Reopening Agreement Reached

Unite Summit and Summit Public Schools have reached an agreement on school reopening! For the rest of the school year, school leaders will have the option to open campus as a workspace for a limited number of students.  All the teachers responsible for supervising these workspaces will be volunteers.  

This newsletter will help you understand the agreement for reopening campuses, including the process to volunteer; the potential for a stipend; and what decisions are made by site leadership.  Reach out to your bargaining rep with any remaining questions.

These last few weeks of negotiations have been so hard for us, as teachers.  We are in this profession because we care about young people — and we have all grappled with the imperative to provide a workspace for students who need one, when we know that many teachers would risk their lives and lives of their loved ones by being in a classroom.  We have always known that teachers deserve self-determination in this decision.

We are excited about this agreement: it provides profound relief for teachers who faced enormous challenges in a potential mandatory return, provides the ability for our students to learn in a safe space, and puts in writing a point that seemed crucial to Summit admin — that we will be returning to school in person next school year barring any public health orders (something that we have never disputed; we very much hope to be teaching our students in-person next school year!).

We came to this agreement because of your tireless work in supporting our bargaining team and reaching out to admin and families.  

This is why we formed our union: to protect teachers, but also to give students what they need.   By fighting for this agreement, you helped  ensure that students who need to be in the schools will be able to return as soon as possible.

Voluntary Return

Teachers told us that a voluntary return was the most important non-negotiable in Unite Summit’s negotiations with SPS leadership. Due to your advocacy, Red Team support, and continued pressure, SPS’s bargaining team backed off their demand that teachers should be required to return to campus.

In the signed agreement, teachers have the ability to choose for themselves if they want to come to campus, and when. SPS will send out a survey to your school email to gather volunteers for each phase of opening. Expedition teachers can indicate at which site they will volunteer if they choose to do so. Currently, the relevant dates are:
 Phase 1: No sooner than March 31st (teacher) and April 1st (student) Please fill out the survey before March 24th to indicate your willingness to return in Phase 1.
Phase 2: No sooner than April 21st (teacher) and April 22nd (student) Please fill out the survey before April 12th to indicate your willingness to return in Phase 2.
Phase 3: No sooner than May 5th (teacher) and May 6th (student) Please fill out the survey before April 26th to indicate your willingness to return in Phase 3. 


Sites must have 2 weeks with no new positive COVID cases resulting from in-school transmission before moving to the next phase.

Stipend   

IMPORTANT: We want to make it extremely clear that while the stipends listed below are a possibility, they are not guaranteed. The stipends are contingent on a site by site basis and depend on Summit receiving reopening grants from the State. In the event that an individual school does not qualify for the grants specifically due to not having enough volunteers to open, volunteers at that site would not receive a stipend.  If a site does not get funding for some other reason, then volunteers will still receive a stipend. Please note that we did inform Summit that the lack of guarantee around a stipend and the relatively small stipend amounts could shrink the pool of volunteers

Stipend Payment: If a school qualifies for the grants, volunteers at that school will be paid their stipend in their last paycheck for the year. This would be June for new hires and teachers who chose the 11 month pay cycle, and July for teachers who chose the 12 month pay cycle.

Stipend Amount: The one time stipend amount is as follows:

  • Start Phase 1: $1,000
  • Start Phase 2: $500
  • Start Phase 3: $250

What would volunteers do on campus?

THE COHORT MODEL: You and one other teacher share supervision responsibilities for a maximum of 14 students.  You may have fewer students depending on the size of the room.   You and your co-supervisor decide who supervises when; the only requirement is for one teacher to be in the room at all times. In other words, you will not be required to be in the same room at the same time as the other teacher and your student cohort.  You will each have a second workspace for when you are not supervising.  You are not guaranteed protected prep time or lunch break.   Site-based plans (TBD): what happens if a teacher is absent, and substitute plan. Supervision coverage for lunch.

THE PHYSICAL CLASSROOM: Students will be six feet apart. The room will have a HEPA air purifier appropriate for the capacity of the room.  All student desks will have a visual of safety protocols and procedures attached to it.  The room will be equipped with sanitizing and cleaning supplies.

