As Orange County contends with its third COVID-19 surge, hospitalizations may peak in the first few weeks of September.
Orange County health officials provided updates on the local response to the pandemic during two virtual news conferences this week organized by county Supervisor Katrina Foley.
NATIONWIDE—AFT President Randi Weingarten will travel the length and breadth of the country this month to encourage students and staff to return to full-time, in-person school by helping educators and families create safe and welcoming learning environments where kids can recover and thrive.
Message from 5/18/21 School Board meeting:I would first like to show appreciation to all certificated staff. They have worked tirelessly all year long through every transition from Distance Learning, to Hybrid, to what we are doing now. They worked outside of their duties to place markers on playgrounds, created ways to keep kids safe and distanced, and made sure that there were very few outbreaks in their classroom. Our SDC classes at both the secondary and elementary levels have had the most exposure with some classes shutting down this year. Their dedication to their students' learning and IEP goals has been nothing less than exceptional. We thank all of those workers for being full time all year long. Sacrificing everything on behalf of your students I would also like to thank all of my school nurses who have been diligent in preserving the health of our students. Contact tracing until the wee hours as well as doing their normal daily duties. We thank you nurses for all of your work.All of these workers have done nothing but worked tirelessly for students all year. SDC has been in person all year, Elementary has been in person since September, Secondary November. Prior to that, these professionals have made contact with parents, have created new uses and ways to deliver curriculum, have spent their summers and free time trying to better their craft and reach out to students. These employees are my heroes. They have done all of this with very little communication. They have made every transition happen even though the materials needed for that transition did not show up on time. They did this despite the media and some groups who made degrading comments on their work and misrepresenting the work that they do. All of this because they love their students and their job.Thank you, certificated staff. NMFT honors you, your work, your health, and your dedication ... See MoreSee Less
This is what we do! We give a spark to our students and ignite a fire within them. Even when our light is dim, we keep receiving fuel from those we have touched in our classrooms. Happy Staff Appreciation Week! ... See MoreSee Less
March 13, 2021, marked a year of our experience of the Pandemic. Throughout this time you have endured many obstacles and experiences to get to this point of the year. You have gone through the reopening of schools process, experienced the summer covid surge, experienced the school board's decisions of giving secondary students incompletes and distance learning. As workers, you have changed formats, platforms, and curriculum. You have sheltered in place, reached out to families, consoled those who were grieving, and spoke out on behalf of your students. You did all of this because you care about your students, you care about your profession and you care about your community.During the reopening process, we have had legislation that forced us to do engagement logs, we have had safety guidelines that have changed on a regular basis, we have had varying safety enforcement within the cities where we worked and reside. Not only was our local standards shifting from numbers to colors, to hospitalization rates, our national landscape was also changing with the varying standards daily. While all of this was occurring, Elementary came back to school on September 29, 2020, for a half-day hybrid model. We were uncertain if all of the HVAC filters would be upgraded on time or if any of the safety measures would be in place. By the time Secondary came back for their full-day hybrid, much of the HVAC was in place, and the Air Purifiers were added to our classrooms. The HVAC system stretched to its limits not only due to Covid but with the fires that affected the air quality in our area.This is where we saw the unity within our union thrive. You as caring individuals helped those colleagues who needed shelter during the fires. You covered and helped those colleagues who had to evacuate from their homes. During this entire crisis, our certificated colleagues have stood up for each other and housed one another.We had a record number of people on medical and personal leave during the covid crisis. Many needed to preserve the health of their loved ones and themselves. Many of you during the deadliest surge of the pandemic had to quarantine themselves due to exposure either at home or at school.In January, when we had the deadliest surges in US history, you worked as hard as you could to avoid students learning loss. During this time, secondary schools had to go into distance learning because the number of positive cases on campus affected the essential operations of the schools. Elementary, who experienced their highest numbers of positive covid cases in students, were able to operationally function while observing the steadily rising rates of infection.As we come from the epic surges from that time, the state and national standards for safety and children change yet again to allow us to go into a 100% model for elementary and an increased instructional model for secondary.Throughout every mountain and obstacle, there is one thing that is constant… YOU. YOU are the ones who have prevailed during