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Covid-19 Updates

Tue, Apr 28, 2020 at 9:20AM

June 11, 2020

The governor released the state's guidelines on reopening schools today. You may read the report at

this link.

The stater is pushing for districts to reopen schools in August. However, this recommendation goes against the latest medical warnings by Dr. Fauci and other experts. Please remember that districts have the authority to make the decision on if they want to reopen schools, continue distance learning or have a hybrid plan.  And, all working conditions impacted by the reopening must be bargained.  CTA demanded to bargain back in April.

This pandemic has shown the importance of teachers and the role of public schools in our society.  We know that face-to-face instruction is optimal, preferred and the best way to achieve learning goals. We must remember that we can make up lost acdemic goals, but we cannot regain a lost life.

Since the state has lifted restrictions on social distancing and reopened the state, we have seen the largest single day spike in Covid 19 cases. How can we even think of reopening schools under these circumstances? We must be responsible. Not only must we protect the health and safety of every student, teacher and all staff in our schools, we must remember that they all go home to other families members who must also be considered.  We must remeber that they will all go out into the communtiy. At what cost do we insist on a hard reopening of schools?

Please continue to send your ideas and thoughts to orangecta@gmail.com and look for updates on social media and this site.

Please read the FEA response to the Governor's guidelines below:

 

May 13, 2020

Emergency Order 2020-02 was issued today by the Florida Commissioner of Education. It addresses several extensions on teacher certificates and reading endorsements, provides flexibility in meeting deadlines to complete IEP/EPs and ELL student assessments and reaffirms that the requirement for teacher evaluations has been suspended.

 

  • All Temporary and Professional certificates that would have expired June 30, 2020 are extended to December 31, 2020 to allow teachers to complete certification courses and tests.   

  • Teachers may be placed out of field for intensive reading instruction through December 31, 2020 to allow teachers to complete their certification or endorsement. School districts have also been granted an extension of their Reading Plan submissions, which will allow our locals to advise districts of other models for delivering intensive reading that do not require so many elementary reading teachers.

  • Districts have been granted flexibility for meeting deadlines for completing IEP/EPs and ELL student assessments and other documentation.

  • In addition to those provisions, this order reaffirms that the requirement for annual teacher evaluations has been suspended.

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Read the order at this link: http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/doe-emergency-order

_________________________

May 11, 2020

Teachers who want to retrieve Items need to call their principal or administrator as soon as possible and make an appointment. (Please read paragraph three below.) 

This is voluntary. You do not have to report to school to collect items or pack your classroom.  You may arrange for someone else if you feel your health could be compromised.

The District also has made arrangements for students/parents to collect students possessions.  If you feel uncomfortable having someone go through student desks and or your classroom, please discuss this with administration and make alternative arrangements. Links are below the memo.

 

Links to Guidelines:

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/elementary-and-k-8-guidelines

 

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/technical-college-campuses-guidelines

 

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/middle-school-guidelines

 

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/property-collection-and-recovery-memo

 

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/property-collection-and-recovery-coordination-guidelines

 

http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/high-school-guidelines

 

______________________

May 7, 2020

Some of you have inquired about rumors of extending the summer and starting school later in the Fall. Know this - our contract language is our contract language, whether classes are taking place in a school building or from your home.  Our contract language is our contract language, whether schools reopen in August or after Labor Day. CTA has demanded to impact bargain working conditions related to COVID-19, distance learning and reopening of schools.

Our national affiliates and several organizations have released recommended guidelines for reopening schools in a manner that ensures the safety and health of every student, employee and our communities at large.  The report from AFT can be found at

this link.

 

NEA has released some member brainstorming ideas for reopening that can be read at

 

this link. Additionally, a report from some agencies within the United Nations and the World Health Organization can be found at

 

this link.  All of these recommended guidelines have common threads:

·      Ensuring safety and health of every person in a reopened building

·      Ensuring emotional and mental wellness support for students and educators

·      Ensuring modifications and accommodations for special needs students are provided

·      Closing gaps on economic divides, including accessibility for every student to internet and devices

·      Suspending standardized testing and teacher evaluation

·      Ensuring all stakeholders are given a seat at the table in making decisions on safely reopening schools including social distancing protocols, hygiene measures, and plans to test, trace and isolate new Covid-19 cases

The New York Times

 

published the unpublished CDC's recommendations, which can be read at

this link

Please also read the

Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights at

this link.

 

_____________

 

April 24, 2020

Progress Report Memo

Today the District issued a memo to all principals, assistant principals and teachers to provide some ideas concerning how to give grades for Progress Reports. It was reviewed by CTA and our legal counsel. It conforms to the 4-21-2020 MOU, which states:

"Teachers will provide students work and grades using professional judgement. Teachers will have discretion over grading and the amount and type of work.  Teachers shall not be required to provide a grade if no work has been completed by a student. (See idea #4 and explanation for using Skyward at this link.) Teachers will not be responsible for submitting grades for work they have not received. Due to concerns regarding in-person support, shared devices, social emotional concerns, and connectivity, teachers will use compassion and common sense in grading, and students will be permitted to make-up any missed assignments throughout the grading period."

