I am pleased to bring you the TVEA Spotlight tonight.
First, I would like to share TVEA is pleased to be working with the Temecula Valley Council PTA in planning the TVUSD School Board Candidates Forum at the end of the month. I trust Ms. Marks-Anderson will share details of this event in her forthcoming spotlight tonight. It is impressive that despite the challenges associated with COVID-19 and our school sites not fully operational that PTA is still committed to voter education and civic participation
For my main topic tonight:
Ongoing communication is key, particularly with multiple layers of issues and moving parts during the initiation of 2020-21 On-Line Learning. I am pleased to have met with both Superintendent McClay and Board President Hinkson last week in addition to discussing a variety of issues in discussions with HRD. One of the results is that TVEA and TVUSD scheduled two negotiation sessions for this week.
In Week 3 of instruction, honestly many of our teachers and specialists are struggling. Being dedicated and committed advocates of teaching and learning, they are being pushed to work a reported twelve to sixteen hours a day plus weekends to keep their on-line classrooms viable. Transforming the rigor and relevance of traditional instruction to multiple on-line domains in a few short weeks is wearing on many.
I share this in advance of the “COVID-19 and Learning Update” coming your way tonight and as school districts consider progressing toward such potential in-person instructional components as Elementary Waivers, Special Education Assessments, and Small Group Instruction for Special Populations.
In the big picture, the fact that TVUSD is beginning such conversations is a positive. No one is suggesting that On- Line Learning is a preferred and desired way to educate all TVUSD students. Yet as a district we should be incremental and prudent and deliberate moving forward while avoiding expediency.
Whatever direction you may set as a board, it needs to be practical, tenable, and sustainable. As our elementary teachers and specialists continue to navigate how to most effectively deliver on-line instruction, let’s not bury them with a hybrid model requiring simultaneous on-line synchronous meetings at the same time they are teaching in-person to the attending cohort.
Throughout June TVUSD direction focused on a return to school with the choice of three (3) learning models including a Traditional and Hybrid option along with On-Line Learning. As COVID cases climbed throughout the month and into July, neither the State of California, County of Riverside, or TVUSD assertively moved from its stance. The impact was that we lost much of the month of July to prepare for what became 100% On-Line Learning. Our District and employees had to prepare for our current reality in a few short weeks. While our members were grateful to have the opportunity to work the two extra paid staff development days, arguably there was insufficient time provided to move the TVUSD from the roundness and familiarity of traditional learning and reshape it for a “square peg” such as On-Line Learning.
I urge you to consider all impacts of a potential return to school to provide both teachers and students the optimum chance for sustainable success. By “Going Slow to go Fast” we can create a safer and softer landing for not only our teachers, but our students and families. TVEA looks forward to further communication with the District and we desire to have our directly impacted professionals involved in determining how TVUSD best moves forward.