HEALTH PROTOCOLS AND PROCEDURES: Cohorts will enter the building and move to the classroom along an assigned route. Cohorts are not allowed to mix. Students will be provided with masks that meet CDC guidelines.  Teachers will be provided with masks, face shields, and gloves.  All will be expected to follow masking guidelines.  Site-based plans (TBD): how to address students if they break any health guidelines.

FOOD AND DRINK: When eating and drinking, it is not required to wear a mask.  Site-based plans (TBD): there is no requirement as to where lunch is held, and therefore sites have leeway to designate eating areas in a way that minimizes COVID transmission, such as outside.

THE SCHEDULE: Teachers will supervise Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 8-3:20 and are not required to be in the classroom for after-school meetings.  Wednesdays will be fully remote.

Site Decisions

The following are all dependent on each site. Please contact your site leadership for more clarity on the following:

  • Safety Protocols (including what happens if students break a safety protocol)
  • Substitutes
  • Student cohort assignments 
  • Bathroom and break time rules
  • Eating/drinking within the classroom/outside (if in room, must be 6 feet apart)

2021-2022 School Year

We do want to remind members this agreement is for the 20/21 school year. Unless state or county guidelines or orders change, the expectation is that all teachers will be returning to their respective campuses next school year. 

Thank you for all you do for our schools and our students. Your work is valuable and appreciated. We are excited for our school buildings to be open soon!

Reopening and CBA Update

Thank you for responding quickly to our survey about returning to campus!  Your responses allowed us to propose to reopen all campuses on a voluntary basis on March 31st.   

Today, we met with Summit leadership, and Unite Summit brought an alternate proposal that would allow us to reopen schools quickly but give us time to continue negotiating. We proposed that each school open up on March 31st (Phase 1) only with teachers who volunteered to go back as a pilot program while we continue to bargain for Phase 2 and Phase 3. 

The spirit of the pilot program is to hit the ground running with teachers who are volunteering so we can serve some students as soon as possible. It would allow sites to see what reopening would look like on their campuses and allow teachers more time to get vaccinations. US and SPS agree that if Phase 1 goes well, it would help set an example for our community and raise our collective spirits. 

Summit leadership accepted the voluntary nature of Phase 1 BUT said they would stand by the mandatory return of teachers in Phase 2 and Phase 3 by lottery or of ALL teachers, with the exception of those with legal exemptions, Because Summit would not agree to a voluntary Phase 1 without a mandatory Phase 2 and Phase 3, we were not able to reach an agreement today that would have opened our schools on April 1. We are disappointed that we weren’t able to come to an agreement that would have allowed volunteers and students to return to buildings on April 1 while we continued to work on Phases 2 and 3. 

We believe that mandatory return to schools is inequitable. Thank you for sharing openly with us about your circumstances. Because you all responded so quickly, we were able to accurately demonstrate to SPS that we teachers need the choice to return to be voluntary. As a union of teachers who love their students, we trust that families, teachers, and administrators could find an equitable, compassionate solution if we were to begin working on voluntary site reopening plans.

Summit leadership stated that they would explore their managerial rights in regards to reopening. We will continue to fight for the safety of our members, students, and families.

Please reply to unitesummitteachers@gmail.com to give us your input. We need to hear your voices to make informed decisions and to equitably represent our members!

CBA Bargaining March 17, 2021

In addition to negotiating reopening schools, Unite Summit and Summit reviewed several proposals related to the CBA. Below are highlights of what was presented:

Leaves (Unite Summit Proposal)

Unite Summit’s proposal guarantees all teachers be provided with four weeks of paid family leave.  Our proposal also guarantees teachers who have already accrued weeks of leave to not lose those weeks. We believe we are largely in alignment with Summit on this article!

Hours of Employment, Work Year, Job Duties (Unite Summit Proposal)

Unite Summit presented our proposal on “Hours of Employment, Work Year, Job Duties” including changes to weekly schedules and Education Specialists’ job duties. 

