11/11/20 – JCEA calls upon Jeffco to pivot towards safety

For immediate release

November 11th, 2020
Jefferson County Education Association calls for Jeffco Public Schools to shift to remote learning in a pivot towards safety.

Last night, the JCEA Council, an elected body of Association Representatives from across Jeffco Public Schools, voted overwhelmingly to demand that Jefferson County move to 100% remote learning. “The time has come for our district to pivot towards safety as community spread of COVID-19 has passed the point in which it is safe for our students and staff to remain in person,” said Brooke Williams, JCEA President.

Over the last few weeks most major metro Denver school districts have announced emergent shifts to or extensions of remote learning or mostly remote learning, including Denver, Cherry Creek, Aurora, Boulder Valley, Adams 12, Douglas County, Sheridan and Westminster. Jeffco educators overwhelmingly believe that their students, staff and community deserve the same prioritization of health and safety.

All Jeffco educators understand the importance of in person classroom instruction, however that cannot come at the expense of health and safety. Educators are concerned for their students’ health, their own health, and the health and safety of fellow staff and their families.

The chaotic movement of individual schools into moving to remote instruction for days or weeks due to the need for deep cleaning or too many staff in quarantine to properly function has created an inconsistent schedule and an often tumultuous environment for student learning.

Moving to 100% remote learning for a defined period of time will eliminate the constant upheaval for students, parents, educators and the entire community and will ensure a safe learning environment.

It is time for Jeffco to face the current reality of COVID-19, prioritize students and staff and pivot towards safety. Therefore, JCEA calls upon Jeffco to:

 

  • Move to a 100% remote model K-12 at this moment given the current COVID-19 infection rate.
  • Commit to K-12 having asynchronous learning days on Fridays in all learning models to allow for a minimum of one full-day of educator directed planning, so that students can have the highest quality instruction possible in all learning models.
  • Work with all stakeholders to create a simple yet definitive numeric threshold to determine the safety of in-person instruction.
  • Extend an exception for Warren Tech High School which has unique requirements to decide as a staff if their school will be hybrid or 100% remote. Warren Tech would continue to use State and Local guidelines to monitor health and public safety.
  • Review with JCEA and other stakeholders the COVID-19 cases per county on a bi-weekly basis to determine which learning model will be followed in the upcoming two week period.

 

Jeffco educators remain committed to partnering with their students, parents, district and community to meet all of these demands and ensure health and safety while providing the best possible education during a global health crisis.

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The Jeffco Board is currently debating the issue – follow live here:

https://livestream.com/accounts/10429076/events/3542310