COVID 19 Resource/ Information
Correspondence Letter 7/27/20 Monday (Address to all WTEA members)
As you can imagine, we are getting a lot of questions/comments/concerns regarding the communications sent out recently regarding our return to school.
Thank you for completing the survey. I know some of the questions were hard to answer without knowing all or any of the details and you expressed that so thank you! There are a lot of comments/questions/concerns to go through. I can address a few of those with you now.
I are going to be addressing the health and safety of all our members. I will be spending a lot of time generating a list of all the concerns you shared with me through the survey. I do plan on submitting those results with you through our Association website: washingtontwpea.org
Many of you have expressed a desire to remain virtual upon our return to school. The CDC has released a list that identifies the conditions that they consider to be high-risk. The following conditions are considered legitimate reasons to request to remain virtual AT THIS TIME:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
If you have a medical condition you do NOT see on this list please know that this is being addressed by the NJEA and they are trying to have other issues, such as pregnancy and mental health concerns, to name a few, added to this list.
The district has requested all members who believe they have reason to stay home should submit that request by July 27th. I do NOT want you to share your specific medical diagnosis, but I would like for you to reach out to me if you are going to request to remain virtual just so that I have an idea of how many requests are being made, and I will be ready to assist, or to direct you to someone who can, as the need arises.
IF your request is denied, please reach out to me and I will forward your information to our Uniserv Rep. There is a process that you can go through in order to challenge the district’s decision. If they say no, it doesn’t mean that is the final answer. NJEA Uniserv Representative, and if need be, NJEA attorneys will be available to help you with your request.
IF, at the end of the day, your request is denied and the NJEA is unable to assist you in getting the decision overturned, there is a chance we can work out some other type of accommodations that might help you to feel safer about returning to school. Those accommodations are going to have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The NJEA has released a document that outlines the MINIMAL ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS regarding our return. These are the conditions that they feel are the MINIMAL ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS:
1.) The district must include us on all Restart Committees. (We have been included but…….)
2.) The district must adopt a policy for screening both students and staff. (I haven’t received what/how screening will be done but have heard that the CDC says not too do temperature screens and Dr. Frank as well.)
3.) Masks must be worn by BOTH students and staff. Individual students who may have a legitimate medical reason regarding why they cannot wear a mask will be dealt with on an individual basis.
4.) The district shall provide adequate PPE to the district’s employees. (District is providing two masks and a face shield to staff.)
5.) Social distancing of six feet shall be maintained at all times.
6.) Students and staff must wash their hands frequently.
7.) All students and staff must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms three times a day.
8.) Materials and gym lockers etc. will NOT be shared by students and/or staff.
9.) District shall accommodate all medically-fragile staff members or those who live with medically-fragile family members with remote work and/or remote working responsibilities.
10.) All classrooms, and other areas occupied by students and staff, will be cleaned according to the latest CDC guidelines.
11.) District shall inspect all HVAC and air handling units for proper function and air flow before the start of school and every other week thereafter.
This is a shortened, condensed version of the MINIMAL ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS, but I wanted you to be aware what I am trying to discuss with our administration. I will share it with Jeff and the board. I also plan on sharing it with the Re-Opening Committee comprised of administrators, board members, PTA/PTO parents, and health department that started to meet Thursday nights two weeks ago.
The truth of the matter is that many people in higher positions than mine believe that we may NOT be returning to school in August; they believe that we will be virtual until January at a minimum; however, we cannot sit back and wait for that to happen. Jeff has said in countless meetings with me that he wants everyone to look at this in six week intervals and not look at months ahead. Regardless of whether we return in August or not, we will eventually be returning, so I am using this as an opportunity to try to address all safety concerns that you may have. With that said, I am not an expert in this. This is new and unprecedented for everyone involved. I ask for your continued patience and your understanding.
I am doing my best to represent all of you, but much of this is beyond the local level to remedy. I will be in close contact with our UNISERV Rep and our NJEA attorneys when need be, but a lot of your individual issues need to be handled as individual issues. This document is meant to address some of the larger issues that many of you email, call, or post about every day.
This is by no means meant to be a communication that answers all your questions/concerns. It is just a start!
I thank you for your support.
These links below can help answer questions and give our members some incite about the ongoing issue of COVID 19 in our schools and state.
Important forms about Covid screening and Leave process
WTEA donates to Long Valley families
The WTEA collected and donated $1,115 To LVCAP. These funds will help families in need of Home Heating Oil. Mrs. Woodring was very appreciative and grateful for this donation. “THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE GENEROUS DONATION FROM THE WTEA, YOURSELF, AND OTHERS. REST ASSURED WE WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR FAMILIES WHO USE THE PANTRY.”
WTEA is proud of it’s members for this donation.
WTEA MEMBER GOES THE EXTRA MILE FOR “HARVEY SURVIVORS!!”
8th Grade LVMS Math teacher, Melissa Udelsman, organized a huge collection (540lbs) including school supplies, toiletries, and linens for a school district in Texas. This school district was damaged by Hurricane Harvey a few weeks ago. Melissa showed her true colors and great “Moral Fiber” by getting fellow LVMS staff members and students to donate anything school related that could help this district in their time of need. Mr. Myles is the Texas school teacher who will be receiving this donation and is extremely excited and appreciative of this act of true generosity.
Mrs. Udelsman would like to thank everyone who made any donation or helped with this process.
The WTEA is extremely proud of Melissa’s efforts in this charitable collection. She is not just a great math teacher but a great human being with a big heart. Great job Melissa Udelsman. (There are pictures below of the collection.)