this crisis. YOU are the ones that have educated these students no matter the obstacle. YOU are the ones who managed to stay healthy during a time when it is a challenge. YOU are the ones who have always put the community and students first in spite of your own personal safety.It is YOUR passion that is bringing us out of this pandemic and it is your strength that has prevailed this entire time. Thank you for persevering through the mountains that were laid before us. Thank you for keeping calm and professional on behalf of your students when society and the community may have been critical. Thank you for keeping yourself healthy throughout this pandemic and maintaining a standard for safety for our students.Thank you for helping one another. Thank you for helping your colleagues during fires. Thank you for helping colleagues when they had safety issues in their classrooms. Thank you for helping those colleagues at your school site who were on leave. Thank you for helping those RTI and Substitute teachers who had to take over for them. Thank you for supporting and speaking up for those colleagues who have had a loss in their families. Thank you for honoring those colleagues with whom we have lost. Thank you for showing unity in the midst of a crisis.As we reflect on the many obstacles we have overcome this year, all I can say is “Well Done”. You have shown the strength, fortitude, and drive that many should look up to. Even Through the toughest of moments you did your work and have done it well. Anyone working with you should be proud of what you have accomplished. You are the best group of certificated employees that I have ever had the pleasure to work with.As we come from spring break to welcome yet another change in format, please know that in spite of the newest mountains. You have and will always achieve because the drive and the magnificence are innate in you. Thank you for your service to our children, our community, and our district.Sincerely.Tamara FairbanksNMFT President ... See MoreSee Less
President’s Message from Last Night’s School Board Meeting This week is parent conference week for our elementary schools. It’s an opportunity for teachers to discuss student achievement, academic supports, and hold strategic and focused conversations about each child. Throughout this year, teachers had to dispel misinformation, stop rumors, and remind parents we are in fact conducting In-Person Instruction, unlike many Districts in the news that have not re-opened for live instruction. Our teachers were looking forward to having conversations with parents centered on what students are being taught and student progress NOT the politics of distance learning vs in-person instruction. This opportunity was hijacked yesterday. At 4:47 PM NMUSD sent out an email that shifted the course of our parent conferences away from the students, to politics. This communication from the Superintendent informed parents that the District is currently considering increasing in-person instruction at our Elementary Schools. Teachers were bombarded with questions and emails about what increased instruction would look like. There were questions about social distancing, lunch, recess, and other activities involving student groups and shared materials. Parents were also concerned about adjustments that they would have to make with their employers related to “drop off” and “pick up” times. Clearly, teachers were caught off guard and were unable to give meaningful responses to parents, as they had only received the same message moments before. Some teachers were informed of the Superintendent's message during their evening conferences. NMUSD, you have placed a great amount of stress on your employees. You have robbed them of the opportunity to have student-focused conversations. You have forced our principals to scramble to do damage control knowing a plan has not been developed as of yet. You have forgotten the sacrifices that all of our employees have made in order to teach during some of the scariest and deadliest surges. You did this to save face at the expense of your employees. Your employees deserve better than this. We deserve an employer who actually creates plans before announcing them to the public. We deserve an employer who looks at all of the logistical and operational details to make our work systematically happen. We deserve an employer who provides us with details prior to making announcements to the public. We deserve an employer who values our rapport with parents and trusts us enough to communicate the PLAN! WE DESERVE BETTER! Tamara FairbanksN-MFT President ... See MoreSee Less
Wall Street and the CEOs didn't build this country. The middle class did. And the middle class was built by unions. Unions built the middle-class. And working families and unions will be the drivers of our success once again when we get through this.
Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.
JOHN F. KENNED
Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Unions have been fighting the 1 percent vs 99 percent fight for more than 100 years. Now the rest of us are learning that this fight is also OUR fight.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
““Upon the subject of education … I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in.”
There are vivid memories from my childhood - what we had to go through because of low wages and the conditions, basically because there was no union. I suppose, if I wanted to be fair, I could say that I'm trying to settle a personal score. I could dramatize it by saying that I want to bring social justice to farm workers.
"When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don't speak out ain't nobody going to speak out for you."