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Summary: The district and Seattle Education Association have reached a tentative agreement for the 2021-22 school year.
SPS and SEA Reach Tentative COVID Health and Safety Agreement
Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) have reached a tentative agreement to support layered COVID-19 health and safety strategies to protect our schools and communities.
The agreement provides families and staff with transparency around the safety measures agreed to for the 2021-22 school year.
These strategies include required masking, improved ventilation and air quality, cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, contact tracing, and responding to symptoms and cases of COVID.
The agreement exceeds state health recommendations. Included in the agreement:
- Increased family education around staying home when sick, including communications in multiple languages;
- Clear alignment on safety measures throughout the district through active building safety teams;
- High-quality airflow and HVAC upgrade commitments to ensure air quality exceeds accepted standards, including additional mitigation in rooms with higher transmission risk including the designated healthcare room, band, and choir.
- Masking requirements for students that address safety throughout the school day.
“SEA educators look forward to welcoming our students back to buildings with this additional peace of mind,” said Uti Hawkins, vice president of Seattle Education Association. “This agreement transparently shows that every student in every building will experience the same level of COVID protection, regardless of their zip code.”
The agreement increases safety measures from the 2020-21 health and safety agreement, improves clarity and transparency, and reflects and exceeds the latest public health guidance. Both parties are committed to staying current with evolving public health and scientific findings around COVID and the emerging Delta variant. We will return to the table as needed to adopt new strategies designed to keep our communities safe.
More information will be distributed to families by email and on the SPS website.
“A big thank you goes out to the two bargaining teams,” said Interim Superintendent Brent Jones. “This agreement represents the commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff, and the focus on giving our students an excellent education. We have the best educators on the planet and we’re all ready to give our very best to 180 Days of Excellence for the upcoming school year”
This tentative agreement is subject to approval by both SEA members and the Seattle School Board.