Monday, August 31, 2020

UFT Executive Board, August31, 2020 --Still Negotiating, but UFT Can Ask for Strike Authorization Tomorrow

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--6:06--W have to focus on safety, livelihood and profession. Not there on safety yet, Still issues with livelihood, and as long as schools shut down we are in danger from privatizers. However, many districts have learned online educational platforms don't work.

Significant progress last 48 hours. Our plan has to be stamped by independent medical experts. Otherwise we aren't there. But we haven't finished this yet. We need to make sure that we have an agreement on PPE social distancing and what happens in each school. We have an agreement and doctors signed off. Inside school buildings day to day we have an agreement. That means our agreement needs to be customized for each school, so not yet in place. We need to go back to schools and put it in place. We need Covid buidling response teams.

We do NOT have an agreement on testing policy and protocol. We need to monitor every school community to catch issues ASAP. We need a mandated medical monitoring system. We have to either get there or move toward a strike. 

We also said we needed a check and balance because trust was broken in March. Not finalized, but we are closer to that than on testing. If we get to a final decision, we have to be part of making all parts work in school buildings.

I want your permission to continue to see if we can get to a deal, but if we don't have it by tomorrow, that we go to DA with strike authorization vote. I want you to understand that if we get to an agreement we have a lot of work. Can it be done by September 10? I think not, but we will see.

If we don't have that agreement, we ask you to authorize a strike vote. Has been tough week, but everyone now understands this is serious. This is personal for us. I'm glad we took the position we needed independent medical people to certify our plan. We will have the most aggressive policies and the strongest safeguards of any school in the US. We need to be able to get relieft quickly and keep people out of harm's way. If not, we will have to take a strike vote. No one wants to be on strike and no one wants to look at layoffs, and no one wants to fight to go back in a safe way after what we've been through.

I want the authority to continue to work. We may have an announcement pending DA approval. If you hear no announcements, you know what I have to do tomorrow.


Q--Can you walk through this--some of us have little activism experience, What would strike look like?

Main work would be strike plan for each school. We go, leave and come back together. We stand together. We hope cooler heads will prevail and we get to an agreement. But once you authorize you have to be ready to walk.

Q--If you come to agreement, do you have any timeline for in person instruction?

All work has to get done. I don't know how we do that in short time. We need to get processes at school level and it will take time.  Safety is more than words on a page. 

My school has no PPE. What exactly is testing protocol we want?

Everyone being tested makes people comfortable but they are concerned with medical monitoring, We just saw that at work in Oneonta. Every school has to have a representative sample mandated on monthly basis. Also some zip codes have uptick. We had some issues and city did right thing by putting a lot of people in quarantine. Doctors say that's how we do everything. We have to have a very quick mechanism. 

Q--Janitorial staff concerned--You get sense that they feel unready to open. They can't figure things out. In one school ventilation was broken for years, and they were adamant students not come in. It's a disservice mayor doesn't listen to us in terms of testing. Country looks to us for leadership.

If we come to an agreement, there's no way that school opens.  You know procedures, and many custodians and school leaders do not. This is a great source of frustration. Thank you for doing the work. There will be a lot more. If we have an agreement, schools like that won't open yet. People in DOE thinks progress is being made, but they haven't done anything for two months.

Q--Also doing walkthroughs in D75--Ionizers come with wrong chemical, waiting on new tablets. Thermometers without batteries, no signage. One principal said we need you guys not to let us open. We can't open until everyone is safe, We lost a member at my site, and a member lost a husband. We can't have anyone else dying.

I agree. That's why we needh a strike vote if we can't get there. Members are afraid, and rest of country is looking at us. But they haven't been through what we have. Walkthroughs show what happens when DOE waits until last minute. If we have to go to court, we will use that. If not, we will give them time to fix it.

Q--D75 neglected, no bus contract, busing is crucial, will result in IEP violations. If they want us in first, why do they help us last. I support UFT actions.


EB gives leadership authority to negotiate--if no agreement, we will have strike authorization vote 9/1 at DA.

Resolution passes unanimously.

Mulgrew--We won't agree without approval of doctors. We are prepared to do a lot of work either way to keep our union safe. We will also be looking at layoffs. Right now they want to lay off 9,000 members without any additional state cuts. Without help, that number could go higher, If we have an agreement we will have a quick EB meeting before DA.

Everyone will wear a mask in a school. If you have a meeting, it will be multiple times so as to enable distancing. If a principal doesn't understand, call us immediately.

Mulgrew returns to negotiations 6:46

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Yet Another Blogger's Day Off...

 But you can see me on Fox 5 News.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Magical Blended Teachers

It's taken me days to understand what the last DOE memo meant. I've discussed it with several people, I've been to a meeting, and now I finally get it.

You have four kinds of teachers--you have the remote teacher, who teaches five full classes on line. You have the live teacher, who teaches five partial classes in person. Then you have the Blended Learning Remote teacher, the one everyone is complaining about around the net. 

There's one more, a Virtual Content Specialist. This position would be posted and people would have to apply. I'm going to ignore that one for now. I don't know what the hell that person does, and I'm not gonna bother finding out. Given the issues with the blended teachers, I''m not sure that one's worth talking about. In fact, I very much doubt any principal has the capacity to engage such a person. This system has created a pretty severe teacher shortage that won't be corrected any time soon.

So this is what a Blended Learning Remote teacher does--Let's say that you and I each teach English One five periods a day. Let's say we both teach onsite, in person. That means we see somewhere between seven and twelve students live, every period, each and every day. Under this model, the Blended Learning Remote teacher would teach all of our other students from both classes.

So this Blended Learning Remote teacher could have between 44 to 55 students each period daily. That's a hell of a student load. Now that teacher could teach them all at once. Or, that teacher could see them in smaller groups. Or, that teacher could figure out some other way to handle this. However, it's going to be tough to mirror what's going on in the live lesson that way, since the live teachers are absolutely not doing groupwork. It would also be a problem assigning groups since the students change every day. I suppose the live teachers could focus on some other aspect of the discipline and leave the main things to the blended teacher--but then why don't we just put all classes online and dispense with the charade altogether?

Perhaps more to the point, it's going to be tough to provide the "equity and excellence" the mayor and chancellor are always blabbering about, given that the online students are likely to get 25% of the attention live students do (On the other hand, since most of their days will be spent online in large classes, you might simply argue it sucks for everyone. There's your equity.)

