th,” said Beatrice Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Human Services.