DAILY UPDATE #40 -- 5/08/2020
- AASD OFFICE CLOSURE
AASD will be sending out a Daily Update, Monday-Friday, throughout the school closure period. The Weekly Update will continue as usual on Thursdays with the typical news and information for AASD members. The AASD Office will remain closed during the period of time the schools/district are closed. AASD staff will be working remotely and can be reached at the contact information at the end of this Update.
AASD has created a Google Form for AASD Members to report issues, questions or concerns regarding work-related issues and the COVID-19 virus. Any issues, questions or concerns submitted via the Google form will be shared daily with the District. AASD will then share the answers to issues, questions or concerns submitted as those answers are received from the district. You may also share your gratitude for another AASD member, district personnel, etc. via the same link.
The link to share issues/questions/concerns/gratitude is:
Please do not share this link outside of AASD membership (classified and certificated management/supervisors). The link will be active until this crisis is over. PLEASE CHECK THE DISTRICT’S WEBSITE TO ENSURE YOUR ISSUE/QUESTION/ CONCERN HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED THERE.
NOTE: All previous AASD Daily Updates and Weekly Updates are located on the AASD Website www.aasdcs.org if you need to refer back to them for information.
- Q and A (Friday, May 8, 2020) (Questions were submitted by AASD members; the answers are from the District. AASD publishes the answers as they are received from the District.)
Q -- Principals are getting many emails from parents about schedules. They represent both sides, not enough structure, class time, instruction, assignments, scheduled class time and the other side is too many of each of these. Many principals have reported that when the emails include the district leadership, including the Superintendent, then principals receive a call from area superintendents and are directed to communicate the vision of the district. It seems like there should be a clear message from the district for principals to utilize for all of these communications. As with so many items since March 13th, principals have acted in the best interest to develop surveys, contact missing students, only to be given a different procedure days later.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Thank you for your feedback. As with any parent concern, we address the needs of families on an individual basis. Your Area Superintendent can help you address particular situations that may be challenging.
Q -- Teachers have negotiated limits to their work day, as well as paraeducators. What about administrators? My work load has gone up an insane amount and I’m working under suboptimal physical conditions. The amount of time I am on the computer is unhealthy for me.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Your health is important. Especially during a time that can be isolating. No one is expected to sit in front of a computer or device all day long. Please make time in your day to move away from the computer. We encourage breaks and your lunch. You have permission to be creative. For example - if you have a treadmill at home, use your lap top or iPad on your next Zoom call (don't forget to mute and turn off the camera) and walk during your call. If that isn't an option, rather than a video conference, use the dial in feature and walk during your meeting. Don't forget your face mask if you leave your home. At any time, you can reach out to your Area Superintendent to address your workload and/or Acacia Thede in HR to address your particular health concerns so that we can consider what accommodations may be needed.
Q -- What is the district stance on teachers conducting individual Zoom sessions with students?
A – (Answer provided by the District) This is addressed in the Educator Guidelines: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PvPjrjyQ24ynGrWu8rkr2HBTqS9uZOd4/view that were distributed on April 16 via the principal update and were emailed directly to all certificated staff.
Q -- Is working in the summer (after June 30) still considered a hazardous duty if the state is shut down? Will we be paid accordingly?
A -- (Answer provided by AASD) The negotiated MOU is in effect until schools physically reopen or June 30, whichever comes first. At this time it appears June 30 will come first. The MOU can be extended with the approval of the union and the district. At this time, we do now have enough information about how things will look on July 1. AASD is prepared to enter into discussions with the district about continuation of the MOU after June 30. Stay tuned for more information.
Q – I am hearing that there is a “taskforce” created by the Superintendent to make plans for reopening schools. Is that true and how are principals and others being selected to sit on the taskforce?
A – (Answer provided by Staci Monreal, Chief of Staff) A formal taskforce has not been created. However, executive leaders are reaching out to various stakeholders, including principals, in an informal manner to hear their perspective.
Q -- I'm hearing rumors that principals now have to allocate up to two hours per teacher during the once a month site visits. For a large school to manage that and keep social distancing will take me multiple days. Was the district planning to ask principals for input on this? I feel we are once again left out of the equation when these decisions are being made on our behalf.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Thank you for your feedback. The procedure for site access has not changed. Please refer to the Access to Schools memo included in the Principal's update on April 9, 2020. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n9dHsmGVgaUBCNT5bBBPy9zAzbhH7wiblAXkx0hLFwA/edit?usp=sharing
Q -- How come Superintendent Marten hasn’t been in on the district ZOOM conferences for management? How come she’s not communicating more regularly with us?
Q -- I keep hearing about school resuming this summer from our SDUSD Board of Education members via media. What is the actual stance of the Superintendent? We really haven’t heard from her much. It seems to me that there is more interest in communicating with city leaders and parents versus SDUSD staff. Her Monday chats give some information but that’s going out to the community. Where are her Q & A sessions with district staff?