Where's the upside of this system? For the city, it means they only have to hire 1.5 teachers for blended classes, as opposed to two. For kids, I'm not sure I see added value. For Blended Learning Remote teachers, it will be very tough to juggle such a large number of students. How will you learn the names of so many students, especially while they're popping in and out of your virtual classrooms with such great frequency?

I'm not at all keen on the large class sizes. I suppose you won't have the issues you might have in a live classroom. For example, you won't need to move anyone's seat. On Zoom you can mute everyone so that there are no interruptions. But I don't envision a Blended Learning Remote teacher making the kinds of healthy connections with students that would make a class memorable or worthwhile. I don't imagine any student saying, some day, "Man, my Blended Learning English teacher changed my life."

The initial complaints I've seen about this position were predictable, but not quite accurate. How can they make me teach double the amount of students I've taught before? Well, it's not really double. It's more like 150% on any given day. Okay, that sucks. Not only for you, but also for the students. Why does the city want it? Because they get a relative bargain. Instead of having to hire two teachers per class, they only have to hire 1.5.

The problem, of course, is we haven't even got 1.5 teachers for each class. We're lucky if we have one. The city has a way to solve the problem, of course, because, as the chancellor likes to say, they are "nimble." They seem to think they have 2,000 employees who don't teach, but who can. That in itself is pretty shocking. If these people have jobs so unimportant that they can walk away from them and teach, why the hell were they doing these jobs in the first place?

Of course that elusive 2,000 people who've been doing unnecessary jobs for so long won't be enough, so they say they will hire substitute teachers. I know people who've been substitute teachers who've never been regular teachers, and the city can easily hire more like that. But ask yourself this--do you want someone with no experience teaching your lesson plan? I don't, and frankly I'd have just as little faith in some pencil-pusher from Tweed.You may know how to sit around in an air-conditioned office, but that doesn't mean you can teach English. Or chemistry. Or Chinese. Or whatever. 

Let's get to another issue you may or may not be familiar with. People, believe it or not, do not always get along with one another. I've seen some great ICT teams. I've also seen some terrible ones. I've been to several principal's meetings where the principal would say you--teach the class. You--stand on the side and provide support to individual kids. Don't interact.

Once I was involved with a pair of teachers who absolutely could not get along. The principal told each to designate a rep, and one chose me. I sat with another teacher in the principal's office and we rated the students somehow, looking at their grades and records and whatever else we could find. We tossed a coin for who got first choice, and then picked one by one, breaking the class into two. One teacher taught in one corner of the classroom, the other in the opposite one.

It would be really hard to decide who gets that Blended Learning Remote teacher gig. The DOE says the team of three will negotiate who does what task. I'd assume the BLR teachers would get less prep and less grading because of the volume of students. I guess that would be fair, but you never know how these things will go. The other two teachers could perhaps get some relief. On the other hand, the BLR teacher could be the one the students see most of the time, so maybe it should be the most experienced teacher.

You'd need a really deft hand to make this arrangement fair. In fact, you'd also need two in-person teachers willing to do the same curriculum at the same rate, pretty much day by day. There's also be the notion of individual teacher voice, which I suppose would need to be dropped by the wayside. A colleague of mine sees symbols in everything. I see them in almost nothing. I respect her, and she's a great teacher, but I wouldn't want to be paired with her to teach a novel. 

This plan was not created to improve education in any way. The city is now short only 50% of the additional teachers we need to carry out the mayor's hare-brained scheme. So now the city only needs half the number of magical co-teachers it needed before, and that's it. (The city's still short hundreds of nurses and school's supposed to begin in two weeks.)

And as bad as that is, it pales in comparison to the city declining to invest in testing to keep kids safe. If the city would do substantive COVID testing, I'd volunteer to be the frigging Blended Learning Remote teacher.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Uses 1.1 Million Children as Guinea Pigs

Sometimes you see something so unbelievable that you have to check it twice to make sure you saw it right. When I saw a headline declaring indoor dining would depend on how school reopening goes, I had to look twice. This is remarkable from a mayor whose watchwords have been "equity and excellence."

But in Bill de Blasio's New York, some people get more equity than others. Who are those people exactly? Well, those would be the people who patronize Broadway, for example. I mean, you can't just have some couple that paid 1600 bucks to see Hamilton come down with COVID. That would be unthinkable.

“As more and more people come back to work, as schools begin, you know, we’ll get to see a lot about what our long-term health picture looks like, and that’s going to help inform our decisions going forward,” said de Blasio referring to the administration’s wait and watch approach on making a decision on indoor dining.

And it very much appears Bill de Blasio doesn't think it's safe for well-heeled New Yorkers to venture into restaurants and spend their money. Odd, then, that he has no issue whatsoever with having schoolchildren sit in classrooms and eat lunch. Oh, and just in case the risk of COVID isn't enough, de Blasio wants them to do tedious busy work while fretting over whether the students six feet away from them are contagious.

There are a lot of conclusions you could draw about a leader who distinguishes between public school children and people who can afford to eat in restaurants. Maybe he feels public schools are less risky than restaurants. After all, schools aren't cleaned as often or as throroughly as restaurants, particularly since de Blasio, for years, has failed to replace departing custodial employees. Hmmm...that doesn't really make things better at all. In fact, it's probably less risky in a restaurant, since a restaurant has to really make sure paying customers are comfortable enough to return.

Students and school staff, on the other hand, are more or less captive customers. It's not like they can walk across the street to another school, or go home whenever the mood suits them. So there has to be another reason. What could it be?

Hey, do you remember how Broadway closed before public schools did? Do you remember how Bill de Blasio fought tooth and nail to keep public schools open even after that happened? Doesn't that mean, clearly, that Bill de Blasio thought the health of people paying to see Broadway shows was more important than the health of people attending public schools?

Given that we now have a precedent, couldn't things be exactly the same right now? Maybe equity and excellence, in Bill de Blasio's New York City, are only for people who can afford it. Some people get more equity than others. You know, people like Bill de Blasio. That's strange, isn't it? That's the kind of thinking you expect from someone like Donald Trump, who gets up and announces he wants to protect health care even as he's in court trying to gut it.

Puzzling thought that may be, it also explains why Bill de Blasio flatly refuses to test all incoming public school students and staff. They're not paying customers at restaurants, and they're not theatergoers. Let's dump them all in filthy, neglected school buildings, see how many of them get sick, die, or both, and use that to decide whether or not New York City is a safe place to go indoors and eat.

