JCEA Return to in-person learning survey results
On December 16th your union launched a brief survey open to both JCEA members and potential members. We sent several emails, asked our ARs to encourage their buildings to participate, texted all JCEA members in our text outreach system and used social media to encourage participation. We always do our best to reach as many educators as possible but we know its rare to reach 100% participation despite our efforts.
3254 educators engaged with the survey, representing more than 50% of our current bargaining unit. 2071 of respondents indicated they are currently members of JCEA and 1183 indicated they are not currently members of JCEA.
Your union is a member led organization that uralitizes a democratic decision making process. We welcome and encourage honest and respectful engagement and debate, and recognize that we represent a large number of educators who hold a wide variety of opinions. We believe we must be hard on issues and soft on people. Since we began surveying broadly on the issues related to returning to in-person learning in the early summer we have seen a steady minority of educators who feel safe and ready to return wherever we are currently experiencing COVID-19 cases in our communities and schools. We have also seen data that shows shifting opinions and generally we have seen that as COVID-19 cases grow in our communities so does the concern around health and safety in our schools.
We hear and respect all opinions, and as in the past, continue to move forward following the direction of the majority in our democratic process. We encourage all voices to join the conversation, participate in surveys, and share your thoughts, feelings and ideas with JCEA leadership and staff. This survey was intended to provide insight our current conditions.
Pivot towards safety campaign – Team Jeffco deserves a safe and sustainable plan
Your elected officers and AR council representatives debated and voted on metrics they felt would support the safest and most sustainable plan forward. We agree with the majority of the plans and solutions the district has created – but differ on the COVID case metrics in our community – planning to return while in the RED portion of the dial quite frankly seems untenable. Council believes a return to in person learning in the yellow portion of the dial (community COVID positivity rates of less than 10%) will set us up for a more sustainable semester, fewer ill students and staff, more consistency and clarity in which learning model we will be in and more in person learning days in the future as the vaccine hopefully creates a light at the end of the tunnel. Currently Jeffco is seeing a decline in cases, we genuinely hope that trend continues and we will all do our part to help flatten the curve.
In the fall when COVID community spread and test positivity rates grew exponentially, so did the cases in our schools. We saw schools unable to stay open when we reached positivity rates of 8%, 9%, 10% and beyond. Even with the best intentions our buildings must have safe staffing levels and there were not enough educators and staff to support our schools remaining open.
We hope that district management will take educators seriously and work in collaboration with us on the level (using the district and State’s COVID data dial) in which we return – the health and safety of everyone in our schools matter tremendously and we will continue to work towards a solution that supports a safer return.
We agree on more aspects of the plan than not, and believe a compromise is possible.
January meetings & collective actions –
Sign up HERE!
The new year will be upon us faster than we can imagine and any potential changes or collaboration on the return to in-person learning plan must happen quickly. A majority of Jeffco educators supported our continued advocacy on the plan but it will take collective action to compel the district to revisit the current plan. Although we appreciate the 600 stakeholders consulted on the plan, 294 people being the decision making body does not feel representative of all voices. Fewer than 70 licensed educators were offered the opportunity to participate in the district’s feedback gathering process. JCEA has been a partner in district decision making for more than 50 years and we firmly believe that should not slide backwards now.
We will start taking collective action as soon as we return in January. Our hope is that getting these dates and actions out now gives folks ample time to outreach, organize and plan to join us. Welcome and encourage all educators, support staff, parents, community, students and admin who believe returning in the RED portion of the dial may be too unsafe or too unsustainable for safe and consistent staffing to join us. Sign up here!
January 5th – Show your support on social media – change your profile photo, post about why your working for improved health and safety for our students, educators and schools.
January 6th – Car parade and rally for a safe and sustainable plan – RSVP on our form for time, location and further details RSVP HERE.
January 7th – Attend the virtual board of education meeting at 6:00 pm to support your colleagues giving public comment. Solidarity is simple with virtual attendance!
January 8th – Pre-k – 5th grade educator action meeting at 4:30 pm – you MUST register in advance to attend. Our focus will be current COVID rates in our community, health and safety and action steps moving forward.
When: Jan 8, 2021 04:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
Enjoy your break!