For work week schedules, Unite Summit proposed a mandated work week of 40 hours on site including a 30 minute duty free lunch period. Sites will have discretion over what the specific schedule and meeting time will look like within those parameters. Our hope is that each site will come up with a schedule that works best for their staff. 

For Education Specialists, Unite Summit proposed that Education Specialists have the option to be mentors or co-mentors but shall not be assigned other duties unrelated to Special Education services. Education Specialists shall also be granted a minimum of ten hours per month for IEP preparation. Additionally, each member will be offered compensatory minutes, self-directed preparation time, or compensation at the hourly rate if meetings related to administration of an IEP or 504 plan deprives self directed preparation time.

Technology, Resources, and Curriculum (Summit Proposal)

Summit presented their proposal on “Technology, Resources, and Curriculum” with very few changes to their position from their last proposal, other than a change to the timeline for providing missing/inadequate technology or materials.

CBA Bargaining March 3, 2021
We’d also like to report on our CBA bargaining session from March 3. 

Summit proposals:

Summit presented a package proposal on Employment Status, Discipline and Dismissal, Evaluation. This proposal had some positive forward movement. Summit management’s team is finally starting to respond to our opposition to at will employment and our need as teachers for stability, job security, and respect. They have proposed a five year probationary period, which is three years longer than all district teachers and almost all unionized charter teachers. We believe our proposal of a two year probationary period gives our site admin more than enough time to determine if a teacher is a good fit for Summit. We will continue to push for employment status, discipline and dismissal, and evaluation proposals that ensure our teachers are supported, treated fairly, and held accountable.  Summit also made a proposal on Effect of Agreement (basically the length of the contract.)

Unite Summit Proposals:

We presented a package proposal of class size and compensation and benefits 

Our proposal increased the mentor size and case load size for Education Specialists to 27 students, a one student increase from our previous proposal. 

We also combined our health and welfare benefits and compensation articles into one, and made some adjustments to come closer to Summit’s position. 

Reopening Bargaining Update #4

We want to reopen schools because we know that the pandemic is negatively affecting many students socially, emotionally, and academically. This cannot happen at the expense of the health and safety of our teachers or our students. We need to reopen in a way that makes sure everyone in the building is safe and taken care of. 

Physical Reopening Bargaining Session #4

Today, March 10th, we continued to negotiate physical reopening. Summit presented their second proposal which includes:

  • Teachers can volunteer to work in-person BUT this proposal also includes a lottery to backfill positions if there are not enough volunteers. Teachers with accommodations from Human Resources are exempt from the lottery.
  • Specific dates at which the number of students/staff on campus will increase
  • Several of the safety protocols that we had proposed
  • Eating and drinking happens inside the workspace (explicitly allowed)

It does not include:

  • voluntary return
  • a stipend/hazard pay
  • time for learning specialists and teachers supervising students to collaborate

Summit also included the following timeline:

Phase 1 (10%)Phase 2 (25%) Phase 3 (50%)
Teacher Return DateMarch 31April 14April 28
Student Return DateApril 1April 15April 29

Unite Summit will continue to advocate for our biggest teacher need: a voluntary return to the school building. As we have heard from teachers across the schools, a voluntary process which allows teachers to return the building is the only way to make sure teachers feel safe and comfortable being in the building and at their best to support their students online and in the classroom.  


Teachers cannot be required to return to campus without a signed Memorandum of Understanding (an agreement about short-term circumstances).  If you have input or feedback to offer, please complete our survey (if you have not), reach out to your bargaining rep, or reach out to unitesummitteachers@gmail.com.

California Charter Educators United Rally

On Wednesday, March 10th, four charter unions around California came together in a rally with keynote speaker Dolores Huerta. Over 200 attendees shared a space of solidarity over the common struggles we are fighting in our schools over job security, increase in teacher voice, and greater support for students. 

Please check our instagram soon for video clips from the rally!

@unite_summit

Reopening and Rally

Building Reopening
Yesterday, we had negotiations over site reopening with Summit. Unite Summit presented our counter proposal to Summit’s first proposal over reopening sites.   