A – (Answer provided by the District) The Superintendent continues to be inspired by your leadership and work on the ground ensuring that students are actively engaged in high quality distance learning. Your work does not go unnoticed, we all value the countless hours you continue to dedicate to your students, parents and communities. During this unprecedented time, our Superintendent has multifaceted responsibilities. She is our voice, our advocate and our champion at the local, state, and federal government to ensure SDUSD students and staff are cared for. Her advocacy, on behalf of the San Diego community has direct impact for our students. As a leader in Distance Learning it is critical we are involved with local, state and federal decision makers around what a safe return to schools looks like. Her role is to advocate to ensure when we do reopen we have the funding and resources necessary for our students. Staff is beginning to research how countries have reopened schools and will be setting up focus groups, including principals, teachers, students and parents to engage in this discussion. In the near future, the Superintendent will set up opportunities for principals to connect with her around reopening. In the interim, Area Superintendents hold weekly office hours to provide support and respond to daily questions. We also invite you to attend and actively participate in the weekly Facebook Live sessions.
Q -- The Seesaw training for principals talked a lot about monitoring classrooms (students and teachers) which is against the message in the SDEA MOU. Are we allowed to monitor for the purposes outlined in the training? Also, if the message to families is “do what you can and how you are able” why would we be following up with families if a student doesn’t log on for a few days at a time, etc? It’s not a work issue but a conflict of messaging.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Seesaw training was conducted by leaders from Seesaw and the presenters did not know the SDEA MOU guidelines. We will be sure they have that information for future trainings to avoid conflicting information. Principals need to provide opportunities for teachers to develop their skills in distance learning and should not be in the teachers digital classrooms unless they are invited to do so per the SDEA MOU. Yes, we do want families to do what they can, how and when they are able; however, we also want to stay connected to our students and families and be sure they are doing well and have what they need. It is not intended as a pressure to do more, but instead a connection for support.
Q -- Principals have requested numerous times if communications from PPO to our BSS's and POS's regarding the potential deep cleaning and reopening of sites could please include a cc the Principals. Another email went out from PPO and again Principals were not copied or forwarded a copy. Some of us have great relationships with our BSS or POS and some may not and have to rely on a colleague to forward to us the information (if they remember). If something super important went out we would not know. Communication is key.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Our mistake, we will make sure future communications to the POS and BSS community include a copy to principals. Rest assured any large programmatic decisions such as when deep cleaning will start or disinfecting methods and procedures when students return to school will be widely disseminated.
Q -- What is the district decision about students coming to campus to get their materials? We’ve all asked a number of times and still no response. We must be able to communicate effectively with our parents and community. The silence from the district around our questions is deafening and putting principals in a precarious position when trying to answer direct questions from parents. We have less than one month of school and the next access date is after school is out and many teachers have already stated they aren’t coming in to that one. Please answer our questions!
A – (Answer provided by the District) As noted in the daily principal update, this is a project in process. We hope to have this information distributed the week of May 11.
Q -- Our Area Superintendent announced a change to the district policy regarding parent concerns during the Principal PD held on 5/6/2020. I was able to confirm a Principal from another area received the same message from their Area Superintendent. We were told Quality Assurance would no longer be notifying Principals about parent concerns related to our school. Instead, Q/A will only notify our Area Superintendent who will then communicate directly with us regarding the issue. The rational given was that Area Superintendents were attempting to gain a better understanding of the types of concerns being identified by parents. The idea of assigning Area Superintendents the task of tabulating and counting parent concerns does not seem to be an efficient model or effective use of their time. I do not have first-hand knowledge of the workings of the Q/A department, but I always made the assumption they were tracking their parent interactions. Are the reports generated from the data collected by Q/A not meeting the needs of the Area Superintendent team or is there another reason why the decision was made to not allow Principals the opportunity to respond to parent concerns at the lowest level?
Q – This week's mandatory principal PD sounded like we are going to be having to handle a lot more of parent complaints about what teachers are/are not doing. The district negotiated that MOU that basically strips away any power or decision making about teaching and learning I have or had. That’s the real issue! Today’s meeting made it sound like we don’t have the first clue about how to handle parents and problem solve. Such disrespect. The district did this to themselves when agreeing to the SDEA MOU giving teachers complete autonomy. I can’t solve problems when I can’t get in a teachers virtual classroom. That’s the elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about.
A – (Answer provided by the District) Thank you for your comments. Area Superintendents are not tracking data or parent concerns, rather they are supporting principals to address concerns based on the bargained agreement for AASD unit members. Principals have given consistent feedback in this survey format requesting they be relieved/assisted in responding to parent concerns. The intention is to continue to allow principals to respond at the lowest level with support from a thought partner (their Area Superintendent).
