On Thursday, March 26, 2020, LTA President Priscila Avila, LTA Bargaining Chair Brian Guerrero, and CTA Staff Anderw Staiano met (virtually) with LSD administration and presented the following proposal regarding the effects of Covid-19 school closures on teachers and students. The goal of the MOU would be to better define teacher rights and responsibilities at this time, and, above all else, to protect the health of teachers, students and the Lennox community.
March 26, 2020
The District and Association enter this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the school closures related to COVID-19.
- The parties recognize there is a need to close schools and move to an online distance learning program to allow for social distancing as recommended by public health officials in order to prevent the spread of illness arising from COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 school year. Unit members shall work remotely for the duration of the school closures. Unit members shall check their emails at regular intervals throughout the day, and respond to parents and students accordingly. Unit members will establish a minimum of a two hour window each day during which they will be directly accessible by phone, web conference, or email. All communications outside of this window should be responded to within 24 hours. The workday shall be at least 5.5 hours per day including instruction, planning, grading, professional development related to distance learning, grade level or department collaboration and communicating. The unit member has flexibility in when the duties are completed throughout the day.
- Unit members’ compensation and benefits shall not be reduced as a result of the school closures so long as funding remains available under Executive Order N-26-20. Unit members who coach or receive other stipends, shall be paid their full stipends in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.
- During the school closure unit members shall be entitled to use the applicable leave provisions in the collective bargaining agreement and any additional paid leave mandated by the state or federal government, including HR6201 in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Unit members who are unable to provide services to students during the period of school closures shall inform their direct supervisor as soon as practicable. The District shall make reasonable efforts to provide substitutes as appropriate for members who will be unable to provide service beyond three (3) days. In the absence of substitute teachers, regular classroom teachers may volunteer to substitute and shall be compensated at the full daily substitute rate. Teachers who volunteer to substitute shall do so only for the same grade level or subject area.
- Unit members who were on extended leave prior to the school closures shall remain on that leave and access their available leave balance in accordance with applicable contractual and legal requirements pending release without restrictions by their physician.
- Flexible learning activities shall be provided to students to promote continuity of learning while students are not in school. This will include enrichment, engagement, intervention, remediation, and new material. The development, pace and means of providing instruction, and the choice of curricular materials shall be at the discretion of the individual teacher, subject to the concurrence of the district, based on the needs of their students, available resources, and the students’ ability to access the curriculum. After consulting with the Association and a grading committee comprised of teachers, the District shall provide guidance around final grades in the event the school closure lasts for the duration of the semester.
- The District shall notify all parents/guardians that the use of a video-conferencing platform by unit members to interact with students (Zoom, Skype, WebEx, etc.) is encouraged, but not required, for unit members and shall alert parents/guardians to monitor the appropriate use of this medium with their student(s). Unit members shall be held harmless in the event a student (or students) misuses this platform or engages in inappropriate activity. Unit members will report inappropriate actions by students to their administrator and follow normal procedural guidelines relating to discipline.
- The District shall provide training for unit members choosing to use District authorized video-conferencing platforms upon the request of individual unit members.
- The parties agree to meet at mutually agreeable times to address implementing guidance from the California Department of Education (CDE) as well as the Federal Department of Education (FDE) in order to provide equitable and appropriate education for students with special needs. Special Education teachers will work collaboratively with core content teachers to accommodate and/or adapt lessons as necessary to meet the needs of students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in a digital learning environment and ensure that lessons and activities are appropriate as documented in students’ IEPs. General education teachers will confer with special education teachers to ensure that appropriate accommodations are being provided during direct instruction.
- Special Education teachers of students with moderate to severe disabilities will provide continuity of learning through a variety of distance learning resources as deemed appropriate by the District, so that Special Education students have reasonable access under the circumstances to the same learning opportunities as other students during the school closure.
- Related Service Providers (Speech Therapists, Adaptive PE teachers, etc.) will prepare distance learning activities that can be completed at home as appropriate.
- General education, special education and all service providers shall collaborate for the development of and participation in student IEP meetings in a telephonic or video conferencing platform.
- Evaluations of unit members shall be considered completed for the 2019-2020 school year as of March 12, 2020. Any employee who has not completed a final evaluation meeting with an administrator will receive the final document before the end of the school year.
- The District shall submit appropriate documentation as directed by the CDE to mitigate the loss of funding due to lower than normal Average Daily Attendance (“ADA”). If the waiver is denied or the state requires students to make up days for the 2019-20 school year, the parties will negotiate make-up student instructional day(s) up to the number of school closure days.
- With the exception of School Site Councils which shall be conducted via web conference, unit members shall not be required to make up adjunct or committee assignments missed as a result of school closures. Adjunct duties and District and/or site committees shall be canceled and not rescheduled during the school closures.
- Unit members shall not be required to report to their worksite for the duration of the District-determined school closures. Prior to the return of employees or students, reasonable efforts will be made to:
- Disinfect all schools and other worksites.
- Provide hand soap and/or hand sanitizer in every classroom and bathroom, to the extent such supplies are available.
- Change all air filters at all worksites throughout the district.
- Upon the State/County/District determining schools safe to reopen, the District shall provide for at least two (2) full days of voluntary on-site employee-directed preparation to all unit members to prepare for the return of students to school.
- In the event the State of California imposes alternative requirements for schools in response to COVID-19, the parties agree to immediately initiate negotiations on the impacts.
- The parties understand the COVID-19 pandemic is an extremely fluid situation and mutually agree to review the provisions of this MOU and make any necessary modifications consistent with local, state, and federal mandates.
This MOU is not precedent setting. This MOU shall be in effect for the duration of the school closure or June 30, 2020, whichever comes first and may be extended by mutual written agreement of the parties.