As we begin the fourth week of fully remote teaching and learning, here’s a brief update on some current topics:

– PD on Half Days. Earlier today you received a communication from the District about this Thursday’s professional development. What the email failed to mention is that, per an agreement between the District and the RTA, “the scheduling and selection of the professional development will be determined by the Building Committee” at each school. This applies to all half-days, not just October 8. We have contacted Dr. Genelle Morris, RCSD’s Deputy Superintendent, and she agreed. You received a clarification from the District on this matter subsequently – except that the District mistakenly named the School-based Planning Team instead of the RTA Building Committee. We encourage Building Committees at all schools to request a meeting with their respective principals to address this as an agenda item. Please contact us if you have specific questions or need assistance.

– Retroactive Pay. The District notified us last week that they “are targeting payment for the majority [approximately 2,900] of the members of the RTA for the 2019-20 retro payments by October 23, 2020.” Payments for the rest of RTA members [approximately 370], the District claims, will be further delayed because they “require more granular, manual review” and adjustments. The District did not yet indicate to us whether the payments, representing the difference between last year’s increment increases that teachers did receive and the negotiated benchmarking increase, can be in a separate check. We have filed a Class Action Grievance and a Notice of Claim for litigation seeking interest on the money for the entire period of the delay since the June 11, 2020 agreement.

– Survey on Remote Teaching. The District emailed to you a survey on the experience with remote teaching and learning after we’ve experienced only two weeks with students. RTA is preparing a survey, as well, though we want to give teachers a bit more time to determine how it’s going. RTA’s survey will include questions related to the various concerns that have already been brought to our attention by teachers. Expect that survey to be emailed to you in a week or two.

– World Teachers Day. That’s today. It’s a reminder to everyone that teachers richly deserve the respect and support of families, communities and society. Teachers are everyday heroes and appreciation for the work of teachers substantially increased during this tragic period of pandemic. Thank you for all that you continue to do for your students every day.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President