Hey, I'm open to alternate interpretations. Feel free to offer them in the comments. Meanwhile, if you're wondering exactly why the United Federation of Teachers will go out on strike for the safety of our community, wonder no more. The actions of this mayor show a flagrant disregard for our health and safety, the health and safety of our fanilies, and the health and safety of our community.

De Blasio needs to either protect the public school community, or get a job better suited to his talents. Maybe de Blasio should go work in a restaurant. 

If he doesn't get sick, maybe we can open a few more.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Another Blogger's Day Off...

 ...but you can read my piece in the NY Daily News about how de Blasio screwed up reopening so badly we're being driven to strike.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Profiles in Stupid--Remote Teachers Without Accommodation to Work from Buildings

No, there's no school calendar. The Tweedies are occupied with Very Important Stuff and can't be bothered with frivlities like telling us when we have to work.  This week, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza, with two weeks to go before schools are supposed to open, have finally decided to check the ventilation in schools so they could blindly open in a pandemic. This, of course, came right on the heels of telling principals to submit outdoor learning plans by tomorrow. Good luck with that. 

As if that's not enough, they make believe that their plan, to let everyone plod into school and test for COVID only if they feel like it, is the bestest thing ever. 

Here's something, though, that you probably haven't heard before. Some people have accommodations and will be working from home. However, there will be quite a bit of remote learning going on. I read somewhere that 70% of all learning would be remote.

Furthermore, it won't be only teachers with accommodations offering remote learning. Some schools have half or more of their students requesting remote learning. Ask yourself this--if Mayor de Blasio's plan is so foolproof, so goshdarn safe that everyone should jump up and do a jig because it's so fabulous, why aren't New Yorkers banging down the doors to get into those school buildings?

Well, it could be because they're filthy. I haven't seen a custodial employee replaced in my building for years. Fewer employees? Too bad. Do the same work and figure it out. I'm trying to remember just how many months it was last year that the heat and AC in my trailer didn't work. My best guess is all of them. I don't trust the DOE for a New York minute to clean buildings or fix airflow, let alone sanitize them.

And the dysfunction has become more palpable than ever over these last few weeks. Let's take a look at those remote teachers without accommodations. I've now had multiple reports that the DOE is insisting those remote teachers do their work from school buildings. I'm not sure exactly how the DOE came to this conclusion, but it's among the worst decisions I've ever seen them make, and that's saying something.

There is absolutely no advantage in making teachers without accommodations enter school buildings, However, the down side goes well beyond the inconvenience of teachers traveling to buildings for no reason.

1. There will be more people in buildings. This means there will be less available space for the work necessary in buildings. It will also increase the possibility of spreading COVID.

2. Principals have already determined exactly how many people they could accommodate. I'm a chapter leader, and I've done two walkthroughs with my principal. On the last one, we entered dozens of classrooms with tape measure, and calculated exactly how many students each room could hold along with one teacher and one paraprofessional. Now it's back to the drawing board.

3. Depending on where (if anywhere) remote teachers are placed, they may have to be masked. Things are bad enough already. Can you imagine not only having to teach remotely, but also having to be masked? This takes the bad part of live teaching, the bad part of remote teaching, and binds them together in one miserable DOE package. It's what you call a LOSE-LOSE.

4. Schools may not be able to handle the bandwidth. I've been to many Zoom meetings where people don't come in well.  Imagine 60 teachers all Zooming in one building. I've heard principals making announcements asking everyone to get off the net so they could get on. Good luck with that, DOE.

There aren't many organizations that could come up with such a terrible idea. But our DOE not only came up with it--they're enforcing it too. I will inform people at UFT, and hopefully they can fight it. It's tough to fight at this time, given we're concurrently fighting for the health and safety of not only all students, all school employees, and our families. But my tolerance for stupid is growing shorter every day.

I don't envy UFT leadership, negotiating with people so shallow-minded, inconsiderate, and vindictive. But I guess that's what they're paid for. My job is to report this nonsense, I guess, and be as efficient a gadfly as possible.

Over decades of doing this job, I've developed great patience in dealing with kids. It's really hard to believe, though, when you see grownups behave like this. If the mayor and chancellor really wanted to address budget shortfalls, they'd start by dismissing everyone and anyone who could come up with such stupid ideas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Blogger's Day Off...

...but you can watch me on Fox 5 News.

Monday, August 24, 2020

UFT Executive Board August 24, 2020--Stormy Weather

 Roll Call 5:50

Secretary LeRoy Barr--Thanks us for coming.

Minutes--approved via email

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Thanks us. We have a position, and it's not ours only. It's doctors from

Harvard and Northwell saying this is what we should be doing. Mayor wants to open on the tenth and take his word he will keep us safe. Not only that, but we have two storms--layoffs and safety hitting us concurrently. 

On reopening safely, thanks everyone for going to meetings. We have a strong and appropriate safety plan. We are at .71% positive, with certain neighborhoods we have to watch. But if we're going to do this, we need to do it right, with the most aggressive safeguards. No one was hit as horribly as we were, and we cannot allow that to happen again. 

Doctors' biggest concern is reopening will cause another spike in the city. They understand the damage when schools are closed, they say we can open safely but we have to follow these conditions. Mayor says we don't have capability of testing. For this to work, it can be phased in. We don't have to test everyone at once.

We have promised to follow what the experts told us. People are nervous because we're talking strike. Mayor wants to call it UFT plan and doesn't want to know it comes from Harvard and Northwell. Many across city and state have endorsed our plan. We will have to wait until next week, but I may be recommending a strike authorization vote. 

As for money, we are pushing for authority to allow city to borrow. We discussed this with Municipal Labor Council. City has not responded, and we notified them in May. We're also looking at early retirement, but that won't completely solve the problem. State understands the need, but they need city to be transparent with books. This is a sticking point. Mayor has to deal with this. With MLC working together I believe we will get this solved. It's in no one's interest to put 20K people on unemployment. 

This is not the greatest position, but it's where we are. We have to be very clear about safety plan. Two thirds agreed to. Only testing and tracing programs have not been agreed to. 

We need to make sure everyone has supplies they need. We trained over a thousand people this morning, and we will be done on Wednesday. Now the issue is us doing the work we have to do, growing our grassroots and putting pressure on the mayor. You saw who was at the press conference with us. We have wide support. The city is coming together on this. 