Any agreement we come to on reopening buildings would only apply to this school year. We believe the fall will be significantly different (in terms of our understanding of COVID, vaccinations rates, etc.) and expressed interest in negotiating a separate agreement about next school year. 

We believe it’s crucial that our agreement for the rest of this school year allows for voluntary return. We want to ensure that teachers who want to return to buildings are able to do so, under the safest possible conditions, and we want to ensure that teachers who want to stay home, because of safety, family concerns, childcare concerns, pedagogical concerns, or any other reason, are allowed to do so. We do not yet have complete data on how many families have expressed interest in their students returning, so we don’t know how many teachers would be necessary to volunteer for each phase of reopening buildings.  

Highlights Summit made a revision to their first proposal after speaking to RED team over their thoughts regarding Wednesday as a remote or in person virtual learning day. Keeping Wednesdays remote was also deeply important to our members. Summit proposed that Wednesdays would stay as a remote learning day. Unite Summit verbalized alignment with this change.
Unite Summit’s proposal aimed to meet student needs while also maintaining safety. Within Unite Summit’s proposal, here are some major highlights:

  • Site EDs will have discretion over if they are to reopen.
  • Unit Members will be able to choose whether or not they will return to in person virtual learning at their sites
  • There will be 3 phases in reopening sites. The first phase will allow 10% of priority students back on sites. The second phase will allow 25% of students back on site. The third phase will allow 50% of students back on site. Moving between phases will be determined on a two week period of zero COVID cases during the previous phase. Priority students are based on state criteria (such as students with IEPs and English Learners).
  • Teachers who work in person will receive a stipend of $200 a week to incentivize returning back to sites and cover the numerous burdens associated with some individuals going back in person
  • Expedition members site assignments will be agreed upon by the Executive Director of Expeditions and the teacher.
  • Teachers will collaborate with their admin to create student cohorts
  • Teachers will be physically present at school from 8:30-3:20 (except Wednesdays) and will not be expected to provide supervision during lunch and prep times
  • There will be two teachers assigned to each 14 student cohort. The teachers will not be expected to be in the same room at the same time. 
  • Strict protocols around health and safety, including providing masks to staff and students and developing protocols for students who don’t follow mask and other safety rules. 
     

After presenting our proposal, Summit verbalized that there was alignment with key parts of our proposal. The main dispute arrived from a disagreement around teachers voluntarily coming back to in person virtual school learning. We will likely have another negotiating session about this topic next week. Again, your survey responses have been incredibly helpful during these negotiations, so please fill it out if you haven’t already!

Statewide Charter Zoom Rally!

A reminder that our union is joining with other charter unions from around California for a historic statewide zoom rally featuring Dolores Huerta!
 
The rally will be March 10 from 4:30-5:30pm. You can register here: https://tinyurl.com/CCEURally2021.
 
Our union will be joining with teachers from St. Hope (Sacramento), Gompers (San Diego) and Alliance College Ready (Los Angeles). We’ve all been fighting for first contracts that provide more support for our students, establish job security for our teachers, and increase teacher voice in decision making. We hope you’re able to join us, make connections with other charter educators, and show Summit and other charter management organizations that we are united statewide in fighting for a fair first contract.
 
This rally is also not limited to our members, so please feel free to share the below flyer far and wide!

Town Hall re: Building Reopening

Building Reopening/Physical Return to School Bargaining
Today we had another bargaining session about the physical return to school. We want to again emphasize that there will be no physical return to school until we have signed an MOU with Summit.

We shared the first half of our proposal today with Summit; this half specifically addresses how teachers will return to buildings. It specifies that teachers can opt-in, delineates a phased reopening for teachers as well as students, and contains a stipend for those that choose to return to buildings. We believe it is crucial for teachers to have a choice as to whether or not they return to buildings.

We are still working on the second half of our proposal, which will detail teacher working conditions if they opt-in to returning to school in-person. We are bargaining again later this week.
We will be hosting two Town Hall zoom meetings on Tuesday, March 2nd. The first will be at 12:00 – 1:00pm and the second will be 3:30 – 4:30 pm — link here. Please come to ask questions, voice your input and be involved with this major decision. 