Teachers are free to use any of these ideas or to grade as they see fit using their professional judgement.  CTA urges compassion and common sense in grading during this crisis.

 

APRIL 10, 2020

Once again the District made unilateral, un-bargained decisions in issuing attendance, meeting and grading procedures. We demanded to bargain all of these working conditions related to distance learning. When an agreement is not reached with the Union, the employer does not get to impose what they want. CTA demands to bargain not just for every member of our bargaining unit, but for every student and every parent. We have also heard from them that some of the District's dire

ctives and policies are just too much.

Just this week the Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the PERC decision in favor of CTA regarding the DPLC settlement. The District was ordered not to fail to bargain in good faith with the Union. We already filed a class action grievance concerning their failure to bargain attendance.

So reassuring to hear that the District is requiring only "two faulty meetings per month." (See highlighted in yellow below.) 

At the bottom of this "News You Can't Use" there is a phone number. The District wants employees to call so they can "answer your questions." If you have questions, ask your Union. Can you trust a District that continually fails to bargain in good faith? Why not call that number and let them know what you think of their un-bargained mandates, many of which are in conflict with our MOU and contract language. Write to your school board members and copy CTA at orangecta@gmail.com Look for updates coming out soon.

 

APRIL 5, 2020

OCPS Teachers - I just confirmed from OCPS (Yes, their leaders are working on weekends too!) that you do NOT have to go to a school to pick up student packets to bring home to grade. Do not risk your health or your family's health by going to a school or worksite. You are not required to. OCPS is working on a solution, including CTA's suggestion of scanning the work and sending it to you. We will keep you updated. Please everyone, stay safe, stay at home. stay healthy and stay hopeful!

APRIL 3, 2020

PLEASE PROTECT YOURSELVES AND YOUR STUDENTS! Consider not using live video conferencing as a format.

Never give any of your passwords to administrators or others. Protect yourselves! 

You do not have to engage in video-conferencing for any faculty or team meetings. In fact, PLCs should not be required during this time. If teachers want to get with other teachers, that should be their decision. We need to acknowledge that teachers need to focus on teaching their students and on taking care of their own children and their own families as they work from home. Meetings and messages from administrators at this time can be done through email or tele-conferencing sessions that are scheduled well in advance so teachers can adjust schedules with their students and parents.

Peers should not be observing peers unless you consent to it. This is contractual. Evluation has been waived for this year. There can be no "coaching observations" or any other observations, unless you invite someone to observe a lesson. 

Yesterday, CTA received an email forwarded from a principal who informed his faculty: "Just yesterday at another school, a live session was Zoom Bombed and an adult male exposed himself to the children in the session. That school then sent a robo-call home to the entire community informing them of what happened. Here’s information that highlights the difference between Zoom and BBB. This information was sent to the principals from the district."

The district once again did not notify CTA, despite our requesting to receive all messages sent to administrators during this crisis.

The principal further stated, "I will no longer recommend or even remain neutral about Zoom. It is unsafe and potentially puts you at risk for liability."

See the news story at this link: https://www.wesh.com/article/zoom-class-meeting-hacked-man-exposes-self-orange-county/32021877#

CTA agrees. Please consider using other formats rather than video-conferencing.

As we continue to learn more about teaching with technology, we want to make sure you are up to date with the best practices that we put together for working remotely. Here are some ways to best take care of yourself and your students: 

  1. Always know your employer’s acceptable use policies for its online networks and services and follow them. 
  2. Be present during the workday. We suggest that you avoid using social media during the times you are expected to be available to students and parents.
  3. Be aware of your online presence. Be aware if your camera is on and be aware of your surroundings, including who may be in the room with you.
  4. Know that your work computer can be tracked by the district. Only use your work computer for work. 
  5. Keep work on personal computers limited to district-approved apps, district email and other district-approved programs used to communicate with students.
  6. Maintain your own online privacy in your interactions with students.
  7. Know that using your own computer does not make everything on it subject to a public records request, but it does become a place where public records may be stored.
  8. Communicate patience and encouragement. 
  9. Commit to creating a positive community online. 
  10. Stay home and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.
  11. Check www.feaweb.org/covid19 for up-to-date information and support related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For further information on each of these bullet points, you can review this page: https://feaweb.org/covid19/teaching-with-technology/    

In the unlikely circumstance that you face disciplinary action, you should also be familiar with your rights as a union member. You can review what those rights are by visiting https://feaweb.org/member-center/know-your-rights/    

APRIL 1, 2020

A class action greivance was filed against the district for ulilaterally  imposing an attendance policy in violation of our contract.  Some member concerns are listed in the March 30, 2020 update.  Thank you for contacting CTA so we can help you!

