Colleagues,

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the District remains dismissive of the collective wisdom of parents and teachers and continues to ignore their legitimate concerns. Despite the fact that 70% of parents, and 89% of teachers, do not have confidence in the District’s readiness for in-person instruction, the District still plans impose on our students and their educators a plan that is not ready for primetime. 

In partnership with the Rochester Community Coalition to Save Our Schools (ROC-SOS), we are determined to persuade the Board of Education to reject the Superintendent’s ill-conceived plan and insist that our schools open for in-person instruction only when they are not only safe but also prepared to be instructionally viable. This is currently not the case. We still don’t know what the District’s instructional plan is; we still don’t know how students are expected to learn, and teachers are expected to teach, simultaneously in-person and remote; we still don’t know where the requisite technology is; we still don’t know when the District will be capable to demonstrate effective simultaneous teaching and learning without the requisite technology; we still don’t know why the Superintendent does not seem to care whether teachers are vaccinated first; and we still don’t know why teachers have to resort to social media to plead for answers to unanswered questions.

The Board of Education meets tomorrow evening and we urge you to sign up to speak to them – remotely, of course, because they do not think it’s safe for the Board to meet in-person. To sign up to speak, send an email to <BoardOfEducation@rcsdk12.org> and include your name, telephone number, affiliation and the topic (Reopening of Schools). Please sign up today, if possible, but no later than by noon tomorrow. You can also email your written comments to the same address. The Board and the Superintend have already heard from your union and now they need to hear from the teachers.

Thank you, in advance, for your active participation in this effort. While addressing the school board is our most immediate opportunity, we are also prepared with other actions in our campaign of advocacy for safety and rational teaching and learning environments. Our students and their educators deserve both. Stay tuned, stay strong and stay united.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President