FMTA Teacher Council Meeting Information - May 11, 2020
Dear FMTA Council:
I hope this email finds you well! I think we're all feeling pretty exhausted right now as this crisis drags on with no end in sight. I hope you have received the expressions of gratitude you deserve during this Teacher Appreciation Week!
Just a reminder that we have a meeting scheduled for Monday, May 11 @ 3:30 (since no one is driving to the meeting). There's a Board of Education meeting at 6:00. We're expecting some tense exchanges; it would be good if some of us can virtually attend. I will send out an agenda and a video conference invitation this weekend. Please let me know if you have agenda items.
Some important issues to address prior to the meeting:
Board of Education Election: The election will be held in June. As is true every year, there are three seats to fill. Two of the current BOE members are apparently running again, but Tim Crisafulli is not. This is very worrisome, as rumor has it that someone does intend to run who may not be a friend to teachers. We are definitely going to need friends, especially if we find ourselves in a distance learning situation in the fall. Economic realities will hit our district, and we may become targets of community frustrations. To run, a candidate needs to let Sarah Gridley know at the DO by Monday, May 11. That's it! No petition needed! I had a really good candidate who can no longer run. Please please please encourage someone you know and trust to run!
Board of Education Meeting: At the last regular Board meeting, two members expressed frustration that more teachers aren't providing synchronous learning opportunities, etc. Mary Coughlin and Dr. Tice explained why, but the conversation has reportedly continued in other venues and has the potential to become a big problem. I'm afraid there may be some public comments--and they might not be entirely complimentary to teachers. I think we may need to get out ahead of this and am considering sending a letter to the BOE in advance of the meeting--or even ) addressing the Board during public comments on behalf of FMTA. I'm going to talk to Andy Voigt about it tomorrow, but I'd welcome your thoughts on the matter. I would be emphasizing why synchronous learning is not fair or possible for many of our students and their families, that online instruction simplay cannot replace in-person instruction (with examples?), that a one-size-fits-all model can't work. It's also important to let the Board know we're listening--something they might not realize while streaming their meetings on YouTube. What do you think?
Budget Vote: The district budget vote will be by mail this year, and the district is VERY worried that people won't mail in their ballots. If our budget doesn't pass, it will really hurt us. We may face personnel cuts, etc. We may be pressured to reopen our contract. We are going to work really hard to make sure our members who are FM residents vote!
I hope your week winds down in the most pleasant way possible. For those of you who are moms, Happy Mother's Day! I am so grateful to get to work with all of you. I can't imagine trying to make it through this challenging year without this stellar, smart, dedicated team! Thank you, and stay well!