California Educator

April/May 2021

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Page 42 of 63

M T. D I A B L O : Monster bargaining session After 80 hours of bargaining over five days and a monster 19-hour session, Mt. Diablo Education Association in Con- tra Costa County reached an agreement to welcome students back to campuses in a hybrid model in phases, starting with grades PK-2 at the end of March. In a joint announcement, MDEA President Anita Johnson and MDUSD chief of human resources John Rubio expressed appreciation "for the tremendous amount of work that went into coming to an agreement." "In the end, the parties agreed to a 61-page document that ensures a return to campus for those who choose it and supports the safety of students and MDEA members," Johnson and Rubio said in a statement. "Both MDEA and the dis- trict would like to thank everyone, and we are excited to welcome students back to our campuses." Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples L O S A N G E L E S : COVID testing in return agreement United Teachers Los Angeles reached an agreement with Los Angeles Unified School District that will see preschool and elementary classrooms reopen in mid-April, with second- ary students returning to campuses by the end of April. The agreement provides for a hybrid model combining online and in-person instruction, with students remaining in small, stable cohorts while on campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. " The agreement provides for the reopening of schools when Los Angeles County is in the red tier according to the state school guidelines, [and provides] that all sta™ have access to the COVID vaccine and that schools are kept clean and safe," UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz and LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a joint statement. "As we have both stated for some time, the right way to reopen schools must include the highest standard of COVID safety in schools, continued reduction of the virus in the communities we serve, and access to vaccinations for school sta™. This agreement achieves that shared set of goals. It's our shared commitment to the highest safety standards and spirit of trust and collabora- tion we will take with us back to schools." The agreement includes: • Daily in-person instruction for elementary school students in a hybrid morning/afternoon model, with the option for students to remain in online-only instruction. • Secondary students will continue with daily online instruction, with the opportunity to return to campus for peer interaction, social-emotional learning, and lessons for college and career exploration. • Full-day, in-person instruction for preschool students. • Maintaining current teacher assignments whenever possible. • All students and sta™ will be tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, and weekly COVID testing will be provided thereafter. • Masks and social distancing for students, sta™ and visitors at schools. • Schools will be kept clean and safe. LAUSD has already invested more than $120 million to upgrade air-filtration systems, procure adequate stocks of PPE, and add extra custodial sta™. • Social-emotional supports for all students. • Additional professional development for teachers. • Meals will be provided for students at schools, whether they are receiving in-person or online instruction. 41 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 21 A

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