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Would you email the school board?
Old 07-12-2020, 10:52 AM
 
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Our school board is having an upcoming meeting (virtual of course ). Public comments can be sent in ahead of time. I'm tempted to craft an email expressing concerns, but am worried about possible backlash as an employee. What would you do? Examples of concerns...
-What will we do in the event that subs can't be found for absences?
-How will you protect the health of teachers and staff?
-Who will provide the extra cleaning and sanitation?
-What happens in the event that a teacher or staff member contracts coronavirus, especially as a result of exposure at school?
-How will we ensure compliance to safety measures, such as not sending students to school sick?
-In the event that students must stay in their classrooms the majority of the day (including lunch), how will teachers be provided with their duty free lunch, as well as adequate planning time?
-How will mask requirements be enforced? Who provides them?
-Why are you(adults) meeting virtually while expecting 5 year olds (who regularly cough and sneeze ON their teachers) to come to school?

And so on and so forth.


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Old 07-12-2020, 11:13 AM
 
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Yes, I absolutely would email them. I was fortunate enough to live and work in the same zone so when I emailed my board member, he listened because I voted (or didn’t) vote for him. Plus, he’s legit a good guy.

I had no qualms about emailing him, or the entire board, about an issue. If I still worked in my old district, I would be firing off multiple emails. They have NO SAY in hiring and firing of teachers, but they have a huge say in decisions made regarding the running of the school.

If we don’t advocate for ourselves and our students, who will? A lot of teachers are complaining and expressing concerns, but how many are actually doing something, such as emailing the school board?

Truthfully, I’m getting tired of the complaining, but not doing anything about it. It’s our right to complain, but our responsibility to take action (climbing off my soapbox now).
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:33 AM
 
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My school board has a virtual meeting tomorrow night to listen to the school committee’s presentation on how they think we could open in the fall and several options to consider. The board will vote on it on July 27th.

I will be sitting in to hear the presentation, and would love to express concerns. As a teaching assistant who has only been with the district since last November, I am not sure if I am the one who should speak up. I don’t know how other staff members feel about it now, but all spring they all talked about how much they missed the kids and couldn’t wait to get back. One is even postponing her retirement to come back one more year because she missed everyone so much the last three months of this school year. I might be the odd person out and look bad.
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Expressing concerns via email
Old 07-12-2020, 11:38 AM
 
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I would hope that you aren’t the only teacher to ask questions. If you have a union I’d expect they, too, would have raised many questions. I, myself, would most definitely send the questions and I’d ask my colleagues to do the same.

Too often, teachers have said they aren’t included in the decision making but I feel we can still raise our concerns and ask questions through emails. I don’t know about your district set up but if I sent an email to someone at district level, I also sent it (via CC) to my principal and anyone else involved. In this case I might also CC my grade level team and anyone else involved in the decision-making.

Last edited by Risa; 07-12-2020 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:04 PM
 
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If you have a union, I'd start there. Perhaps they are already working on something (I'd hope so) or they want things presented in a specific way so that employees are presenting a united front.

If no union, I would possibly consider reaching out to the school board first, but it would depend on a couple of factors. Is there a plan that's been released but it's just not specific at all? In that case, I'd ask your questions. If no plan has been released, I'd probably wait to see if the plan addresses your concerns before going to the board.


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Old 07-12-2020, 01:26 PM
 
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I'm not opposed to giving feedback to the school board, but in the case of these questions, I think you are better off letting your administration know your concerns, as they are probably the ones coming up with the majority of the plans.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:12 PM
 
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There actually is a union for assistants in my district. We had a meeting back in June and our personal email addresses were collected so the leaders could communicate with us privately. Our contract is being negotiated since it needs to be renewed, but they are working on details that involve making sure we still have jobs amidst the changes that will need to be made, and potential extra pay as well as the cost of living pay raise.

I have not heard from them since that mid June meeting, but I guess I could email concerns to them.
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yes
Old 07-12-2020, 02:54 PM
 
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My school board already had a meeting to discuss these issues. They asked for public comments in advance and played them all. Many, many were from teachers. I don't think anyone was worried about backlash. Teachers have also been very vocal in various FB groups.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:55 PM
 
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I think the union is great, but I think the school board needs to hear from individual teachers as well. And I think leaving it up to administrators is probably the least effective thing we can do. Our voices need to be heard individually and as a group because we’re the ones that will be in the classrooms with the students. They may ignore us, but at least we can say we tried. Fill out the surveys, email your school board members and express your concerns.
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:29 PM
 
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I would express my concerns and not worry about losing my job. BUT, if it bothers you that much make up a new email address and send it through that address.

DO NOT, NOT speak up.


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Old 07-12-2020, 08:29 PM
 
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Thank you all! I am crafting an email now. I won't word that last bullet point quite that way.
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