We will need to get more aggressive. Things are churning, and if they stop we will be more aggressive, up to and including job actions. 

I will keep you appraised on layoff issue. We will solve it together.

Since Wednesday's press conference, membership is paying a lot of attention. We knew this road would not be easy. When mayor said no one brought this up it's a lie. We've been talking about it for weeks. 

You all know the only way this works is if everyone has each other's back. Parents are standing with us because they know we're doing the right thing. We have to be there with them helping them get through this.

I know it's tough and I know it's scary. But what we're fighting for is very important. We can't say it and not back it up. Safety is our number one priority and we're following recommendations of medical professionals. Everyone on this call is part of union and part of leadership. This is our job.

We love that we have a union, we love that we take care of people, but sometimes these jobs are really tough. Will all these things happening at the same time, it's one of the toughest. But there is a path through there. Our strategy is working together, bringing people together on safety and bringing MLC together to prevent layoffs.

We will stand by community, community will stand by us, and we will lend one another helping hands. There's a way through this, but we have to stick together, follow exact words of medical professionals, work with city council and all our allies. 

This receission will be here longer than the mayor, so we have to be prudent about how we make our next few moves. 

Teachers in Florida are prevailing over governor who insists on live instruction. Every open district has had major issues with virus, and that's what happens when you aren't careful. 

After press conference we met with UFT and CSA. A lot of us do great work, but there's no way for us to anticipate every issue that will arise. We will have remote teachers. We will have in person teachers. And we will have remote teacher counterparts for in person blended teachers. There is no way we can figure every scenario. We don't want anyone to have excess responsibility so we will put in a process.

Mayor said today we can teach outside, but principals are upset because there's no plan. They'd have to find and insure tents, clean them, etc.

Every school has to have an educational platfrom up and running. Google most popular, up to 70%. We need curriculum, scope and sequence, and teams for blended cohorts. We will have discussions on how to work these things out. This is not permanent, but it's really tough.


There will be temp checks at schools. We need students in and out at timely manner. We want evidence people don't have covid. Thereafter random testing every other week. City says monthly, insufficient.

100 person team--Many findings are ready. We will communicate perhaps next week. Working with school facility people to find out whether they can work. Majority of schools passing. Problems with dampers to allow fresh air are now being remedied. Took a pandemic to fix this.

We are working on what to do if mayor doesn't cave. We will do as much as we can to preclude strike. Let's focus on how to make schools safe. Our school system is at war with the virus. We lost first battle. Won't lose next.

Can we take no confidence vote on mayor before strike vote? We can look at that.

Short term strike won't affect medical coverage, Longterm all bets are off.

DOE is working on D75. Has a new group. Have been discussing over weekend. We need DOE more engaged.

No one is teaching 4 or 5 in a row. 

Two 40 minute meetings a month--before remote prep. Part of six hours and fifty minute day. 

We aren't giving money back. We are keeping retro.

Some teachers report 8/31. You will do as you are supposed to unless union calls strike.

Why don't we start remote and then phase in? Our plan might force that to happen. 30% remote only, but still 700K students to test. 200K adults. Schools would have to phase in reopening. We recommend we take time to get remote learning set up. Would be smart to put that together and spend time making it strong. 70% of instruction will be remote. City says there are training, but it's 50 teachers here and ten there. We need to get this right. If we open the tenth it will fall apart, Mayor will try to blame us. All members should be trained on protocols. Covid building response team should practice. 

Spring break--We have to go through grievance and arbitration process. Trying to see if we can avoid this. We're trying to work with operational complaints now as grievance process halted. We also need to free up lawyers to do this work. When there is breathing room we will get to it. 

Long week--if we have to have serious votes next week, we'll let you know ahead of time. We have to watch each other's backs. It will get tight but there is a way through. We have to keep moving in the right direction. Safety and livelihood are on the table, and that's where our attention has to be.

Closing roll call.  6:43

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Strike or Die- It’s Our Choice

By special guest Mike Schirtzer

The United Federation of Teachers is preparing to call a strike--not because we want to, but because we have to. Too many lives are at stake. The Mayor of the City of New York has put together plans that lack clarity and fail to contain any input from the most important stakeholders; our members, school administrators, custodians, cafeteria workers, nurses, or even parents. This mayor is sending our members and the students we serve into harm's way. We have a moral responsibility to not allow him to do so.

The decent salary that UFT members earn, our health benefits, sick days, class size limits, a duty free lunch and a prep period, the grievance process which protects both our members and students—all of these were forged by those that came before us and their willingness to strike when need be. Yes, we all have bills to pay, mouths to feed and family members to care for. But we can’t do that when our very safety is put at risk, as it is now. 

Do union members or their elected leaders wake up in the  morning and say, “Wow, today is a good day to strike!” Of course not. We have been pushed to the brink by a mayor that has offered careless and reckless plans in his utter disregard for our public school system. And now, when called out on his insufficient plan, he’s become vindictive, trying to bully us back into an unsafe workplace.

Look at this link
to see how many of our own died from this horrible infectious disease. Are you willing to sacrifice more lives? Apparently the mayor is. Strikes come at a price, but it is the most important tool that we have as a union  It’s not one we use lightly, but when we must, we use it together. 

We all have a choice, We can choosee to work at charter schools or private schools or districts around the nation that lack union rights, which I'd argue were basic human rights. Your contract, your rights, your medical insurance, retirement, tenure and salary that come with our great profession didn’t come by chance. It wasn’t bestowed upon you when you chose to become a NYC teacher, paraprofessional, counselor, librarian, secretary or other employee of the DOE. 

Our rights came from those that struggled, fought and went on strike, so we could walk into a career that offers fair working conditions. Now is our time to step up and do the same, to show the city that we are strong together, that our voice matters, and that we will absolutely not compromise when our safety, along with that of our students, families and communities, is not taken seriously.

Our union and all unions were built on the belief that an injury to one is an injury to all. The sacrifice you would make for your loved ones  is the sacrifice we take on for our union brothers and sisters ask of you.

Will we let another UFT member die? Will we let another of our family members die?

Will we allow our students to walk into conditions that aren’t safe or secure? Will we allow them to risk the health of their family members if they are unsymptomatic?

Will we let a mayor that refuses to work with the teachers, principals or parents of NYC force open schools that have no business being open?

We joined a union. This means we never walk alone and when we stand, we stand together.

