April, 2020 Updates
To stay informed on the COVID-19 situation and other important information, visit this website daily for updates and read the TALB News section (left).
Check your email for updates from TALB. Are you receiving a TALB Electronic Newsletter/E-Update? If not, send us your personal email address: CLICK HERE
Update: Wednesday, April 29th, 2020
Yesterday, the Governor was thinking out loud about the possibility of starting the next school year, 2020-21 this coming July. Yes, EVERYONE, would like to get back to normalcy. A comprehensive plan, with the REQUIRED resources to carry out the plan MUST be thoroughly vetted by all stakeholders. The community entrusts their children with us and we take that very seriously. All of our elected leaders, regardless of party affiliation are spit-balling ideas on how to get our economy up and running. To that degree, it is likely there will be many proposals which we may have to educate and organize the community and our profession to protect public education. Stay tuned…
The District has no interest in starting the fall semester in July. It is unclear if the governor has the legal authority to order schools to start on a different calendar.
We will finish the school year, 2019-20, with “online learning opportunities”.
Summer School will also be “online learning opportunities”.
Planning for how schools could be opened is contingent on guidance from epidemiologists, state and local departments of health. The District cannot just choose to open during this pandemic.
Scientists are scrambling for cures and vaccines for Covid-19, so far, nothing has been definitive. Mass scale testing has not been resolved. We are left with 20th century solutions like the ones we had back in 1918.
“Social Distancing” is the polite version of quarantining oneself. That’s not to say we hide in fear of this virus, but that we expand “personal space” to be a 6 foot perimeter. Raise your level of consciousness with regards to personal and environmental hygiene.
“Social Distancing” in the classroom brings facility capacity and cultural norms under enormous pressure. Time will be needed to devise effective strategies and enforcement policies.
More to come…
Stay safe, be well.
P.S. Thanks, again, for being patient as we field your calls and emails. We will get through this…
Update: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
Thank you for all your feedback. We know this national crisis has touched EVERYONE, very deeply on so many levels. Tomorrow, April 23rd parents and students have expectations for “online learning opportunities”. Given the great diversity within LBUSD, that will certainly look different from school to school. During these times it becomes every so clear and important to practice patience and humility.
While we struggle to get through the remaining school year, anxieties are running high over concerns with the economy and how big of a budget hole this catastrophe has created. Right now, that hole could be the size of a puddle, a pool, a pond, a lake or an ocean. Given the fact that we have a Trump/McConnell administration, it is highly unlikely the Federal government will help with public institutions. To paraphrase Grover Norquist, “starve the beast until you can drown it in a bathtub”. We’re confident that many anti-public education / anti-public employee wingnuts are salivating at the thought of public institutions being gutted. We are riding an economic wave of disaster that still hasn’t crested. However, we are in a presidential campaign year and maybe, just maybe we’ll get help from the Feds. We certainly shouldn’t let them off the hook. Like the great Public Works Administration policies set by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works in the 1930’s. We can build a great “public” network of internet connectivity like we did the Interstate Highways. We could put our labor to work rebuilding and upgrading our public schools. While the States recover from what could be Great Depression era recessions, the Federal government could pick up the tab for the cost of our society’s essential workforce; health care, education, public safety, etc. There are opportunities for a speedy recovery and a nimble plan that prepares us for the Fall should we revisit this same national emergency. Everyone from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea should be demanding the very fabric of our society is not torn apart by this tragedy. We are a great nation.
Take Action for Teachers and Students
Tell Congress to do more to address the coronavirus crisis. NEA is urging Congress to address immediate needs like injecting more funds into state budgets (to avoid layoffs of educators and others) as well as long-festering problems such as the digital divide. Read NEA’s list of top priorities for students and educators along with a letter urging lawmakers to seize this moment to renew America’s promise of equal opportunity and justice for all.
Wanted: Creative Connections
1) NEA is partnering with NowThis on a video project to highlight the amazing work educators are doing to stay connected with students during the COVID-19 crisis. Share your photos and videos no later than tomorrow, April 23;
2) Take a look at a few CTA members’ virtual classrooms, fave apps, and singular lewks. Then show and tell us how you’re doing.
Click Here to Email Your Steinhauser Story
Update: Friday, April 10
The following link (at the end of the paragraph) will take you to an FAQ, MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and specifics regarding “online learning opportunities”. We are currently working on clarification for CDC / Head Start due to program requirements that are unique for State and Federal guidelines. TALB will be working to sort this out next week, during Spring Break. We want to stress that you are not to be planning for this transition, RIGHT NOW. Maintain what you have been doing until 4/23, then transition. The expectations from Central Office may differ from what you and your current site are doing. We know that during “normal times” teachers may supplement or provide additional opportunities for students. As a professional you will need to assess the abilities of your students and adjust when necessary. The MOU is an agreed upon expectation from Central Office for principals / site administrators. There has been great confusion surrounding a consistent message from site to site. TALB – MOU – Covid-19 – School Closure – 4-10-2020
The TALB office will be open during Spring Break. We expect some questions regarding the MOU and implementation. HOWEVER, you are on vacation. Take a vacation! We are ALL running on fumes.
The daily E-Updates will cease until Monday, April 20th, unless there is urgent news to report.
Update: Wednesday, April 8
Tomorrow morning, April 9th, LBUSD will hire the next superintendent. Meeting starts online @ 9:30 a.m. Agenda item #4
Live – try these links:
Teachers are not entitled to State Disability Insurance. If you become ill, you will have access to your accrued sick leave and then 100 working days at 1/2 your pay. Income protection and Disability Insurance is a safety net. The Standard CLICK.
