As you already know, we have called on the Rochester City School District to postpone any at-school and in-person reopening of schools at least until the end of the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year. Instead, we should continue remote teaching and learning until it schools are safe for our students and their educators. Our position is summarized in the attached “RTA Resolution to Keep Our Students Safe” unanimously adopted by the RTA Representative Assembly at a Special Meeting on June 30th.
The District’s current hybrid plan for reopening schools is aspirational, vague, unworkable, unrealistic and problematic in many ways. It raises a multitude of unanswered questions and includes contradictions and departures from required regulations and obligations. It cannot and will not keep our students nor their educators safe. By extension, it also jeopardizes the health and the lives of families of our students and families of teachers.
To address this ill-advised plan, we are working on two fronts. First, we are continuing our effort to persuade the District that the right thing to do is to postpone any at-school and in-person instruction until it is safe. You can help by contacting the Superintendent <Lesli.Myers-Small@rcsdk12.org> to express your perspective and reasons for concern. Secondly, we are communicating to the District our specific questions about their plan and seeking to negotiate the impact of that plan, if implemented, on the terms and conditions of your work.
In our most recent meeting (this morning), Superintendent Myers-Small indicated that the District’s plan is not yet firm and that the District is awaiting further guidance from the Governor that is expected this week. We will continue to keep you informed about any developments and about the progress of our efforts on your behalf. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your continued solidarity and for your confidence in your union. Our first priority is your health and safety and the health and safety of all our students.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President