On Friday, the Jefferson Federation of Teachers sent the following letter to Dr. Gray to highlight the concerns of JFT members and request that the district immediately move to virtual learning. You can read this letter in it's entirety below:
December 18, 2020
Dr. Gray, I am writing to you in response to a survey conducted by the Jefferson Federation of Teachers concerning issues involving COVID 19. The survey raised many concerns regarding personal safety of the students, employees, and overall safety on several of our campuses, virtual teaching and learning, substituting for colleagues, various personnel being pulled to cover different positions at the school sites, while also being held accountable for their own duties, and most importantly the fatigue of those continuing to educate and ensure the safety of our students.
- 79% of employees surveyed, in general do not feel safe at their school site.
- 82% are in favor of transitioning to 100% virtual learning.
- 47% of surveyed employees are substituting daily/weekly in their school building.
- 31% of employees surveyed are not substituting [this is because paraprofessionals, ESL, MT are being pulled to cover classes]
- Paraprofessionals are being pulled from their students to cover classes.
- Physical Education classes are cancelled because the PE teachers are covering classes.
- Itinerant teachers are also being pulled to cover classes.
- Employees are being pulled from Central Office to attend to classrooms.
- Sped and ESL employees, as well as office staff and custodians are covering “split” classes.
- Students are sent to the gym or library because there are not enough teachers.
- IEPs are not being adhered to; due to paraprofessionals or teachers covering other classes or fulfilling other duties.
- Employees are exhausted trying to balance all of their duties while also having to pitch in to cover for absent colleagues.
- Due to the above-mentioned issues, there is not enough time to complete IEPs that are due February 2021, yet; teachers are expected to have them completed by December 21, 2020.
- Kenner Discovery, an Ochsner charter school, made the decision to move to virtual learning. We have a partnership with Ochsner, why are we not considering virtual instruction, as well?