Not getting an Electronic Newsletter = E-Update? Send your personal email address CLICK
Teaching in crisis, is not the same as online teaching.
“The next two weeks are extraordinarily important,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe and that means everybody doing the six-feet distancing, washing their hands.”
Did you get the email below from LBUSD, HRS? Don’t read into it. Basically, the District is rescinding the letters they had originally sent out to individuals who might have been at high risk or 65 and older.
The TALB Executive Board met tonight and took the following actions:
1) Our regularly scheduled Rep. Council Meeting for April 28th, will be held in a Town Hall / Webinar format. Invitations will be sent to those Reps who have been elected and we have a personal email on file.
2) The retirement dinner and awards ceremony in June has been canceled.
The lead negotiators for TALB and the District spoke today on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding our new “working conditions”. We are hoping to strike a deal on “home learning opportunities” this week.
There is no expectation that you work Friday, April 10th and April 13th-17th. We know there are some principals/administrators who might be confused on this matter, but you are paid for 182 days of service. The aforementioned six (6) days are vacation days. Take time to rejuvenate and recharge. There will be plenty of work when we come back on April 20th.
If you become ill, you will have access to your accrued sick leave and then 100 working days at 1/2 your pay. Income protection and Disability Insurance is a safety net. The Standard CLICK.
Monday, April 6th
“This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.” ~ U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams
Please take time for self-care.
Update: Friday, April 3rd
“Changing by the hour…”, “Not going to be perfect…”, “Lower your expectations…” – Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent, LBUSD – LB Post Interview – 4/3/2020 Facebook Stream Recording
The “Long Beach Way” is not an Internet based service. Sure, we use the Internet and many “web-based” products, but ultimately we are very much a “brick & mortar” institution. Our attempts to provide Internet services and Internet based learning to our students during this tragedy are certainly laudable and well-intended, they cannot be a substitute for going to a physical school. Data continually demonstrates that the safest place for a child is at school. Students will be much more harmed by the loss of social construction/interaction, which is a key ingredient of the secret sauce in “The Long Beach Way”, than any loss of academic instruction. We commend superintendent Steinhauser for making clear, this is not the new norm for LBUSD.
Mr. Steinhauser did bait the audience with a “pilot program”, but did not give any specificity. TALB was not involved in any “online learning opportunities” discussion. At best, online learning opportunities are an attempt at a “stop loss”, not an equivalency. Teachers were not hired to be online teachers. Teachers have not been given any professional development or training, rather, go train yourself by watching myPD webinars or YouTube videos. Certainly there have been success stories and opportunities to enhance or teaching skills and tools, but we are flying a plane that has not been finished being built.
We have received multiple parent inquiries regarding the current state of emergency in our schools. Parents are not equipped to be substitute teachers. Parents are frustrated and not happy about being substitutes, particularly if they have multiple children in their household. Many are essential workers who cannot stay home to provide or even monitor “online learning opportunities”. Families will be disrupted by the loss of income and food resources. They are doing the best they can do under these extraordinary times. Families are being forced to relocate to pool their resources for rent and food. Students will hear and feel the anxiety of uncertainty.
The coming weeks…
There are many public health officials, locally and nationally, who are sounding the alarm that the pandemic is gong to get significantly worse before it gets better. When superintendent Steinhauser says things are “changing by the hour” he isn’t joking. We are at war with an unseen enemy that is lurking in our communities, most of us will be fine, some will get very sick and others will die. Please take care of yourself and loved ones. Take the weekend to rest and recharge.
CTA Training (A link to other CTA training can be found at www.talb.org
Mon, April 6, 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Got student loans?
Sick of student loans?
Tired of being quarantined?
Since you may have time on your hands, we’ll be doing a “Generation Debt: Student Loan Forgiveness” webinar.
Update: Thursday, April 2
Grading work? Please read the California Department of Education’s FAQ’s CLICK HERE.
LBUSD has not sorted out a policy yet. We are in communication with the District regarding this matter and other labor related issues. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is being hammered out.
Health Insurance – Open Enrollment is still scheduled for May 1st, 2020 for employees who are interested in changing their insurance plans.
Webinar: Delivering Virtual Instruction in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Date: Friday, April 3, 2020
Registration Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O4Tyo0vSQu-KeWtSC75z1w
Update: Wednesday, April 1
The closure of all schools in the Long Beach Unified School District will extend through the end of the academic year, or June 11, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
School had been tentatively scheduled to resume on Monday, May 4. “We wish we could share better news today,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said. “But our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, their families and our staff. We have made this decision in close consultation with our partnering agencies, including health departments and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.”
Sadly, this is not an April Fools’ Day prank. We will not be returning to our classrooms for the academic school year. There was some hope that just maybe we could return to normalcy before June 11th.
Now the road ahead… Take some time to grieve. This is a great loss for our students and our profession. Moving forward. Don’t panic. Please follow the stay at home guidelines in place. Do not return to your site to collect personal belongings or teaching materials. If we ALL try very hard and restrict our movements as much as possible, we can stop the spread of this disease. As when a doctor asks you to consult them before ending a medication, we cannot end social distancing abruptly and without expert advice. (Think about when you’re on a course of antibiotic medication — you have to complete the whole regimen of pills even when you start feeling better. Social distancing is a little like that.)
From our TALB Rep. & School Nurse Rose Van Meeveren – | April is Stress Awareness Month | – no fooling.