Additional answer and information from AASD – AASD negotiated the language below in the impacts and effects bargaining related to the COVID-19 closures. AASD had no information in advance that Area Superintendents were going to be receiving the complaints until members informed AASD this directive was shared in the recent PD.
In observance of the workload of AASD members during this time of school closure and Distance Learning, all non-emergency complaints received by the Quality Assurance Office, not related to Distance Learning, will be put on hold and assigned at a later date. Site administrators will work with their assigned Action Team Lead and Area Superintendent to access necessary resources in order to resolve student and staff access to Distance Learning. The following complaints will continue to be addressed by the site administrator:
- Employee conduct during Distance Learning (in- person, recorded or via email or other written communication). The assigned Human Resource Officer will continue to support principals in addressing employee conduct.
- Parent/community concerns related to the school operations. Site administrators will not be required to submit paperwork or reports back to the Quality Assurance Office. An e-mail response will be considered sufficient.
- Title IX complaints per district procedure.
- Bullying reports per district procedure.
Q -- The PD that principals are having is giving scenarios about solving parent problems - don’t they realize this is a direct result of the MOU that was bargained for by teachers? Bringing a complaint up like that to a teacher would be a violation if they are doing model 1 of their learning. The district should have never locked principals out of classrooms regardless of what model is being done. How is this going to be addressed moving forward?
A – (Provided by the District’s Area Superintendents) As Area Superintendents, we are in partnership with you. We are your thought partners. Please know that you are not alone in this work. Even with your best laid out plans and the systems and structures that you have provided, parents may have some feedback that they direct straight to the district office, whether it is the Board, QAO or to the Office of the Superintendent. As a support, we are working in collaboration with QAO. If there is a parent concern that is received by QAO around Distance Learning, QAO will reach out to the Area Superintendent and the Area Superintendent will work alongside the Site Principal. We are here to work with you in problem solving a response or to access necessary resources that are needed to support Distance Learning. Please know we are not tracking data. The intention is to continue to allow you, as the site leader, to respond at the lowest level with our support as your thought partner.
Q -- The district's budget deficit for next year may be the worst we've seen in decades. The March deadline for layoff notices has already passed. What does AASD think will happen for next school year to balance the budget? Please let us know.
A – (Answer provided by AASD) The March deadline for March 15 notices for certificated AASD members has passed; however, all AASD represented Vice Principals and Central Office AASD Management all received the notice (Principals only received the notification if they were going to be affected). Technically, reassignments to teaching positions could still occur as long as notifications are made by the end of June. AASD has no information or knowledge that any unanticipated reassignments will occur. For classified employees, the Ed Code allows position eliminations to occur at any time with a 60-day notice. AASD has received the list of classified positions to be eliminated and has no information or knowledge that additional eliminations will occur. As far as other budget reduction strategies that might affect work year or pay, those are negotiable items and at this time AASD has not received any demand to bargain from the district. Rest assured that the leadership of AASD will keep members briefed on any information received and/or bargaining regarding budget reduction discussions.
- IMPORTANT FOR AASD MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING – AASD NEEDS TO KNOW! ARE YOU OR HAVE YOU PHYSICALLY REPORTED FOR WORK DURING THE COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURES? OR ARE YOU WORKING REMOTELY?
AASD Members in Good Standing – please help AASD by taking the following BRIEF survey so that AASD has the data we need moving forward. This brief survey will help us identify who is working remotely and who has been required to physically report for work and how often. The data will be for internal use only and will be reviewed by AASD leadership only. Thank you in advance for helping AASD to collect the data we need. Click here for the survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdkWG4ctq5AAm3pmnX65XU-Y-gf9hhseOc_C16ejE4SkcqltQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
Please take the survey by May 13.
- OTHER NEWS
Gov. Newsome now projects $18 billion less in required funding for K-12 and community colleges (EdSource May 7)
- SPECIAL GRATITUDE
If an AASD member has a department or individual that deserves special recognition during this time of crisis, please use the link above for reporting issues/questions/concerns/gratitude to show your gratitude for the department or individual. AASD will publish that special thanks in our next Daily Update.
- DISTRICT WEBSITE
For your convenience, the District has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions. To access that list, click the link https://sites.google.com/sandi.net/covid19/staff-info
- AASD CONTACT INFORMATION DURING THE DISTRICT CLOSURE
Executive Director, Donis Coronel -- email@example.com 619-813-8792
Office Manager, Linda Crout-Hamel -- firstname.lastname@example.org 619-861-2701
Office Clerk, Jim Costello -- email@example.com
Please keep informed via the District’s website www.sandi.net, Daily Updates from AASD and via the AASD Website www.aasdcs.org.