A reminder to fill out our survey on the physical reopening of school. Thank you to the many folks that have already filled it out; the results so far were helpful for us in bargaining today!

Building Reopening

February 26, 2021

Today, Summit shared with us their proposal for returning to in-person learning. In explaining their proposal, Summit outlined all schools continuing with virtual school while families will have the option to have their students return to building as workspaces and teachers working from an assigned space with a cohort to supervise.

The proposal has a number of problems, including that it would force teachers to return to school in person. 

We want to make one thing very clear: there will be no physical return to school of any kind until our union has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Summit. This is a matter of life and death for our members, our families, and our students. We believe it is crucial to get this right and will not be pushed to speed up by arbitrary timelines or deadlines. Your health — our community’s health — is the most important consideration. For the sake of transparency, and to move the conversation forward, we have already communicated to Summit’s bargaining team that we cannot accept forcing teachers to return to work in person. 

There are a number of values reason behind this:

  • Teachers have the right to make the decisions to protect their lives
  • Teachers have a variety of personal reasons in the name of protecting their lives, livelihoods, families, and the people they live with to not come back. 
  • Teachers were informed by their admin that we would be in virtual school for the whole year. Teachers made a variety of financial and life decisions based on being told we would stay virtual and having pay frozen over the summer and the beginning of the year. We cannot ask teachers to uproot their lives for the last three months of school. 

If Summit truly believes in leading with empathy and kindness, then Summit should show empathy and kindness to their employees as they make their own decisions. If Summit truly respects the voice and professionalism of teachers, then Summit should allow teachers to make the best choice for their lives, the lives of their families and those they live with, and in the interest of meeting their own needs so they may show up with their best self for their students. 

Here is a link to the Summit’s proposed MOU for teachers returning to school sites.

Here is a link to Summit’s proposed Reopening Manual Draft.

Unite Summit will continue to bargain over school reopening Monday, March 1st from 2:30 – 5 pm. We will also be hosting two Town Hall zoom meetings on Tuesday, March 2nd. The first will be at 12:00 – 1:00pm and the second will be 3:30 – 4:30 pm — link here. Please come to ask questions, voice your input and be involved with this major decision. 

Townhalls tomorrow and Thursday!

Town Hall
We will hold this town hall  twice:

  • Wednesday, February 17 from 12:15-1:15
  • Thursday, February 18 from 3:30-4:30

If you’d like to join one of our town halls, use this zoom link

As we move through the bargaining process, we need your input to help us!

Agenda

  1. Where we stand in bargaining.  The newsletters and proposals are long…get the fast facts about what’s up.
  2. What’s next in the bargaining process.  Get clarity on what needs to happen for a good contract, and how you can contribute.
  3. Collecting your thoughts on shared governance — AKA site-based decision-making — and the possible physical reopening of schools.

We have consistently heard from teachers that protecting and expanding site-based decision-making is important — our bargaining team would like to collect more information on which decisions our members want left up to our sites and how those decisions should be made. We would also like your thoughts on the potential physical reopening of schools (any physical return to school would have to be negotiated between Summit and Unite Summit).

Union Spirit Day Thursday February 18!

On Thursday, February 18, show your support for our union and our contract negotiations by using our union logo as your zoom background or picture, wearing your union t-shirt (you can order one here), or wearing a white t-shirt if you don’t have a union t-shirt. Let’s show that we’re united behind getting a great first contract!

Bargaining Update #20

Today we had our twentieth negotiating session. We have come closer to an agreement and had helpful discussions about family leave, training and professional development, and concept / cognitive skill grading policies.

Summit’s Proposals

  • Leaves: Summit offered this proposal and because we are closer to an agreement, we offered a verbal counterproposal later in the day (we will update our website with a written version soon).  Notably, we are asking for Summit’s family leave policy to provide more leave time for newer employees. Our proposal is that during a teacher’s first four years at Summit, they will receive four weeks of fully-paid family leave (the current policy is two weeks during the first two years and starting in year three a week is added each year with a cap of 10 weeks). This improves teachers’ ability to afford and support families earlier in their career and incentivizes teachers to stay a fifth year.  We are very close to a TWYN policy for personal days, and data about requests and approval will be reported to our union so that we can support with fair, non-biased implementation across campuses.    
  • Training, Supports and Professional Development: Summit listed topics that PD “may” include, which is a step towards our proposal.  We will continue to negotiate for a protected system of including a teacher voice in yearly decisions about PD.

