School Board mtg February 10, 2021

Over the last two weeks, we on the board have heard loud and clear that many in our community want to see reopening plan details that are clearly delineated as their own agenda item in our school board meetings, rather than in the Superintendent’s report. This week's board meeting does exactly that, including details of reopening preparedness and protocols as well as the required sharing of the CPP draft before it is finalized. 
While we continue to plan for a hybrid schedule, I also remain very concerned about students who are not able to access distance learning right now.  If you are a teacher, parent or staff, did you know that 1:1 in person meetings are allowed?  This has been true since November, and yet I keep finding people who did not know that.  Also extra curricular activities in small groups are allowed right now, following the same protocols as sports conditioning.  Is extra curricular happening in person at your school?  Please let me know how it is going.  Each of these if implemented are a step in the right direction to address concerns of student isolation, depression, anxiety and disconnection.
Read on for:
  1. School Board meeting Wednesday February 10th
  2. Vaccinate School Employees
  3. Superintendent’s Friday letter

Next School Board Meeting Wednesday February 10th

Find the agenda here, along with information about how to watch the live broadcast as well as how to submit public comments.  Click here to see summaries of board action from prior meetings.

Under item 11.4 there will be information provided on the recent MOU agreement with the teacher's union around small groups.
I share in the frustration that many of you have expressed to the board in response to this agreement, that it does not go far enough to do what our Board directed in December: to start small group learning hubs on our campuses ASAP.
Here is the state guidance on small groups, sent in September 2020. Notice it does not recommend waiting until red tier +20 days, nor limiting to 10% of any campus. To me those are barriers to equity, and barriers to student learning access & opportunity.
I hear the term "equity" used as a reason to delay the reopening of our schools. But I do not hear those same people advocating for the "equity" of ensuring a safe place on campus now for our students who need it most.  We have successfully provided in-person sports conditioning on high school campuses throughout all levels of COVID, and I believe we can and should do the same for non-sports activities now.
Item 17.1 will include a presentation, discussion and vote to approve the Safe ReOpening Plan. This will provide board members the opportunity to ask questions and provide their perspective on the many aspects of reopening our schools to students in person.

Vaccinate School Employees

The Contra Costa County School Boards Association sent a joint letter along with 14 school board presidents on Feb 1st with a collective call for the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and Health Services Department to: (1) immediately ensure that all education workers in Contra Costa County school districts, particularly those reporting to work in-person, have priority access to COVID-19 vaccines and (2) provide clear and consistent communications about how education and childcare workers are to receive their vaccines. 

People have been asking me if vaccines are a requirement for MDUSD school reopening, and the answer is no.  Neither the district nor our teacher's union have said that vaccines should be at all connected to the metrics required to reopen our schools. However, I know that the many of our staff who have been on site this whole pandemic, and the teachers and staff that hope to soon join them will all feel much less fearful if they can get vaccinated soon.  So I joined these groups in signing the letter and advocating for prioritizing vaccinations in our county for education workers. 

Meanwhile, the OUSD superintendent shared this about how the Tier 1B is planned to work in next door Alameda County, where they have decided to vaccinate education employees at the same time as the 65+ population. Districts will provide each employee with a letter to hand the vaccinator that states which priority level they are in.  

So far it appears that our contra costa county is planning to wait until most 65+ are vaccinated before starting to allow education workers to sign up. If you want to take action to support these efforts, you can email the Board of Supervisors asking them to prioritize school employees like Alameda is doing: 

Superintendent's Friday letter

Click here to read Dr Clark’s February 5th letter including: 

  • Message on reopening
  • Negotiations update
  • National School counseling week - thank you Counselors!!
  • MDUSD's Sean Donelan (Northgate) Wins 2020 Congressional App Challenge
  • Black & African American History Month
  • STEAM-4-Students by MDUSD Education Foundation
  • Organizational Update
  • County Science Fair judges needed

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Cherise Khaund
    published this page in Blog 2021-02-08 20:24:51 -0800