Solidarity forever.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Letter to Staff--We are union, and we demand safety for us, our students, and our families.

Dear colleagues,

I hope you and your families are doing well and keeping occupied at this extremely trying time. I apologize in advance for being an agent of further complication, but we all have our jobs to do. Our job now is to stand as one and fight for our safety, and the safety of our families and community. 

I often say we are the second most important outside influence for our students. The most important outside influence would be medical professionals. There is nothing more basic or fundamental than health and safety. As much as I want my students to learn and love English, their health and wellness comes first. That goes for us, our families, and our students’ families as well. 

Every time I read someone advocating opening buildings, they have a proviso. They say of course, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll go back to remote learning. In fact there are a lot of places where it didn’t work out, and they did just that. There’s Israel, South Korea, multiple schools in the south and southwest, and universities that saw immediate rises in infection levels, while starting below Mayor de Blasio’s much ballyhooed 3% positive level (so much for that). Chapel Hill closed in one week.

There’s a real cost to these openings, and that cost is the health of those who attend. I know some of you who’ve been very sick. I know some of you who’ve lost family members. I’ve had family members sick, and I lost a friend. 

The whole country is looking to us as the only major city that can possibly open school buildings. UFT has looked at this, and decided that if we are to open, the only way to do it is safely. We’ve therefore consulted with medical experts, some of whom you can see at Mulgrew’s press conference, and concluded the only way to deal with the virus was to actively test for it and trace it.

We don’t want a single educator or student to get sick. We don’t want any students or employees bringing COVID home to their families. The UFT demands for testing were created in consultation with medical experts. They are beyond reasonable; they are visionary. We’ve looked at the failures and determined ways to preclude them. Our testing demands are based on science. The mayor’s opposition is based on hiding his head in the sand and hoping for the best.

Here is a checklist of what UFT will be looking at as we visit every building in the city. UFT also demands a Covid Building Response Team to create protocols for how students will move when entering and leaving school, and also to map out responses to issues that may occur. Finally, to ensure safety, we demand that everyone entering the school building be tested for the virus. We demand random testing to ensure we stay safe.

UFT will not allow its members or the students we serve to be veritable canaries in a coal mine. Dr. Fauci can talk about how we’re part of a great experiment, but we refuse to be guinea pigs. We refuse to make guinea pigs of our families, our students, or their families. If Mayor de Blasio refuses to make schools safe, we will refuse to work.

Just as the nation looks to New York City, the city looks to our school. We’re the most requested school in the city for a reason, and we need to stand as one and set an example. We are literally fighting for our lives, not to mention those of our students and all our families. 

We are not alone in this fight. We stand with 200,000 brother and sister unionists in the United Federation of Teachers. It’s not out of the question that other unions will join us. In fact, the principals’ union wants to delay opening

We have other allies. The NY Daily News editorial board, which generally hates us and everything we stand for, says we are right. The city council thinks the mayor is premature. Even Governor Cuomo thinks going to city schools is a risky proposition

If Mayor de Blasio pushes us toward a job action or strike, we have to stand as one. That is what union is, and that is what union means. We will meet to discuss this on Thursday, August 27th at 9 AM. District Rep. James Vasquez and someone from leadership will join us. I will follow up with details. 

Please join me.

Best regards, 


Friday, August 21, 2020

Important Update from the Chancellor

 Dear Colleagues,

For many of us, the five months since COVID-19 hit New York City in March 2020 have been the most painful, challenging, and heartbreaking of our lives. At DOE, it’s been meeting after meeting. They run into one another as we ignore our current problems and desperately pretend we dealt well with them back in March, when we sent people to their deaths. But hey, these things happen. 

Despite the evidence in front of you, we need you to believe that the 1.1 million students and their families who rely on New York City’s  public schools have the high-quality education they deserve. Of course, that's only as long as we don’t have to bother with providing sufficient PPE, reasonable COVID protocols, or perish forbid, actually doing testing and tracing to make sure no one gets sick. 

And we do it to keep trying to mask our hopeless ineptitude. Right now fewer than 1% of all COVID-19 tests are coming back positive. Of course who knows about all the people who aren’t being tested, who haven’t got medical insurance, or who are asymptomatic? Who cares if it didn't work in South Korea or Israel, and who cares about universities that open just to close within days? You are part of our great experiment, and once you start dropping dead, we'll be on to another. (Of course we will say extremely solemn words about you before doing that.)

And we won’t change our minds because we are pigheaded beyond belief.  We don't care if the Daily News editorial board, who usually hates teachers and everything they stand for, now supports the UFT. We don't care if the city council is against us. We don't care if Cuomo thinks it's too risky. And by we, I mean my boss, as I do have my career to think about. Look, if I stab him in the back, who’s gonna give me another sweet gig like this one? We have seen the worst—neighbors, colleagues, friends have been taken far too soon, including 79 DOE employees. So what’s the big deal if we have 79 more? Look, we’ll close the schools as soon as people start dropping dead so please don’t strike. Think of my reputation, please!

And I’ll remind all of you—who work in service to our students every day to keep building our school communities, give our students an excellent education, keep our students nourished and healthy, and our buildings safe—that while we’re wiling to risk your lives, those of your students, and all of your families, the fact is we in Tweed have private offices with multiple air conditioners and fabulous ventilation.  

That is going to look like classroom discussions from desks spaced six feet apart, even though everyone is faced in the same direction including the teacher, and no one can approach anyone else. We think that students being tied down to seats, wearing masks, and being unable to socialize will meet their social and emotional needs. Look, during our meeting, I hardly interacted with anyone, so why the hell shouldn’t that be good enough for you? 

Kids showing off their science projects through a webcam and elbow bumping their friends in the schoolyard. That’s not actually a complete sentence, but hey, I’m the frigging chancellor. In my fevered imagination, stuff like that will happen. 

Cleaning supplies in every room and physically distanced talks on the classroom rug for students to share what they’ve gone through, and their dreams and fears for the future. Another incomplete sentence, but hey, I’m the frigging chancellor. And I don’t want to hear all that crap about how your school hasn’t been cleaned in three decades, or how I never replace custodial employees when they leave. Take our word for it, okay?
We’re building towards another new normal, and we’re at the point where it all feels strange and unfamiliar and somewhat intimidating—Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Let’s go with that.
But we are working towards something so important, so please, please ignore the fact that we’re unwilling to do reasonable testing and tracing. We don't care how many good reasons there are for us to turn back--we're going with this. In fact, we don't even care if you're in a frigging windowless basement.
It must be said that we are doing all of this against the devastating economic backdrop COVID-19 has created. More than $8 billion in revenue to the City has been lost. I’m gonna fire 9,000 of you if we don’t get any money, but hey, it’s not my fault, man.    