MARCH 30, 2010 UPDATES 

Below are just some of the teachers' concerns regarding the Didstrict's unilateral, unbargained attendance mandate:

Attendance Concerns:

  • What are we to do for now in regards to attendance?  I've asked my school, with no clear instructions. My school is on block scheduling, and it is still reflected this way in Skyward, making it more difficult to take attendance.  Other schools are able to go back and change it, but we cannot. I have the students have some type of contact with me: email, google voice text or turn in an assignment via google drive, by 5pm for attendance.
  • This is another email I just received about attendance today. So I’m I supposed to be watching attendance all the way up to 11:59pm? This is ridiculous. (administrator directed teachers to give students until 11:59pm to log in before they took attendance)
  • I am sending this message because I received an email, from my vice principal, reminding me to take attendance on Skyward. I am conflicted. I am very concerned about taking attendance for students who are not physically with me. If this has not been bargained. I do not know what to do.
  • We are being asked to take attendance and my team does not feel comfortable doing this.  Please advise.
  • The teachers on my team and myself are very concerned about whether or not we should be putting attendance into Skyward since we would be legally responsible if something happened to them. For now, most of us are holding off, but obviously, our Principals and schools are pushing for us to record attendance.
  • The process that it takes to input attendance takes some time; especially when kids are entering assignments, and we were to use that as an indication of attendance.  I have filled in attendance for the 31st of March and April 1st according to instruction to go to Canvas - settings -  statistics - scroll thru students names not in order; in order to see Only the latest date that a student signed in to Canvas. This for each period. If they signed in April 1st, it updates any prior date of them signing in. Because some of my students have signed in prior to Canvas I was able to input those, so I have done some attendance for the 30th, but most of my students signed in after that date. I didn't have the instruction on how we could go to Canvas and see on the first day March30th. I went thru live conferencing to set up the Google Form for attendance which end up not work. I'm therefore stuck without knowing for sure who signed in on the 30th. I feel as though I'm being forced to guess. I set up a Google Form to take daily attendance, but there seems to be a problem with that. I'm gonna have to find time conferencing to figure it out.
  • The amount of time that it takes to take attendance and we have to do it the next day due to students signing on all hours of the night, is too much. Too much time spent on top of planning/figuring out/conferencing with others/on hold w/customer service w/Canvas/researching other means of trying to get software that is compatible/conferencing with OCPS virtual school trainers live or the prerecorded conference, etc.  for our virtual school lessons.
  • The amount of time that it takes to take attendance and we have to do it the next day due to students signing on all hours of the night, is too much. Too much time spent on top of planning/figuring out/conferencing with others/on hold w/customer service w/Canvas/researching other means of trying to get software that is compatible/conferencing with OCPS virtual school trainers live or the prerecorded conference, etc.  for our virtual school lessons.
  • Now the Speed Grader is shut off during the day and we have to wait after hours to get access to grading. 
  • I am another teacher expressing concern about the attendance policy. As of today Tuesday, March 31 none of the paper packets have been received by any of my students. The majority of my students do not have devices and so were not able to perform school work yesterday. Does that mean all of those students should be marked “absent”?

  • Are teachers supposed to mark 100% for daily attendance everyday regardless of students of participation? I have one third of my students (or more) that parents have no listed email on Skyward or an email address that is no longer a working email.  I do not feel comfortable marking a student “present” without some kind of system in place that shows 100% that the student worked on an assignment before 3:30pm. Is it even legal to take attendance from home?
  • Those of us that have more than one course were not given enough time to prepare!  I have put in 10-12 hour days all week for 7 days!!!
  • Some teachers with infants, school-age children and other family members under their care cannot follow a schedule mandated by an administrator for taking attendance or for the delivery of lessons.
  • Attendance is a legal document that assigns responsibility of the child to the teacher for a certain time period. If that child is being abused, neglected, or is engaging in illegal activities during the time that teachers are marking them present in attendance, we could ultimately become liable for that student and his or her activities?
  • Some students have no known email or phone number and means of contact or may have left the District during the crisis to stay with another family member. How will marking the student absent affect him or her?
  • How can teachers be expected to use their personal phone to contact parents and/or students? How does contacting students prove that they are actually doing work or actually engaging? It just says they picked up a call.
  • Children receive credit for completing online courses and home school without anybody marking them "present" or absent and other Districts are not requiring teachers to take attendance. Why OCPS?
  • Will CTA bargain for staff to get a compensation for using their personal phone during the shutdown?
  • I am uncomfortable taking attendance for students I do not see and taking accountability for those students
  • Article VI is not being complied with.  Instructional staff members are being required to call students and parents which requires using personal phones.  We’ve been instructed to use *67 to block our numbers.  We’ve also been told (including in distance webinars) to get creative in these unprecedented times since some parents will not answer blocked calls.
  • There are mixed messages coming down from the district from strict instructions to not break procedures to “digital learning is flexible and we must be creative!”  I’ve also been told to open a window in another screen in a training (on my laptop?) and not everyone has a home office with multiple screens!
  • We should not be pushed to take attendance on the days we are not giving any type of assignment. We are being told to give 2 assignments a week and then to take attendance every day. I find that to be insanely out of touch with reality. I understand taking attendance on the 2 days we give an assignment, but not the other days.
  • I do not understand how we can take accurate attendance being home on the rest of the days that we are not obligated to give an assignment. I had to design an attendance form to send to the kids every day for them to fill out so I can take attendance in Skyward. This is all very ridiculous!
  • We should only take attendance on the days we give our assignments because we can control that. I am totally in shock with how certain things are being handled through the district regarding online teaching. you are not thinking about the teachers and the load that is being placed on us. Some of that load is appropriate but not everything.
  • Attendance taking from home is really difficult to control unless we take it the days we give our assignments not every day. 
  • I'm concerned about marking a child "present" when I have no idea if it's really the child or not. My 1st grade students are relying on their parents and their parent's device (my school is not 1:1). 
  • I just wanted to share with you my morning trying to take attendance, something I am expected to do every day. I got in direct contact with a total of 7 parents. I have sent messages on dojo, I have called, and left voicemails. I have spent my entire morning trying to take attendance with only successfully contacting 7 of the parents. I understand you are working hard to make things right and I truly appreciate everything you are doing!
  • Good morning, canvas and BBB are not working correctly this morning.  In order to reach my students.  I recorded a YouTube video and emailed my families the link. I emailed my principal and told her what I did and she told me it was a good idea. Then I emailed her and asked her if I can continue to do it by recording my lessons via YouTube and sending the link to my parents because I know for my third grade students, that would be a lot easier for them being that they have never used canvas all year long. My principal then responded and told me that I need to be ready to transition to canvas and canvas studio by next week.
  • I have found this process to be beyond overwhelming for me, I can only imagine how overwhelming it is for my families.  I am trying to make things as easily accessible as possible but not be in violation at the same time.  My school also used Class Dojo and I will have no problem using that app to record my videos, but I am uncomfortable in using canvas being that my students have not used it this year.  
  • How can this be done when in our community, most of our students share computers, we have non-working numbers for them or just don’t answer at all!!! And the ones doing the packets?
  • The school system is now attempting to have instructors "take attendance" during this time period of distance learning.  My issue with this is twofold;

