The top concerns of teachers regarding any return to school are the health and well-being of their students, ensuring they have access to computers and online resources, and keeping them safe when schools reopen.
Teachers say specific actions must be taken before schools reopen, including
- Establishing statewide protocols and protections for all schools.
- The protections should include disinfecting schools, devices, and desks, guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing, smaller class sizes, extra precautions for those at greater risk, measures for handling students who develop fevers or become ill, actions for handling a case of COVID-19 at a school, and guidelines for closing schools should there be another outbreak of coronavirus.
Those are some the findings of a new CEA survey of nearly 3,000 teachers taken in late May regarding the current health crisis in Connecticut.
“Teachers have stepped up to the enormous challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis and instantly went from in-person lessons to teaching students online,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “Teachers want the best for their students, and while we don’t yet know the specifics of when or how schools will reopen in the fall, we all agree our top priority must be the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff—especially those at higher risk.”
According to the survey, 43% of teachers are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and the number increases to 71% for teachers with 30 or more years in the classroom. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say their schools are not equipped to provide for frequent and sufficient hand washing for students and staff to reduce the spread of the virus.
“Moving forward, schools are going to look a lot different,” said Leake. “Safeguards must be in place to protect students and staff against a virus that has no vaccine and is not well-understood. We also must address learning loss and trauma suffered by students.”
Read the full CEA press release about the survey.
Read survey results.
Read and watch coverage:
Teachers frequently need outside funding for classroom resources and funding to engage in meaningful professional development. The NEA Foundation has grants available to current NEA members to help with both.
NEA Foundation Student Achievement grants, support teachers in helping students learn how to think critically and solve problems. The NEA Foundation is currently giving preference to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects.
Through the Learning & Leadership grants, the NEA Foundation supports the professional development of NEA members by providing grants to:
- individuals to participate in high-quality professional development like summer institutes, conferences, seminars, travel abroad programs, or action research, and to
- groups to fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.
The foundation gives preference to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global competence in their projects.
For both grants two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award.
The third and final 2018 deadline for applications for both grants is coming up October 15.
Find out more and then apply for either the Student Achievement grants or the Learning & Leadership grants.
CEA joined U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and other Connecticut leaders in education at a news conference calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to abandon plans that would allow the use of federal funds to...
Teachers around Connecticut are wearing Red For Ed today in support of our Arizona colleagues who have requested we observe today as national #RedForEd day.
This day of solidarity is in reaction to the unprecedented decision by the Arizona State Supreme Court to remove the Invest In ED ballot measure from the November ballot. This measure, if enacted, would have raised nearly $700 million for Arizona’s badly underfunded public schools.
Thank you to those of you who have already shared your #RedForEd photos—and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time.
Visit the CEA Facebook page and add your photos.
Here are some of the photos your Connecticut colleagues have already shared today.
“Welcome, all of you,” Waterbury Teachers’ Association (WTA) President Kevin Egan greeted more than 60 new teachers during an orientation program earlier today. “Waterbury is a great district to work in, and you have a strong WTA union here at your disposal.”
Waterbury Teachers Association President and CEA Treasurer Kevin Egan talks with new Waterbury teachers this morning at an orientation at Waterbury Career Academy.
Classes are starting soon at schools across Connecticut. NEA has compiled a list of articles and resources to help you—whether you’re a new or veteran educator—get ready for the fall semester.
Creative Classrooms on a Budget
Take a walk through the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms of three DIY divas for ideas on how to create your own inspiring, efficient, and thrifty space.
Three Tips for a Welcoming Classroom
Is making connections with students on your daily to do list? The most powerful thing we do each day in the classroom is not on a checklist, and it can’t be measured or analyzed.
Mastering the art of arrangement can make all the difference in your classroom. Read more
CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho is serving on the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission to represent teachers.
The state’s unfunded pension liability will surely be discussed at length this election season, but a state commission created by the legislature is already at work this summer exploring ways to address the problem.
The Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission is charged with studying “the feasibility of placing state capital assets in a trust and maximizing those assets for the sole benefit of the state pension system.”
CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho serves on the commission, representing teachers. “Placing a state asset, such as the Connecticut lottery, into the Teachers’ Retirement Fund would dramatically reduce the state’s unfunded liability. That would allow the state to reduce its yearly payment into the fund since there would be less unfunded liability to pay off,” she says. Read more
Shopping for all the things you need to get back to school—books, supplies, clothes and more—can put a serious dent in your budget. For the 2015-2016 school year, educators spent an average of $487 on out-of-pocket classroom supplies, according to a survey of K-12 teachers conducted by SheerID in partnership with Agile Education Marketing.
It pays to look for deals, coupons, special offers and tools that help you trim the cost of shopping a little—or a lot.
Try these 9 tips to get you back to school without blowing your budget! Read more
“Jahana Hayes is someone who is not just pro-teacher but has a hands-on understanding of what goes into our profession, the things we need to be successful, and the challenges we face. She has the ability to be really advantageous for us,” says Zach Blain, an East Haddam teacher and the president of his local association.
Blain was among a group of CEA members learning about political activism and organizing at CEA’s Summer Conference this year. The group learned the ins and outs of advocating for pro-public education candidates when they went door knocking for Hayes, a former CEA member and the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. CEA has endorsed Hayes, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Summer Conference attendees Fairfield teacher Marion Richards, Portland teacher Jerome Manning, Glastonbury teacher Miles Lubben, and CREC teacher Jesecia Miller visited CEA members who live in Cheshire this week to get the word out about Jahana Hayes, the Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year who is running for Congress.