We have already cut hundreds of millions of dollars in programs, initiatives, and materials from the DOE budget. All of us here at Tweed have had to make do with virtual gala luncheons, and honestly we can’t be sure whether or not the cooks are spitting in our food because we aren’t allowed to tip on our DOE expense accounts.   

Right now, we can’t be sure either form of assistance will come through, and we must plan for the worst. By that, I mean the worst for you, not me, because I’m keeping my big salary, my free house, and my incredible expense account. You, on the other hand, are expendable. Why else would we be sending you into situations in which you risk your lives and those of your loved ones? 

We are still paying valuable lip service to caring about whether or not you lose your jobs. and that should be good enough for anyone.   

Every single day, many times per day, I ask myself how we can be the only major city in the country heading towards partial in-person reopening this fall—and also be talking about layoffs at the same time. You can imagine how bad I must feel. I mean, not bad enough to give up a cushy gig like this out of principal. Not bad enough to provide you with adequate custodial staff. Not bad enough to train them in new procedures. Not bad enough to provide you with adequate PPE, adequate response procedures, or adequate testing and tracing. THAT would be pretty darn inconvenient.    

New York City is the economic, educational, and cultural heartbeat of our state and nation—and was at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. Nurturing the success of our students is crucial to our nation’s future.   And I promise you, as soon as enough of them start dropping dead, we’ll go straight to remote.
I am sure you have many questions. I know that because I answered so few of them in the single hour I laid out to speak with you. I also know I showed up late, left early, and delegated every single answer to my subordinates. But hey, everyone needs their peeps.   

I will not rest in the fight to make you think I care about you. I thank you for everything you are doing, every day. And please, please don’t go on strike. That could jeopardize my career, and that would suck for me.
In unity,  

De Blasio's Circus

I've got an inbox full of worry, and I'm as worried as anyone. Full disclosure--I've asked for and received an accommodation to teach from home. I've encouraged everyone I know to do the same. If you have applied and been denied, or ignored, here's a form you can fill out to get help from the UFT. 

Meanwhile, we're facing de Blasio's plan, which relies heavily on teachers who don't actually exist. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, says the mayor. Can you imagine making such nonsensical arguments at work? At your home?

Here's a story about a teacher who's going to go in, but also live in a tent in her backyard so as not to infect her family. I know people who are planning to live in hotels rather than risk hurting family members. I know people who will take unpaid leaves rather than potentially sicken or kill their elderly or immuno-compromised relatives. 

When you look at his actual plan, it's really hard to figure how it works. I know of one school in which students will attend once every four days. That means they will mostly be in once a week. The other days, they will get asynchronous instruction. It's hard for me to imagine teaching like that, but it's good enough for Mayor de Blasio. And what will happen on day five, when students are actually in the building?

Well, everyone will be socially distanced, as mandated by the state, except when they aren't. Kids tend to move, you know, and not always when you ask them to. Mayor de Blasio may not be aware. The teacher desk and student desks will all face in the same direction, as per the state directive. Perish forbid we should face one another, because that would potentially direct droplets at one another. It's a real concern. 

This teacher, however, is not persuaded that arrangement lends itself to learning, let alone inspiration. As a language teacher, it's my job to make students love our language. I want them to touch it, to feel it, to live it. I don't really want them chained to chairs and terrified to move, let alone talk. I don't want them in some unnatural position that it's my miserable job to enforce. 

Now I'll be the first person to admit that remote learning sucks. There is a human connection in what we do, it's key to making education work, and it's severely watered down when it's online. The problem is, in de Blasio's circus, we've all got our faces covered like clowns, and it's hard for us to take one another seriously. I'd say it's actually worse than remote learning.

The UFT safety demands are reasonable. If it's too much trouble for de Blasio to make students and staff safe, he ought not to open buildings at all. I have no idea why the mayor isn't willing to meet our demands. In fact, if he needs more time, we could go entirely remote until such time as he could get his act together. 

It's unconscionable to risk the health of New York City's children and school staff for no good reason. Since the city feels, without aid, it's going to have to go all remote anyway in October, why put us through the time and trouble of changing up everything in a matter of weeks? That's crazy.

Crazier still is moving full speed ahead without testing. We don't let students in without vaccinations for diseases. Until there is a vaccination for COVID, it's ridiculous to admit them, or us, without testing to make sure no one infects others. I don't see any advantage in de Blasio's plan, let alone its reliance on teachers who don't actually exist to do online education while we teach a handful of students.

In fact, I don't see any advantage to de Blasio's plan over remote education. We could all teach from our homes, unmasked, and have more and better interaction with our students than we would in De Blasio's circus. The very least he can do is meet UFT's demands. In fact, hell seems to have frozen over as the NY Daily News editorial board wrote in our support. Most of the city council opposes his plan. Who's left to support him?

I guess that's for de Blasio to figure out. I won't be his clown, and I'll walk with my UFT brothers and sisters before I endorse a million kids and a hundred thousand staff going in to risk their lives for no good reason.

Until then, as they say, not my monkeys, not my circus. 

(Thanks to Smo Stitchy for the embroidery.)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Letter to Staff--Brace Yourselves

Yesterday I watched both UFT and Tweed speak of September. UFT went first, at 11 AM. Mulgrew said we needed to test everyone before they entered school so as to preclude a second wave of COVID. This was very much in line with what he discussed at our Town Hall last week. UFT had doctors and community leaders saying much the same. We know that a low infection rate can be quickly turned around, just as it did in South Korea and Israel.

Mulgrew said we will not go in unless it’s safe, You can view the meeting and the UFT safety plan right here. There is nothing more fundamental than safety, and it’s our job to ensure it for our students. We will take legal action and/ or strike before we expose our students, ourselves, and our families to unacceptable risk.

As if that’s not enough, the chancellor is talking about laying off 9,000 teachers in October if we don’t get federal aid to plug up the budget. He says if we don’t get it, we will have no option but to go all remote. If that’s the case, why on earth is he insisting on an unwieldy and ridiculous opening plan before we’ve even made schools safe?

Layoffs would be disastrous. Teachers would lose jobs, citywide, based on license and seniority. There would be involuntary transfers. In 1975, the last time this happened, class sizes went out the window, discarded because it was an emergency.

I saw none of this urgency or concern reflected in the chancellor’s meeting yesterday afternoon. The layoffs weren’t mentioned. Everything was fine, evidently, and this was the best of all possible worlds. It was like the worst faculty meeting I’d ever attended. The deputy chancellor spoke of how exciting the first day of school was, as though this were a typical year. (Someone needs to tell him it isn’t.)

The chancellor and his people, while advocating we go into classrooms with students, all broadcast from different rooms. The irony escaped them. The chancellor showed up five minutes late, and ended a minute early. I was pretty surprised he saw fit to keep tens of thousands of staff waiting. What do you think your AP would say to you if you showed up to class five minutes late and left early?

Also interesting was the deputy chancellor’s office. I saw three air-conditioners and a vent in the room he was using. If you think we’ll have ventilation like that in Lewis, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Another of the chancellor’s peeps (perhaps the one who kept referring to children as “scholars”) said that she recognized the school calendar was very late. She thanked us for our patience. Can you imagine forgetting to put in grades for weeks and weeks and saying that to your supervisor? Yet at Tweed, they have no issue shirking fundamental responsibilities and speaking to us like that.

Our school opening plan is far from perfect, but it seems to actually work. The chancellor’s plans assume two teachers for each class. For example, if I were teaching 12 students in the building, someone else would be teaching my other 22 students. Who would that be?

The chancellor’s people said they were aware there weren’t enough teachers, and that people from Tweed would get out and teach. Here’s a fact—there aren’t enough people at Tweed to cover the teachers in our building, let alone the 1800 others in the city. They said let’s wait a few weeks and see what happens.

Imagine your AP asked you for a lesson plan. Imagine saying, “Hey, I’ll give it to you in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I’ll go in there and see what happens when I get into that classroom.”  That’s the kind of leadership we’re getting from Tweed.

There’s an apocryphal and sardonic Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” I’m afraid those times have arrived, and in spades. Next month, we’ll find out. Brace yourself, because this is gonna be a rocky ride. But if we don’t stand for safety, we stand for nothing.

Bad as things are, we will face them, and we will come out stronger. We are the largest school in Queens and the most overcrowded in the city. We have faced and overcome every challenge thrown in our path. We are the United Federation of Teachers and we will stand strong through whatever comes our way. Our voices will be heard, in no uncertain terms.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions and concerns.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Tweed Says Safety First--for Tweedies Anyway

 That's the Deputy Chancellor. He has three air conditioners and an exhaust system in his office. After all, it's Tweed and they do Very Important Stuff in there. I look at this photo and I think about the VIP pigs in Animal Farm who needed to eat the apples because they had to do brain work. They needed to fill in ledgers very, very carefully so they could be burned in the furnace. That's about my impression of the Chancellor's team right now.

Like everyone else in this meeting, the Deputy Chancellor was all by himself. You see, while you are supposed to sit with a dozen students in a classroom built over a hundred years ago, barely improved since then,  the VIPs need their own space. Perish forbid they should set an example by setting up a classroom, sitting socially distanced, and all facing in the same direction so no one would face anyone else. Instead, they set an example of what people do when they are actually concerned with their own safety.

In fairness, the chancellor and his peeps repeatedly said they were concerned with our safety. Safety first, safety second, and safety third. However, we would not be working under the conditions that they did. It's curious, because a group of adults can behave in a room a lot easier than a group of children or teenagers. Believe it or not, teachers often have to supervise children and teenagers. Sometimes they don't simply sit down and do as they're told. It's a little surprising that the chancellor and his peeps don't seem to know that, and just send us on our merry way.

Additionally, I couldn't help but notice the chancellor showed up five minutes late. I'm not particularly sure that's the tone I'd want to set if I were trying to demonstrate leadership. After all, I really want my students to show up on time. Also, if I arrived at my class five minutes late, I could easily get a letter to file. What exactly was so important that tens of thousands of staff members had to wait? Last I looked, lateness was considered partial absence and you could get docked for it. I've been at multiple meetings in which that very thing was threatened. (They can't dock you until your partial absences add up to an hour, FYI.)

In any case, I was pretty surprised when, five minutes before the meeting was scheduled to end, the chancellor announced he was taking one more question and that would be it. Evidently, when it's time to leave, that's important. I was even more surprised when he ended the meeting a minute early. I'm trying to recall just how many principals I've heard announcing we teach bell to bell. I guess that only applies to lowly teachers. VIPs do as they like.

The most curious statement came when questions came around to how the hell we were going to handle the co-teachers who don't exist. You know, if I'm teaching ten of my students in person, who the hell is going to teach the other 24? There are simply not enough of us to do that. Well, we're gonna ask people from Tweed to teach. Really? There aren't enough people in Tweed to cover a single large high school, let alone the 1800 others that need to be covered.

They followed up that issue with another solution--Let's wait a few more weeks and see what happens. So that's how you go into battle. You leave your weapons at home, see what will happen, and hope for the best. Next time your principal asks to see your lesson plan, why not say, "Hey, I'll get it to you in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I'm just gonna go into that classroom and see what happens."

Also, they recognize the calendar is very late. But when they do, it will have all the holidays in it. They appreciate our patience.

Try talking to your principal the way they talk to us. Tell your principal how much you appreciate her patience after you outrageously bungle deadlines. Let me know how that works out for you.

I sat through an hour of platitudes and heard very little new information. The chancellor promised to discuss things with us further, but clearly only discussed what little he did because Cuomo forced him to. These are the people running our school system.

Who trusts them to keep us and our students safe? Don't all jump up at once. 

(Thanks to Tweeter @WuTangGrippers for the photo.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Today's DOE: Don't Let Your Right Hand Know What Your Left Hand Do

These are extraordinary times, and they're rendered more so by the incredible lack of communication from Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza. The chancellor sends us preposterous flowery emails telling us how much he cares, while callously tossing us into a program that neither he nor the mayor has remotely thought out (no pun intended).

Even as the NY Times writes articles about things every working teacher knew last week, their well-heeled, Ivy-educated writers haven't yet discovered that de Blasio has not yet figured out who's going to teach remotely while teachers meet 12 of their students live in classrooms. In fairness, Times reporters can't be expected to step down from their pedestals for every single development. That, evidently, is the province of Post and News reporters,who aren't highfalutin' enough to ignore what's in front of their faces.