1) This is logistically impossible as the student isn't in front of me physically.

2) This opens a very dangerous door for potential abuse.  What happens if the student is in a dangerous situation and I have marked them as "present" and in front of me?  Now I'm responsible for that students well-being.

I understand that this seems absurd but these are potentially real situations with very dangerous repercussions for no reason whatsoever.  

  • Our district is asking for your attendance with on-line and packets today.
  • I received this notice via email today and unfortunately I do not comprehend the expectations here. Not only that, this email was sent last minute for teachers to organize anything. Does the statue cover online learning during school closures?  What if a student logs on at 6pm or even 8pm or even after my office hours?
  • What if a parent says that the family has left the district, maybe even the state or country, due to the virus and has no means of accessing the digital course?
  • OCPS just called families to update them on news and announcements including the requirement of teachers to take attendance. Are we still to take attendance even though it was not bargained for? 
  • I'm told to call home if students are not online completing assignments. While I know google voice or call hides my number that is still data and minutes I am using. I was told I am expected to constantly reach out to parents through calls and emails if students are not completing their assignments.
  • Our admin is requiring teachers to keep daily logs of interactions with all students on a google drive as a way to verify attendance. When I pointed out that the district only asked for a contact log to be kept for forms of communication that do not automatically track interactions (phone calls), the response was “we are being asked to monitor teacher interactions”.
  • Parents that I told would be getting packets now not getting them because they didn’t answer ocps survey?
  • If most of our class isn’t doing online learning, how are we to say they are present?  We aren’t going to get packets back for at least a week.  So how would we be taking attendance for those students?
  • My friend is in Collier and the students are marked present for the week if they turned in any work if they are doing remote learning.  If they are not they have to somehow check in with teacher via an email, do jo, or a message on google voice.
  • As you can see below, our faculty is being directed to take attendance on a daily basis. 
  • For the record, my daughters’ OCPS elementary teachers are all over the map.  Some are offering 45-minute Zoom sessions once per day, others are just posting lessons in Canvas to complete independently, and others have directed me to just use iReady and ABCMouse for instruction.  All have said they’re available for 3 hours per day to be reached by email.  The inconsistent expectations between the elementary level and secondary level . . . are appalling.
  • Principals are interpreting the MOU as they see fit, without equity. Instructional faculty serving in administrative roles are just told to be available by email while I have to plan lessons for 6 different preps per day.
  • I am a union member and I am writing concerning the recent News You Can Use email regarding student attendance. We were told by our administration that we need to keep things simple and straightforward for students, and that students should not be held to any sort of daily requirements due to the fact they may be taking care of younger siblings, sharing laptops, etc. This memo completely contradicts that. Are teachers really required to make some sort of verbal or written contact with every student every day? What counts as “contact”? To send this memo at almost 3pm on the Friday before classes go live, when most of us have completed our work already for the week and sent parent emails, outlined day 1 procedures, etc.  is outrageous and a slap in the face to teachers. Please assist in guidance as to what we can do regarding this ridiculous requirement.
  • I have concerns about the attendance requirement during distance learning. I teach at _________ Elementary, an STO school, where distance learning is 100% paper packets. I have been instructed to mark all children as present every day and assume that they are working on their packets.
  • I have concerns for my students' well-being at this time and am concerned for the liability that marking a child "present" when I have not seen them brings. 

__________________

2ND UPDATE MARCH 27, 2020

Attendance requirements that the District released today were not bargained.

 

CTA demanded to impact bargain student attendance procedures during this period of distance learning. Today's News You Can Use regarding the District's unilateral attendance procedures was sent out to all members of our bargaining unit without prior discussion with CTA and without prior notification to CTA. We believe that this demonstrates bad faith bargaining and an unfair labor practice.

By making a unilateral decision, the District was not able to hear teachers' concerns such as these:

  • Attendance is a legal document that assigns responsibility of the child to the teacher for a certain time period. If that child is being abused, neglected, or is engaging in illegal activities during the time that teachers are marking them present in attendance, we could ultimately become liable for that student and his or her activities.
  • I am certain that there is an alternative that the district can come up with leaves teachers clear from liability of a child when that child is not in his or her presence.
  • Children receive credit for completing online courses and home school without anybody marking them "present" or absent.

By making a unilateral decision the District failed to hear any of CTA's concerns, including following contract language such as:

ARTICLE VI WORKING CONDITIONS U. The Board shall provide equipment and supplies to aide employees in the performance of their duties. No employee shall be required to provide personal property for school use.

ARTICLE IV ASSOCIATION RIGHTS J. The Association shall have the opportunity to provide input prior to any recommended revisions of the district grading policy, attendance policy, and/or Code of Student Conduct.

Sending this message on Friday at the end of the day sends a message to every teacher. Refusal to bargain this issues sends a message to every teacher. Please send your concerns to orangecta@gmail.com Please include your name, employee number and School or work location.

You may also want to email your school board members.

We will keep you updated on this issue!

UPDATE MARCH 27, 2020

Yesterday we had a Labor Management Meeting and CTA presented the District with a draft MOU that covers distance learning issues that impact salary and working conditions. We are waiting for a response and will keep you updated.

CTA signed off on several Tentative Agreements and an MOU that we have been negotiating for months.  We also have some outstanding proposals that we are waiting for the District to respond to. We came to an agreement on bereavement leave, the calendar for the 2022-2023 school year, duty day compliance (changing paid duty days from 196 to 197 because of an agreement for 6 days of preplanning), limiting temporary transfers to 30 days and hardship transfers for employees with serious medical or personal problems. This is a huge win for CTA and for every member of our bargaining unit.  

CTA is hearing from members that many (Yes, many!) principals and administrators are violating the MOU. The District claims that the principals came up with the excessive requirements and directives that violate the MOU on their own. However, when asked, the principals claim they are following District direction and orders. CTA is filing grievances to protect your rights and safety. Violations include sign in /out logs for teacher hours, hour by hour schedules, logs to record work, requiring excessive work hours, mandatory virtual PLC attendance, peers directing and/or observing peers, over the top student attendance requirements, mandatory video taping (nope!), and on and on. If you feel that the MOU is being violated please contact us at orangecta@gmail.com. You must include your full name, personnel number and school or work site.

OCPS teachers have shown they love their students and are there for them. Just because the school doors are closed, doesn't mean teachers and other instructional personnel have stopped serving students, parents and the community. We have heard from many members that teachers across the district have organized car parades to drive through neighborhoods to greet students and families. Some of our teachers spent their entire Spring Break preparing exciting lessons and setting up a home office. Others are posting great lesson ideas and link to lessons on social media. We will get through this crisis together and come out stronger on the other side.

We have received dozens of emails from OCPS teachers who are not members. We know we are stronger together and want to help every OCPS teacher. Please complete the CTA membership application at this link: http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/cta-application-2019-2020. CTA processed many new applications over the last two weeks. Welcome to the new members!

Stay safe and health and please stay at home!

Free Internet services:

UPDATE MARCH 25, 2020

Orange County Shelter in Place Order

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer held a press conference last evening to announce that a shelter in place order would go into effect starting on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 11:00pm. The two-week order is an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.  It expires on April 9, 2020 at 11:00pm, but may be extended as needed. Residents will still be able to go out to buy groceries, medicine and essential supplies, but retail stores and businesses that do not sell essential items will close.

The mayor stated that you should not visit family or friends unless there is an urgent need such as delivering food or providing care for medical reasons.

Sheriff Mina said violators will be issued warnings and may receive a $50 citation or be jailed for up to 50 days. You can read the order at

 

this link.  Read frequently asked questions about the order at

 

this link.

Your CTA staff and the President will be working remotely.

Send all inquiries to orangeCTA@gmail.com or call the following phone numbers for assistance and you will receive a reply within 24 hours.

David Cintron - 407-810-4092 

Maribel Rigsby - 407-810-4097

General Assistance - 407-810-4165 

Please stay at home, stay safe and help stop the spread!

Frequently Asked Questions from Members

Members have asked many of the same questions and CTA is providing written answers below. On Monday morning, CTA sent 25 questions to the District for clarification. We also sent requests to demand to bargain certain issues. Yesterday President Doromal discussed the concerns and questions during a conference call with District leaders and the CTA attorney. We are still waiting for a majority of responses. CTA recommends that when in doubt, follow the

 

Memorandum of Understanding, our

 

CTA contract

 

and all of the settlement agreements.

Please continue to send questions and concerns to CTA at orangecta@gmail.com so we can assist you as we navigate through this crisis. Please make sure to include your full name, personnel number and school or worksite.

Questions not sent to the District (Because CTA knows the answers!)

  • Reporting to a school or work site:

     

      You absolutely do not have to report to a school or work site or perform any duties on site. Per the

     

    Memorandum of Understanding, if you are a member of the instructional bargaining unit, you will work from home, regardless of job title.
  • Delivering student packets or visiting students:

     

    No member of the bargaining unit is required to drive to student houses to drop off packets or for any other reason. (District agreed.)
  • PLC participation:

     

    CTA considers participation in virtual PLCs as optional/voluntary at this time.  You do not have to participate, but may if you want to.  Teachers have autonomy in lesson planning and may follow prepared suggestions or modify them to fit your particular student needs. Your work day will already likely exceed more than three hours per day with planning, delivery and associated work related to virtual learning so you may not have time for PLC participation.
  • Uploading and sharing lesson plans:

     

    The Lesson Plan Settlement should be followed.  Please read it at

     

    this link. You do not have to use CRMs or suggested prepared lessons unless you want to. You do not have to upload a week’s worth of lesson plans to any site.  If your administrator asks for your lesson plan/s, you have three days to produce it/them. If your administrator requests your lesson plan/s they can be sent in electronic form (email) and do not have to be shared on SharePoint unless that is your desire. If your administrator does request lesson plans, you should request that he/she provide detailed written feedback within two days.

Questions or concerns brought by CTA to the District (many with a demand to bargain)

  • Non-reappointment and Reappointment:

     

    CTA demanded to bargain non-reappointment, including how annual teachers will be notified if they are reappointed or not reappointed and changes to the non-reappointment timeline, including the voluntary transfer timeline.  We also requested a copy of any new instructions sent to principals. The District responded, “Still under review.”  However, in the phone conversation the District stated that they have “no intention of not reappointing teachers at this time.”
  • Monitoring/evaluation of distance lessons:

     

    CTA asked What type of monitoring/evaluation is the district considering for online lessons and modules and how would this be implemented?  We demanded to bargain this.  The District response was, “Awaiting information from Teaching and Learning Senior Leadership (TLSL)”. CTA recommends that there be no monitoring of distance lessons and the Lesson Plan Settlement Agreement be followed.
  • Extension of the School Year:

     

    CTA understands that the governor may not waive the missed days of school for the March 23 to March 27 and demanded to bargain an extension if so called. The District responded, “This has yet to be determined. See Article XV.D. When it becomes necessary to close a school because of weather or for other reasons as deemed necessary by the Superintendent, the days lost shall be made up by extending the school year for that school, as determined by the Board, after consultation with the Association, without it being a violation of this Contract.”  CTA interprets that article as applying to the closing of one school. CTA considers an extension of all schools as a change in the calendar that must be bargained.
  • Waivers for missed days:

     

    CTA asked the District if the District would seek waivers for the missed instructional hours due to the planning week of March 30th? Again CTA demanded to bargain any makeup timelines. The District response was, “Awaiting information from Teaching and Learning Senior Leadership (TLSL)”.
  • Duties for instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers:

     

    CTA requested that the District clarify the specific duties to be assigned to all categories of instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers.  CTA gave the District the following suggestions:

o   Use web conferencing to communicate with students one on one or small groups

o   Use web conferencing to communicate with classroom teachers one on one or by grade level/department

o   Use phones to communicate and support students

o   Use phones to communicate and support teachers

o   Call parents/students to check on internet needs, food access, mental health resources, suicide prevention for MS/HS students

               The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”

  • Hours for Instructional Personnel who are not Classroom Teachers:

     

    CTA was informed that some school psychologists and social workers were told that they must work 6 hours.The MOU states no less than 3 hours. CTA's position is that all members of the bargaining unit will be treated equally. 
  • Student Attendance

     

    CTA asked how teachers should be monitoring attendance and what are the District preferred methods for working with parents whose children do not complete work or participate in online instruction.  Are teachers expected to use personal phones to contact parents of students while working from home? Can we have a solution for calling using district equipment (Skype and Google both offer this). We demanded to bargain this issue. During the phone call, CTA requested this information by the end of this planning week since distance learning starts Monday. The District response was The District will clarify how student attendance will be monitored.  The District's written response was, “Awaiting a response from TLSL.”
  • Different Directions from Different Principals

     

