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June 11, 2020

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

this link.

The state 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.

 

Read the order at this link: https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/doe-emergency-order.pdf

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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:

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/elementary-and-k-8-guidelines.pdf

 

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/technical-college-campuses-guidelines.pdf

 

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/middle-school-guidelines.pdf

 

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/property-collection-and-recovery-memo.pdf

 

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/property-collection-and-recovery-coordination-guidelines.pdf

 

https://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/high-school-guidelines.pdf

 

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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.

 

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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.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/32021877.pdf

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://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/teaching-with-technology.pdf    

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://www.orangecta.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/know-your-rights.pdf    

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:

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.  

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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:

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!)

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

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.”

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: <a href=”http://orangecta.fea.aft.org/cta-application-2019-2020?fbclid=IwAR2_L0XkUR–Ef_riz9Btv0K8_scQr01VQVZ1wgnohQrl