August 6 Teacher Choice
Leaders of San José Unified School District:
We thank you for your tremendous effort at doing the difficult work of leadership in these trying times. We are a grassroots coalition of parents, educators, students, and community members, who are committed to racial equity, the safety of our schools, and the health of our community.
With the number of people in Santa Clara County testing positive and fatalities reaching new daily highs each day as a result of COVID-19, requiring educators to teach remotely from their classrooms is simply unnecessary, unsafe, and unwise. The HR process to apply for accomodations is overwhelming, which has caused additional stress and anxiety for educators. Allowing work site flexibility for teachers, not only supports their mental health, but it also increases the physical safety for our communities, as it reduces the number of people on a campus and their risk of exposure. Teachers want to fulfill their professional duties, and they want to be back on campus with their students, but only when it is safe to do so.
Educators have lost family members to COVID, and they are terrified of possibly exposing others in their household. Some educators take care of family members who are high risk and visit with those in hospice. Going back into the classroom at this time will prevent them from caring for and visiting with their loved ones.
In order to keep our community healthy and safe, and in order for our students to receive the most robust and rigorous crisis distance learning experience possible, educators must have the ability to choose their work location – either from home or their classroom. Please take 11 minutes to watch the video presentation that further explains why teacher choice is actually the best option for students: SJUEC for Teacher Choice.
Our students and families deserve better. We need you to commit to a plan beyond six weeks. Instability and uncertainty creates tension and pressure for families during a time when there is a heightened sense of anxiety globally. As a community, we need you to be proactive in your planning, not reactive.
WE ARE CALLING FOR:
SAFE, HEALTHY, & EQUITABLE SCHOOLS
Give teachers the day-to-day option of providing a rigorous distance learning experience for ALL students either from their home or their classroom
No reopening for in-person instruction until there is no to minimal community spread –
14 consecutive days with no new cases in the county
Equitable access to online learning
Clear guidelines for the duration of crisis distance learning so that families can properly plan for child care, work accommodations, and so on
All schools must be supported to function as community schools with adequate numbers of counselors and nurses and community/parent outreach workers
Safe conditions including lower class sizes, PPE, cleaning, testing, and other key protocols Equitable access to online learning