    CTA asked if there was one District direction concerning distance learning and why different principals were giving teachers different instructions. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL."
  • Time sheets or logs for your attendance:

     

    Daily or weekly time sheets and check-in are

     

    not

     

    required (Not google doc. Not Excel. Not any kind of sign in sheet. NONE). Do not fill them out or submit them. The District stated on the phone call that they were in agreement that the logs of SAP are for District personnel, not teachers. We are waiting for a written response from the District.
  • In-service points for distance learning training:

     

    CTA asked for the number of in-service points to be issued for Canvas and other training relating to distance learning. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”
  • Grant-funded positions:  CTA asked if OCPS employees who are paid with grant funds such as IDEA, Title I or Title II, are considered OCPS employees and will be paid until June 30, 2020, as are other instructional personnel. The District responded, “Regardless of funding, all employees in the bargaining unit are covered by the terms of the MOU.”
  • Employees not hired by OCPS:

     

    CTA asked if the District has employees who are not considered OCPS employees, but are hired under another company and work for another company?  If so, how many, what are their positions and what are their work sites? The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”
  • Internet Service for teachers without home Internet:

     

    CTA asked if the District would provide a hotspot for teachers who do not have home internet. The District responded, “As stated in the MOU, If a teacher does not have the necessary equipment to fulfill the requirements of Distance Learning at his/her home, the teacher will notify his/her administrator to make alternate arrangements to provide instruction. This would include internet service.” In the phone conversation with the District it was admitted that principals may not know how to obtain a hot spot for a teacher. CTA requested information on how one would obtain a hot spot as soon as possible since this week is planning week.  Any teacher without home internet, should  contact CTA at orangecta@gmail.com (include full name, personnel number and worksite) and we will get your information to the District immediately.
  • Virtual School concerns:

     

    CTA asked the District about the OCPS Virtual School's hours of operation and policies related to the virtual school teachers for this period of distance learning. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”
  • Replacing a broken laptop:

     

    CTA asked for information on the process for replacing a broken student (or teacher) laptop. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.” CTA recommends notifying the principal or administrator immediately to request replacement.
  • Student Lack of Participation and Grades:

     

    CTA asked what if the student and parents/guardian do not respond and the student does not complete the assignment/s? If a student has missing work, do they receive a zero or no score? The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.” (See also the question below.)
  • School packets:

     

    CTA asked what are teacher responsibilities regarding grading work from packets? Who creates packets? The District responded, “The purpose of the packet is to provide remedial resources to students who did not have access to online materials, while teachers had time to reach out to them and provide academic support.  As stated in the OCPS Instructional Continuity Plan:  Student Grades:  Teachers should make a good faith effort to input grades in a timely manner as assignments are reviewed and graded. Teachers should use their best judgment to determine which assignments to grade. As with traditional instruction, Skyward remains the system of record for all grades.”
  • Lesson Plans and Autonomy:

     

    CTA asked what are teachers’ responsibilities regarding lesson plans. They do not necessarily fit into a daily schedule right now and we have the lesson plan settlement to consider. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”  CTA recommends using your professional expertise to create the best lessons for your particular students. School packets can be used, modified or teachers can make their own lessons. During the phone conversation the district stated that the lessons must be available so that they can be given as hard copies to students who need them in that format. (What they are calling packets.) The District stated that if teachers want to modify or add materials to school packets they should send revisions electronically to their administrators so the school can prepare packets for students.
  • Unable to work:

     

    CTA asked what happens if teachers miss a day of "availability” for student interaction"? For example, a teacher may have a sick child. Will such teachers need to take leave?  Are there other consequences or a plan? CTA demanded to bargain this. In the phone conversation the District stated that teachers who miss the minimum three-hour work day for distance learning responsibilities such as being sick for a day, should take leave. CTA is requesting more details and how this leave is to be submitted and it is CTA's position is would be for 1/2 day. In the written response the District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.”  
  • Form to check out an OCPS laptop:

     

    CTA said that teachers are being required to sign a form to check out a laptop. We asked if they could sign electronically if they already have an OCPS-issued laptop. The District responded, “Teachers may complete the form electronically.”
  • Evaluation:

     

    CTA asked why some principals were requesting teachers to complete deliberate practice, Domain IV or other evaluation requirements since the state waived teacher evaluation this year.  Your principal should

     

    not

     

    be asking you to complete Deliberate Practice, Domain IV or any other evaluation requirements. Teacher evaluation has been suspended for this school year. The District responded, “We will take care of this.” Politely inform your principal in an email that evaluation has been suspended per FL DOE orders and you will not be completing further requirements per the direction of CTA. (copy CTA at

     

    orangecta@gmail.com)

     

    and we will let the District know which school or work site.
  • Registered Nurses:  CTA asked how registered nurses can work remotely. The District responded, “Awaiting information from TLSL.  We appreciate the suggestions shared by CTA and will share those suggestions with TLSL.
  • ESE requirements:

     

    CTA asked what should ESE teachers know about meeting federal guidelines. The District provided CTA with the documents that follow. 

