It may be hard to think about adding another thing to your list of things to focus on, but the reality is our entire contract is opening this year, and it is an opportunity to work together towards major changes.
Our first formal bargaining session is scheduled for February 10th – and will focus on setting the ground rules for this year’s negotiations. As we did last spring, negotiations will be hosted virtually and members are encouraged to attend.
This survey is for JCEA members only – and will take roughly 30 minutes to complete. If you begin the survey, please allow that time, you will not be able to save midway through and go back to finish later.
Your bargaining team hopes that this time spent will give you the opportunity to provide feedback on a wide range of topics that impact our profession. If you hear from any fellow members who have not received the link and are not able to locate it in their spam folder, please ask them to connect with Lisa Elliott for a new link to take the survey. Please also contact Lisa ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you find any glitches or errors while taking the survey.
Pivot towards safety (yellow) campaign
How we got here:
JCEA has hosted more than a dozen surveys on safety, working conditions and educating during a global pandemic since the COVID-19 crisis began. We have also included non-members in many of these surveys. Only members in good standing are able to formally call for resolutions or votes and we share survey results with our members to help offer a broader perspective during their decision making.
Immediately after the district released their return to in-person learning plan we released a survey too all Jeffco educators to assess how they felt about the most recent plan.
Our elected council debated and discussed returning to in-person learning and what metrics or thresholds they believed would support both safety and a sustainable and consistent path forward. Remote learning has been difficult, we understand that. It will never replace in person learning. We also know that the whiplash created when shifting back and forth from in-person to remote due to cases and outbreaks is difficult for students, educators and families who need consistency.
Our survey results combined with our council’s vote clearly indicated that continuing to advocate for safety is supported by a majority of educators.
What we are advocating for:
A return to in-person learning when COVID-19 cases in Jefferson county are in the yellow level of the dial or better. Level yellow means that current test positivity rates are > or equal to 10% and case incidence rates are below 175 per 100,000 over 14 days.
It is not simply about when we return – it is also about how we stay in-person. COVID-19 cases will continue to rise and fall. Colorado and Jefferson county were on a steady decline, but in the past few days that trend has started to turn upwards. Last night at our board of education meeting Kristopher Schuh addressed this change and spoke to the reality that we may see another spike in cases over the next 2-3 weeks.
What we don’t know is how large (or small) this next surge will be. We truly hope cases plateau and decline rapidly.
Our members believe that level yellow sets us up for a sustainable path forward.
It accepts that COVID is the reality of our current situation and that in-person learning must happen before the pandemic is officially “over” and it respects the reality that the virus is smarter and stronger than our best efforts and there is a tipping point in which cases and community spread become too high to safely operate our schools. In the fall, buildings started becoming inoperable as test positivity rates rose past 8,9, 10%. Many buildings closed. Many fast pivots had to be made – consistency at that level of community spread was difficult to maintain. Despite all of our best efforts, Jeffco and nearly all surrounding districts were forced to pivot back into remote learning.
We understand that some educators are willing to return even in level purple (the most severe level of COVID-19 spread) while others expressed that they would not feel safe until cases fell below 5% or even to zero. There is no single solution that meets everyone’s expectations equally. We are working for a safe, sustainable compromise. Adding a little extra caution now, while we anxiously await the vaccination period expected for educators (starting in late February or early March dependent on distribution) and for the expected surge from the holidays to pass – will give us a better chance at more in-person days long term.
What happens next:
Jeffco students, educators and families deserve a safe and sustainable plan.
You and your colleagues have the power to influence that plan. While it may not feel like it – advocating for health and safety is not only advocating for yourselves – it is also advocating for your students.
We have drafted an escalation plan between now and the scheduled return to in-person learning and are gathering ideas and suggestions from member leaders to finalize the plan. Ultimately you and your colleagues will decide how much action you are willing to take – up to and including school building and/or district wide coordinated personal days in the next few weeks.
Please make your voice heard. We have members at every end of the spectrum – the only way we can respond to how you feel is knowing how you feel. JCEA cannot and will not force members to take actions they aren’t ready to support – we will support the actions you are ready to take.
Review and debate of our escalation timeline, strategy and tactics is happening at our AR Council meeting on Tuesday – Please reach out to the AR in your building and let them know where you stand on our yellow campaign and make sure they attend Tuesday on your building’s behalf. If you do not currently have an AR any member from your school can and should reach out to make sure your voices are being heard – email@example.com – even if you aren’t ready to commit to being an AR, we want to make sure we have a point of contact for as many schools as possible
Professional practices team (PPAT)
Voki and Dojo and google – oh my!
Your JCEA PPAT team has been working with educators from JVA to build resources for all of our members to use as we pivot from online to in-person and hybrid and back again. Check out our Google Classroom! If you have found helpful tips, tricks or resources – share them! So many of you have found great ways to support educating our students during this crisis and your colleagues can be helped by those tools too – we are happy to help house them!
Elizabeth Morgan our PPAT chair can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join our Google Classroom using the code: K9K9-G8QN-TW2HN.
Change your profile picture on social media to show your support: