part 3 Issues of reopening during Covid

Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:35:00 PM

Academy of Pediatrics & Educator Union statements

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1. From The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association

“Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools."

Full statement here:

2. United Teachers of Los Angeles (2nd biggest school system in the U.S. after NYC) did research and surveyed their members 

The research paper, Same Storm but Different Boats: The Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-21, looks at the science behind the specific conditions that must be met in the second-largest school district in the nation before staff and students can safely return.

Out of the more than 18,000 UTLA members* who submitted responses to our informal poll in less than 12 hours, 83% agree with the UTLA Board of Directors and Bargaining Team that LAUSD should not physically reopen schools on August 18. 

Other countries that have reopened schools — such as New Zealand, Vietnam, and Germany — did so only after they had flattened the curve, accompanied by broad societal preparedness, including rapid case identification, contact tracing, and isolation. The U.S. is not even close to meeting these benchmarks.

*Note this is out of over 30,000 and since it was an online vote there were some technical difficulties but also the commenters who are complaining the most on the union's facebook have no photos, no friends, no info

3. Chicago Teacher's Union Local 1 surveyed its members in June about acceptable conditions for a return to school buildings and issued the results last week. Here is the section on transportation, and the link

More than 85 percent of CTU member respondents feel they should not or might not go back to work in the fall without a commitment to school-based safety teams providing input on safety needs and plans; daily COVID-19 testing and temperature screening for everyone entering the building; a nurse or other health professional in every school, every day; remote learning options for particularly vulnerable students and staff; a transportation plan for students that involves distancing on school buses as well as Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains; and a social worker or counselor dedicated to helping students and staff in every school, every day.

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