12/11/2020 – All member email 12.11.2020

Returning to in-person learning…

As we near winter break, when and how we return to the buildings is quickly becoming a major focus of our conversations and our work as JCEA. As our members did over the summer, we are committed to working together to ensure that our members have a voice in our vision for a safer return.

After a long and healthy debate on December 8th, the JCEA AR council unanimously voted to approve a motion that supports returning to in-person learning when COVID cases have declined and Jefferson County returns to level yellow on the COVID dial. We were in the yellow portion of the dial during September, October, and into early November. You all experienced what happened this fall as cases in the community exploded and cases in our schools and classrooms followed – we hope to learn from that and push for a more sustainable plan moving forward.

As positivity rates in Jeffco reached 8, 9, 10% and beyond, it became clear that despite your best intentions and incredibly hard work, some buildings no longer had enough educators and support staff healthy and out of quarantine to safely keep our schools open and operational. We must use metrics that reflect our lived experience and support our operational needs.

What does level yellow mean? <10%

Level yellow has been defined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as <175 cases per 1000k per week, and a test positivity rate of <10%. Our students, educators, parents, and community deserve a plan that is realistic, clear, and sustainable. Choosing metrics that reflect and respond to our experience this fall helps to support those goals.

District plan presentation December 16th

Jeffco district leadership is planning to present their return to in-person plan on Wednesday, December 16th at 8:30 am and we encourage you to watch if you are able, or view the recording after the fact. Please join us at 5:30 pm on the 16th for a joint all member meeting with DCTA to talk about unifying our efforts.

Ultimately, who decides?

The Jeffco Board of Education has granted decision making power on the issue of when and how we move through learning models to our Interim Superintendent, Kristopher Schuh. We encourage you to reach out and share your perspective on the matter.

Click HERE for a draft email template and some suggestions on things to highlight.

If you prefer to make a personal phone call, you can reach our Interim Superintendent’s office here: (303) 982-6800

JCEA & DCTA All member meeting 12/16/2020

We are uniting for school safety!

Join members from Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) for a Community Assembly to discuss what it will take to win student and educator safety in our schools during the pandemic. We need a science-based metric with clear thresholds to keep us all healthy and safe.

REGISTER HERE: https://coloradoea.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GZWShvzQRWebcJ8QYkrUjg

Remote assignments

For our currently remote assigned educators…

JCEA would like to hear from our members who were granted a remote assignment in the Fall of 2020. Please take a few minutes to take this survey and provide us insight around your remote assignment and please stay safe this holiday season!

https://forms.gle/BStN7ZecgMqEycx69

Supporting our colleagues who are still working in person

SSN, Special education, nurses, pre-k, and others are still working in-person as the rest of the district has shifted to remote learning. JCEA has supported several meetings with these educators over the last month to address their working conditions and concerns.

While everyone recognizes that in person is the ideal learning model, COVID-19 cases continue to rise and the holidays are likely to make a bad situation even worse. The health and safety of our students and staff must be prioritized as the COVID numbers in the communities around us reach staggering new heights.

A core group of pre-k and special education activists have drafted and launched a petition asking district leadership to commit to shifting these groups to remote learning along with the rest of our students and staff. We understand and honor those who wish to stay in person, and we also support the majority of folks who asked to raise the issue with the district. All educators currently working in person are invited to join this conversation and work – no matter where you stand on the issue.

Quick steps to take:

  1. Take our quick survey if you haven’t yet: https://forms.gle/Qe8bhoDsdYVfcEcN9
  2. If you support the effort to shift to remote learning we encourage you to sign the petition that has been circulating: https://bit.ly/Prek_SPED_Safety
  3. Share this information with anyone you know who is still working in-person – invite them to join the conversation.

Celebrating our talented teachers!

Congratulations to this month’s honorees:

  • Leslie Thompson, Media/Journalism/English, Conifer High School
  • Emma Pettibone, SSN, Wheat Ridge High School
  • Dr. Christopher Julius Voth, English, Pomona High School
  • Judy Sims, DTL/Technology, Pomona High School
  • Jackie Robertson, Science, Jeffco Virtual Academy
  • Amanda Price, Science, Carmody Middle School
  • Matthew Dudgeon, Social Studies/SED, Sobesky Academy
  • Carla Houghton, SPED, Sobesky Academy

Elementary virtual articulation area meetings – December 17th @ 6:00 pm

JCEA leaders and activists are hosting a whole bunch of virtual house parties for all elementary educators grouped by articulation area. During our JCEA elementary forums, we noticed that many issues that were brought up correlated within articulation areas.

Since then, many public figures have come forward insisting that Pre-K through 5th-grade schools must be open regardless of current COVID numbers. We need to know if you agree with this proposal, and what you need to feel safe and healthy when you do return to the building.

Jeffco is also proposing metrics on when remote, hybrid and in-person instruction will be used to be formally announced on December 16th at the school board meeting. If the proposed metrics were in effect currently, pre-k – 5th grade would still be in-person facing the highest COVID-19 numbers our state has ever seen.

This is your opportunity to come together with your fellow elementary educators to talk about the proposed district plans – we want to hear from you! For the link for your articulation area meeting email Cory Bissell – corybissell89@gmail.com

It’s time to sign up for 2021 CEA Delegate assembly, April 16th & 17th (likely virtual)

Join fellow CEA members from across Colorado to build and grow your union and our movement! Delegate assembly is a fantastic experience for new members and longtime members to experience firsthand how our statewide union sets its vision and goals and have a voice and a vote in the process! If you have questions or would like more information, please contact JCEA President Brooke Williams at JCEAPresident@coloradoea.org – if you already know you would like to attend, sign up here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QafIscAwMmcOw8UZ15JLdXBnQ_R4nUF8RJ1qLrXlGL0/edit?usp=sharing