Our proposals

  • Employment Status: We continue to propose that, after a two-year probationary period, teachers would continue to be employed (you would automatically be able to come back every year), with the provision that teachers would still be subject to the discipline and evaluation articles of the contract. We had previously proposed that teachers in their probationary period could only be let go for “just cause” during the school year or executive directors could choose not to ask the teacher back after their first or second year.  We have now also conceded that during the probationary period, a teacher may be let go without just cause during the school year as long as they are provided with a three-month severance package.

English Learner Report

Bargaining Update

On Wednesday, February 3rd, we had our 19th bargaining session with Summit. We discussed the following items:

Proposals From Summit

  • Union Rights:  The main challenge is that Summit wants admin to be present in union meetings during orientation.  It is standard for unions to have time alone with members during orientation;  this allows teachers to discuss and understand all contract components and processes and ask questions privately, without managers present.  
  • Leaves: We are closer to an agreement.  We are almost in alignment on the TWYN policy for one day of leave,  and both the SPS and US team discussed the potential of having a process to track TWYN requests to ensure it is implemented well.  One of the major sticking points continues to be parental leave. We believe only providing two weeks of fully-paid parental leave in a teacher’s first year at Summit, when the industry standard for charters in the Bay Area (and many district schools) is six weeks puts Summit at a competitive disadvantage. The landscape has shifted since Summit first created its parental leave policy, and we hope to work with Summit to make the changes necessary to be in-line with the current landscape. (Notably, Summit’s parental leave for long-serving employees goes beyond what most schools in our area offer, which continues to be a very positive aspect of Summit’s policy.) We sent a counterproposal on this article to the SPS management team via email on Friday. 

Proposals From Unite Summit

  • Student Support Services: Unite Summit members formed a new committee to strengthen our rationale for English Learner recommendations!  Read all about it below.
  • Professional Development: We had a helpful discussion about Summit’s current PD practices and are continuing to explore ways to provide greater teacher voice in the topics and design of PD.  
  • Health & Safety: The main sticking points remain remain that 1) we want Summit schools to be sanctuaries for students and faculty. This issue is critically important to us and 2) we want privacy and hygienic areas for nursing parents, while Summit wants to provide only the minimum state requirement for employees.

English Language Learner Status Report and Recommendations at Summit  

In November, a group of Unite Summit members formed the  English Learner Committee, in order to do a deeper dive into Summit’s current EL policies, data, and best practices. Our very first contract proposal — Support Services – addressed providing better supports for English Learners. The EL Committee put together a comprehensive   English Learner Status Report & Recommendations and presented it to  Summit during negotiations this week. 

The committee’s research turned up findings that reflected our own experiences at Summit:

  • 70% of EL students are not making progress in their English Language Development
  • EL students are behind in almost every academic priority indicator by a difference of 10% or more
  • EL students face disproportionate disciplinary action

The committee’s work formed the basis for our new Support Services proposal. While Summit only wanted to discuss these important issues for the last 20 minutes of bargaining, we hope that future bargaining dates will allow us to give these issues the time and attention they deserve. 
 

We sincerely hope that Summit shares our value of providing strong language development programming and curriculum.  We ask Summit to recommit to our students and provide the language supports that they need.  We want the training and expectations to support our students.  We must ALL work together for this goal.

In closing, we want to appreciate the English Learner Committee.  The members of this committee had a breadth of strengths — ELD teaching experience, seniority at Summit, and knowledge of California standards around English Learner supports — and put in substantial time and energy to create this 20+ page report. We also want to thank all the teachers who provided input on our English learner survey; your participation gave the committee valuable insight.   We want to extend a special appreciation to the members of the committee who joined us during bargaining to present the report:

Justin Kim: K2 Grade 8 History

Miles Bennett-Smith: Prep AP Gov

Eric Jones: K2 Grade 9 Math

Meryl Kravitz: Everest Spanish

Virtual School Agreement Reached!

