School Board Spotlight
I am pleased to have the opportunity to present the TVEA Organizational Spotlight for January 2022. It feels odd saying “Happy New Year” the last week of January, yet I will gladly offer such sentiment. May the remaining eleven months of 2022 bring fewer challenges to our district in delivering educational programs and opportunities to our students.
Organizationally, TVEA continues to move forward despite obstacles presented by the lingering pandemic. We successfully met virtually as a Leadership Council last week with over fifty representatives attending. Preparations are underway for upcoming 2022 Executive Board Elections this Spring with six of our twelve positions including President and Vice-President to be determined.
TVEA is utilizing this period to offer our members Virtual Professional Development opportunities and various informational sessions. We are pleased to partner with TVUSD Risk Management in facilitating Medical Bridge Insurance Benefit Meetings. The second of three such meetings is tomorrow afternoon as the contractual date of February 15th to submit for both retirement and Medical Bridge eligibility is rapidly approaching.
TVEA appreciates the ongoing two-way communication our leaders have had with both the Cabinet and Governing Board.
The announcement by Dr. McClay of a pause in mandatory PLC and Staff Meetings for remainder of the month was well received as you might expect.
Additionally, various Governing Board members have been responsive to TVEA inquires and accessible to discuss questions or concerns.
Our teachers and specialists continue to provide high quality instruction in an environment of peaking COVID caseloads leading to heightened student absences and staff shortages. This has created an increased workload as our members seek to serve students both in and out of the classroom, while being required to substitute under a protracted “emergency” period. Valuable teacher preparation and planning time has been diminished across multiple sites.
There is still much work to be done in negotiations for the remainder of the 21-22 school year. I am pleased the TVUSD and TVEA teams were able to reconvene yesterday. While we successfully completed the topic of Compensation for 2021-22, it is essential that the remaining articles which have been open are addressed.
Clarity and Guidelines for Special Education Caseloads should be important not only to our TVEA members, but also to the District as TVUSD strives to best serve our students and families.
The end of this month will signify the seventh full month which our members will have served under an expired contract, and we look forward to seeing that finalized and updated.
Our nearly 1300 Teachers and Specialists are strong and resolute. They are Dedicated and Committed Advocates for Teaching and Learning. Yet, as I shared with the Cabinet and Governing Board earlier in the month, some are understandably concerned about their health and safety.
It has been shared with me there is a perceived incongruency between a “Business as Normal” approach at the school sites in densely populated classrooms and a meeting such as tonight’s being conducted virtually. While TVEA recognizes that TVUSD is doing its best to utilize its limited infrastructure to keep up with testing, contract tracing, and masking compliance, the stakes are higher than ever at this critical juncture.