Meanwhile, here on earth, principals need to plan who is and is not going to be showing up. I have an accommodation, and the last time I spoke to my principal, he hadn't been notified. Yesterday, speaking with my AP, I was able to identify seven members of her department, myself included, who'd been granted accommodations. This was in addition to those she already knew of. It's funny that the people whose job it is to run things, specifically including informing administrators who they have to work with and in what capacity, can barely be bothered doing so.

Since I'm not classy enough to rely on the Times and hope for the best, I have to look to the Post to let me know things like this--In one week 40,000 more students applied for remote learning. That's about a 15% increase. And mind you, this is coming from people who haven't previously applied at all. What's going to happen when families find out the magical co-teachers Carranza and de Blasio are depending on to do double duty do not, in fact, exist? 

Unfortunately for the mayor and chancellor, there are a whole lot of New Yorkers who rely on sources other than the Times for information. Not only that, but there are still tens of thousands of working teachers, and even if the Times doesn't know any of us, a whole lot of New Yorkers do. Word of mouth is going to really hurt Tweed's plans to conceal the fact that there simply are not enough of us to pull this thing off.

Going back to my school, if I'm able to identify seven members of my department that the city hasn't told us about, how many are in other departments? How many are there citywide? How many had to wait for notes from their doctors, and how many are getting new notes to address the objections the city posted when rejecting their first applications? 

I doubt the city's number of 15% accommodations is going to hold up. I don't know everyone, but I know people who've submitted applications as recently as last week. It's not easy to get into seeing a doctor these days. You have to wait outside, sometimes, before they will let you in. They need to sanitize absolutely everything so it's safe, and even then the people who work in the offices are wearing heavy duty PPE, the kind that the city is unlikely to provide you while you're doing an instructional lunch. or some equally preposterous exercise.

I've been chapter leader at a very large school for 12 years. The DOE has wasted a great deal of my time. They have a legal department full of people who appear to read Archie Comics rather than the Collective  Bargaining Agreement. None of them know the rules and I've yet to encounter a time when they disagreed and my UFT sources weren't correct.

They've now taken lack of communication to a new level. Carranza and de Blasio know their hybrid plan is totally unworkable and have chosen to plod ahead with it regardless. They know who has and has not been granted accommodations and choose not to share that information with principals who desperately need it. 

This is the most incompetent and inept city administration I've ever seen. They could give Trump a run for his money (if only we could see his tax returns and find out whether or not he really has any).

Monday, August 17, 2020

UFT Executive Board August 17, 2020--You Should Hear About Accommodations by Tomorrow

Roll Call--5:50

Minutes--Passed via email.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--6:03--DOE is looking at individual school reports. Has not got them all up. Some that went up are problematic, as there was little or no instruction. Everyone should look at their own. This will be a major piece--IF we open, and I don't see it happening on September 10, since principals don't even know what to put in plans, it's only because mayor wants it.

We've asked for three things--physical building--does it have ventilation, PPE, enough personnel, so physically it has what it needs? If not, school can't be used and we will makes sure it isn't. 

Then we look at procedural. Who's responsible for what? How are people coming in and out? Class sizes? Social distancing? We need to focus on this. Can't just be a principal making these decisions. There is a lot we're looking to do. Need isolation rooms. Who's making decisions about PPE at school level? 

We have no agreement on testing yet. We can't get first two things done, and if that's the case, how do we move to testing? We need all these things in place. Lots of other systems have no testing in place and end up putting everyone in quarantine. We're not trending up, though there's a neighborhood in Brooklyn with a spike, but we need to protect that.

Budget--Albany is basically shut down because of conventions. Agencies are looking at layoffs. We have a teacher shortage and no money. We are moving on some ideas and solutions for at least this budget year. 

As for instructional plan, we need to deal with remote students, and blended students. We need to determine appropriate amount of live instruction. 

We had a lot of pushback from parents who have to go to work and have no place for their children. It's tough with a mayor who just says he wants things. We won't do it if we're not safe.


Can principals tell RSPs they have to work from home because there's no space in building?

A--If there's no space for you to work safely it would be our position you have to work from home. Contact us if you have no PPE.

What will we negotiate to prevent a hiring freeze if necessary?

We will do what we need to if necessary. Special ed., bilingual, lifted now.

Members who haven't been notified--Everyone will be notified by tomorrow according to DOE.  Some were prioritized, and other conditions not on list may take longer. Med. accommodation doesn't have anything to do with layoffs. You are still working. Layoffs would have to do with seniority.

Mike Sill--Some at DOE work faster than others, but email me if you don't hear by tomorrow.

Can we open 100% remotely?

That possibility is high with principals and teachers asking for it. There's no testing, so how can we open? Make sure you get antibody test and flu shot this year. 

Each school should have a response team, making sure there are COVID protocols.

Jeff Povalitus--Nurse, safety agent, and custodian. Will only be initiated in a COVID issue. 

There are challenges whether we go live or remote. Paraprofessionals will not be rotating school to school. There are a lot of rumors. DOE wants people in schools tied to students. In some esoteric classes there may be exceptions.

D75--We're starting to get some movement. We agree they will need a lot more PPE than other schools.

We are very short on remote teachers because of number of students who've opted out.

Can we move HS to virtual and teach elementary live? We don't have enough teachers for elementary students.

Meetings should still be virtual and most UFT services will be virtual. We will abide by same rules as members in offices.

Can teachers do instructional lunch out of license? In these classes, children will have work to do. They could be watching something tied to instruction. Teachers should be in back of room with face shields.

Danielson--We have not even discussed evaluation. Opening takes priority. SED has been reasonable up until now. 

I plan to push really hard about testing. We need to discuss what we do before anyone goes in and how we surveil communities for virus. We have no agreement, but I will handle it. We don't want to recontaminate city, and right now if we open September 10, it will be a debacle. 

I ask you all to read what your school submitted. This is a good week for us to work toward a solution, with convention going on. 

There are a lot of people looking at bad choices. We need to understand they need to be safe and they need to understand we need to be safe. I thank you for coming, and next week we should have some news. Has to leave--6:34

?--All contractual rules apply to secretaries  and all titles. No one has to come back earlier, and if they need secretaries back earlier they need to pay per session. There has been no agreement that secretaries have to come back early. 

Final Roll Call