Virtual School Agreement Reached!

Today, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Summit for virtual school. This MOU will be in effect through the end of the school year.
 

Highlights

  • Reduction in projects and power focus areas. English, history, Science and Spanish teachers are expected to teach a reduced number of projects, with one PFA per project.  Red Team will develop the details of implementing this.
  • HCD becomes Student Support Block.  This should be used for project/concept unit support for students who need support completing this work.
  • GLT reduced to 60 minutes, held between 10 and 12 AM Wednesday. We are pleased with Summit agreeing to move GLT on Wednesday to an earlier time during the day. We believe this will greatly increase the quality of life for teachers by reducing their work day length and empower site leaders to organize the schedule in the best way for their faculty.
  • Student cameras are not required: In order to strive to be a more equitable school system for all students, we have agreed on new camera norms. Students will no longer be required to turn on their cameras during any part of their day, although we hope they choose to turn on their cameras when it is safe and comfortable to do so to increase engagement. By no longer requiring cameras to be on, we are acknowledging the different socioeconomic realities of students at our schools.
  • Teachers will receive a premium PearDeck subscription.  This interactive teaching tool will improve classroom communication.

Implementation

On Thursday 1/14, Red Team will be informed that the MOU is accepted.  Changes will be implemented on a rolling basis, guided by Red Team. The intent is to implement changes as soon as possible. 

Context

Many of the items in this MOU address issues we have raised  since the beginning of the school year. Frankly, we believe that Summit management could have taken these concerns seriously months ago.  We could have come to this agreement much sooner and have provided timely relief for our students and teachers. 

However, even though this took longer than we would have liked, we are pleased that Summit has agreed to many of our top priorities — your advocacy and support was crucial! We will also get a second bite at the apple; Summit informed us today that there are likely going to be changes to the middle school schedule and that a second round of improvements could come as a part of that. 

Significant Clarifications on Virtual School Expectations 

Site leadership discussed the MOU — at that point, a proposal — to sites recently.  During those discussions, the following concerns were raised by teachers.  We therefore discussed these concerns with Summit’s bargaining team.

  1. Are teachers expected to keep cameras on at all times during faculty meetings, such as GLT or LT?
  2. Will teachers who have paid for a PearDeck subscription be reimbursed?
  3. What are the expectations for AP teachers, who may feel pressure to both reduce curriculum and prepare students for AP exams, particularly with the change from HCD to a student support block?
  4. What does it mean for students to have individual and small group work time for half of every PT block?

If these concerns are relevant to you, consider the following information which Summit’s bargaining team shared:

  1. Teachers may use discretion as to keeping cameras on and should report to your bargaining team rep if they experience otherwise so that we can raise it with the SPS bargaining team
  2. Summit’s finance team will develop a system for reimbursement for teachers who have already paid for Peardeck. 
  3. AP teachers are not expected to prioritize AP Exam preparation. They should focus on supporting all students with projects/concept units.  Diane Tavenner will consider how to provide AP teachers with fuller context and support around this decision.  
  4. Students should spend half of the class completing work — as opposed to listening to instruction

Contract Bargaining

Today we also had our 17th contract bargaining session. 

Summit presented:

  • Union Rights — We continue to move closer to agreement on many aspects of this article.
  • Technology, Resources, and Curriculum — Summit continues to not address key parts of our proposal, including teacher autonomy in using outside curriculum and resources and student and teacher data privacy. 
  • Health and Safety — Given the recent white supremacist violence in our nation’s capitol. Summit’s continued refusal to committing to protect undocumented and DACA students and staff is extraordinarily troubling. Additionally, Summit continues to reject our more detailed and specific language that deals explicitly with infectious disease and other health concerns, which is especially troubling given that we’re in a pandemic. 

Our next contract bargaining session is Tuesday, January 19.