ESE Documents from the District:
 

MEMORANDUM

To:                  School-Based Staffing Specialists

                        Section 504 Coordinators

From:              Tajuana Lee-Wenze

                        Director, ESE Procedures

Cc:                  Ian Gesundheit

                        Executive Director, Exceptional Student Education

                        School Principals

Date:              March 23, 2020       

                       

Subject:         IEP and Section 504 Meetings during Extended School Closure

In an effort to maintain compliance, the purpose of this memorandum is to provide direction to school staffing specialists and Section 504 coordinators regarding IEP, Section 504 and other ESE related meetings. IEP and Section 504 teams are not required to meet in person during the extended closure. Schools are permitted to hold virtual meetings or phone conference meetings so long as the parent(s) or guardian is in agreement. Please keep documentation of how you communicated with the parent and the date in which a parent provided a response regarding a virtual/telephonic meeting.  This documentation is essential to establish a good faith effort was made to work with our families in the midst of this crisis.  All meetings that have been or need to be scheduled with the legal department or with district support should be scheduled in the same manner as they have been previously.  Legal and district assistance can also be provided in a virtual/telephonic manner.

Staffing specialists and Section 504 coordinators must keep track of all meetings scheduled beginning March 23rd

 

through the extended closure.  This can be documented on the spreadsheet created by the ESE compliance department. The spreadsheet will help us prioritize meetings once schools reopen and will be provided to staffing specialists and Section 504 coordinators by Wednesday March 25th.

During this extended school closure, IEP’s, Section 504 plans, reevaluations, initial evaluations, etc., may expire. If an evaluation of a student with a disability requires a face to face assessment or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until school reopens.  After the extended school closures, the IEP and Section 504 teams can resume meetings. In the conference notes, it must be documented that the meeting did not occur within the established time period due to the crisis.  If parents stated they did not want to meet virtually/telephonically this should also be documented in the notes.  

Staffing specialists and Section 504 coordinators are encouraged to work on closing out any unfinished paperwork acquired prior to Spring Break.

If your team requires additional clarification or assistance, please contact your learning community program specialist or district staffing specialist.

MEMORANDUM

To:                  Principals

From:              Ian Gesundheit

                        Executive Director, Exceptional Student Education                                   

Date:              March 23, 2020                              

Subject:         General ESE Guide

As we move forward with our plan for Continuity of Instruction, I wanted to give you pertinent information regarding Exceptional Student Education.

1.     What do we suggest ESE teachers and Therapists do to start off: 

a.     Review IEP's of your assigned students and determine what and how goals can be accomplished and monitored remotely

b.     Develop plans for the students that can be accomplished remotely

c.     Develop a plan on how you will communicate with parents.  Document all communication with parents.

d.     Prepare for delivery of services starting the week of 03/30.  The ESE department is working on developing a list of resources that can be utilized to supplement services.

e.     Identify goals that cannot be done remotely and keep a log for each student as to why the goal cannot be provided remotely

f.      Create student packets if the student is unable to utilize a digital platform and the student is in need of paper pencil resources

g.     Plan to attend virtual/telephonic IEP meetings along with your staffing specialist as scheduled

2.     Some students will need paper/pencil packets that are individualized to meet the needs of the students.  The classroom teacher will need to create the packets and put them together for distribution to the student.  The packet will need to be printed and mailed (along with a stamped return envelope) to the students.  Please work with your school to develop a system for this process.  Please keep a log of all documentation mailed to the student and copies of the work sent as evidence of the service provided.  Keep copies of all returned work, regardless of completion.

3.     Our occupational and physical therapists do not fall under the “instructional guides”.  They are considered administrative/technical.  They will need to report to work starting Monday or consult their administrator if this is not feasible for any reason. On Monday, a working site will be established for these itinerant positions. I will forward this information to you.

4.     Please provide the information above to all of your teachers. This will give them direction on what to do if they serve students with disabilities.  If they are a general education teacher, they should work with the assigned ESE teacher to develop plans for remote learning for students with disabilities.

The ESE areas of support that are specialized (Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Visually Impaired, OT/PT, Speech and Language) will provide individualized services remotely to the best

__________________

UPDATE MARCH 24, 2010

We hope you are doing well as you adjust to distance learning and navigate through this unprecedented crisis.

We have sent questions and demand to bargain requests to the District and will be discussing them today. Look for updates on the CTA website.

This District announced schools will be open by appointment only and hours for all schools and facilities will be 9:00am to 3:00pm.

If you are not receiving the Action Network updates from CTA, including the CTA newsletter and important alerts, it is because we do not have your home email. Please send your name, personnel number, school or work location and your home email address to orangecta@gmail.com to receive private updates and alerts for CTA members.

We are receiving a tremendous number of texts, calls and emails and want to assist you and get the answers you need as quickly as we can. So when emailing us or leaving messages please always include your full name, personnel number and school/work site.

If you are an OCPS educator and do not belong to CTA, please join us! During these trying times union membership is more important than ever. The application is at this link: