From Stamford to Stonington, Hamden to Hartford, and two dozen towns in between, teachers, students, parents, and community members joined School Safety First Car Caravans...
The State Board of Education today voted to offer a waiver to Connecticut school districts for three of the 180 days usually required by state statute. Those three days could instead be used at the start of the school year for additional PD for staff, classroom set-up for educators, to provide social emotional services or training for staff, or for similar supports for families and students.
Read the full text of the resolution.
During a press conference yesterday, Governor Lamont said that he will make a final call in early August as to whether schools can open safely for in-person learning—based on the COVID-19 infection rate in the state at that time.
“We have the challenge of having to be ready to change course at any given point, which logistically is very difficult,” Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said. “I recognize the fear and anxiety that exists, and I share a lot of the concerns. As much as Connecticut is doing well, COVID knows no state boarders.” Read more
NEA’s Office of General Counsel and Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy teams will host a webinar about returning to in-person instruction this Friday, July 10, at 3 p.m.
Sign up here.
When school buildings reopen, the health and safety of students and educators must be a top priority. What rights do you have as an educator when schools return to in-person instruction? How can you advocate for your health and safety and those of your students?
The webinar will cover:
- Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health experts;
- Educator rights related to accommodations, leave, and liability waivers; and
- What educators and NEA affiliates can do to advocate for safe, healthy schools.
When you register, please submit any questions you may have about your rights or other considerations.
A new bill introduced by U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Chuck Schumer would be an important move toward allowing schools to open safely this fall. The Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act includes $175 billion for K-12 schools, $12 billion for special education, and $4 billion for the E-Rate program to narrow the digital divide that is hitting our most vulnerable students.
“Educators want nothing more than to return to in-person instruction and be back with their students, but they know reopening school buildings and college campuses has to be done safely,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Sens. Patty Murray and Chuck Schumer know that students cannot wait because school districts across the country are working on school reopening plans now. That’s why they introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which will go a long way to giving our students and educators the resources they need to rise up from the economic fallout caused by this devastating COVID-19 pandemic.”
Speaking with NBC 30 recently, CEA Executive Director Don Williams said that Connecticut schools can’t reopen safely without additional funding. Districts will incur costs for masks and plastic shields, room dividers, the reconfiguration of common areas into new classroom spaces, and much more. Read more
Bridgeport music teacher Sheena Graham appeared on NBC Connecticut last night sharing her concerns about returning to school.
Teachers are concerned about a plan to return to school in the fall that doesn’t include testing or screening of staff and students, limits on class sizes, or provisions to ensure social distancing. Since the plan was released yesterday, many CEA members have been speaking out and sharing their concerns with Connecticut media outlets.
“There are so many precautions that have to be put in place that all depend on funding,” says Bridgeport music teacher and 2019 Connecticut teacher of the year Sheena Graham. “If they’re not able to be met, then I don’t think we’re able to open up the buildings again.”
Graham and Marlborough kindergarten teacher Amy Farrior expressed their concerns to NBC Connecticut. Farrior said, “I tear up when I think about keeping kindergarteners away from each other, away from me.”
U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes shared many of her former colleagues’ concerns in a Tweet last night to Governor Lamont. Read more