Message from John Minkus: 10/26/2020


Good morning. I hope you all had a refreshing weekend.  I wanted to share a couple of updates from last week. 
Mike C and I had our weekly meeting with Mike V and Kathy H. We worked out a deal to offer the opportunity for staff to access the leftover Learning Loss Mitigation Funding through tutoring for students who are not being successful in the online platform. As this is one time funding, it will be offered at $50/hour.It does not change the hourly rate otherwise.  The opportunity should begin this week. 
In terms of paid PD, we addressed the issue that a couple of sites wanted to use Wednesday in the AM for PD. We objected to that as some want to do synchronous teaching on Wednesdays as well. Please share  with me any PD plans that fall outside of Wednesday PM and are unpaid. 
If you watched the board meeting you know my effort was to encourage a more rigorous protocol for COVID reporting. Although our district is following the current county guidelines, there is a new bill that will go into effect January 1 that will increase the requirement. We have asked that they begin this implementation immediately.
As cohorts are back, I ask that the sped teachers relay any issues that arise. La Mesa and Valencia have already shared concerns. The issues are not easy to address as they go through 3 different departments. In addition, let your site reps know if members outside of sped are being required back. I will be working on these issues today. 
We understand that it seems inequitable that some are being required to come back to campus but we do not want to get into an us vs us situation. The district is following the permissiveness of county guidelines while still giving most the option to work off site. 
There are still many questions regarding return to work. The superintendent has basically said that the earliest we would be back in the classroom would be January. Julie Schneider and Sean O’Brien represent us well in the district discussions of what this will look like.  The general feeling seems to be that online learning would be best to continue if we can’t have an all out return. We will monitor the blended models as they are presented.
I personally thank you all for everything you are doing.