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    SPS and SEA Come to Tentative Agreement for 2020-21 School Year

    Posted 8/28/2020

    Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association came to an agreement for the 2020-21 school year on Friday, August 28. Together, we have crafted a plan that prioritizes students' academic success and well-being during these uncertain times.

    Thank you to the hardworking bargaining teams and each member's commitment to our students, staff, and families. The Tentative Agreement (TA) will be voted on this weekend by the Representative Assembly.

    Seattle Public Schools/Seattle Education Association joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

    Highlights of the Tentative Agreement:

    Start Strong: The first week of school, Sept. 4-11, will focus on supporting students’ social emotional wellbeing, culturally responsive community building, family connections, and making sure students know how to access and use their technology tools to access student learning.

    Two hours a day will be spent with an educator. The remaining time will be supported with supplemental, offline activities.

    Professional Development: 6 days of professional development for educators prior to the start of school (Sept. 4 for 1-12 and Sept. 8 for PreK-K) to support high-quality remote teaching.

    Training will include anti-racist practices, social emotional learning, digital citizenship, and inclusionary practices in a remote/online setting.

    Family Supports: Ongoing training opportunities for students and families on SPS learning platforms and student systems. Alignment of lunch times across geographic areas when possible to enable families and students across grades to access lunch sites together.

    Middle and High School Teaching: Secondary classroom teachers will provide instruction across a minimum of three and a maximum of four instructional periods a day on an A/B schedule Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Friday.

    Instructional periods will provide synchronous and asynchronous instruction – see definitions below. Teachers will provide a minimum of 2 synchronous sessions for each class period during the week.

    Secondary schools will provide a minimum of 35 minutes each Wednesday for student check-in/community building/SEL supports.

    Elementary Teaching: Teachers will provide the following instructional periods with a combination of whole class, synchronous learning, small group synchronous learning, and asynchronous learning.

    • Check-in/community building, 30 minutes, 5x week
    • ELA, 60 minutes, 5x week o Math, 60 minutes, 4 x week
    • Social Studies/STI/Science, 30 minutes, 4 x week
    • Small group support, 60 minutes, 5 x week (determined by school)
    • Family connection, 30 minutes, 5 x week

    Special Education: In-person instruction as determined by IEP team will be provided with appropriate health and safety guidelines and PPE in place.

    Technology Supplies: SPS will provide a laptop or tablet to each student. SPS will also provide other enabling devices (e.g. hotspots and headphones) as needed. Assistance to internet connectivity will be provided to qualifying families.

    Common Platforms: Age-appropriate learning management systems for online learning and training for families, students, and staff.

    Technology Supports: The SPS Department of Technology will provide technical assistance in a variety of ways (e.g., email, phone calls, in-person, videos, technology resource centers) in in multiple languages.

    School Supplies: As in past years, schools will provide students the necessary school supplies for online learning at home. Buildings will create a plan for distribution and communicate directly with families and students.

    Communication: Each school will have a communication plan and the district will provide 2-way communication capabilities for staff, including the ability to text families.


    What does Synchronous mean?

    • Teacher provides whole class instruction / online lesson
    • Teacher works with a small group of students live via video conferencing
    • Students work independently but teacher is available to answer questions via video conferencing, chats, emails, or phone calls

    What does Asynchronous mean?

    • Students watch a pre-recorded video lesson on their own schedule
    • Students complete assignments posted on district platforms on their own schedule
    • Educators provide feedback on completed assignments over district platforms

    What is Check-in, Community Building, and Family Connection time?

    • Check-in and community building can look like many things. It can be 1:1 contacts or whole group
    • Family Connection is a time for teachers to reach out to families to support their students, which includes contacts via Seesaw/Schoology, chat, email, or phone

    Learn more on the Seattle Education Association website and SEA FAQ.