Questions sent to us regarding COVID-19 and school closures from members:
Is VTA in negotiations with the District for a side letter?
I am “concerned” what we mean by “closed until further notice.” “My only concern is opening the schools prematurely.” “My concern is what documentation do I need if we are to open school and I am still at high risk for COVID 19?
VTA and VUSD Signed an MOU on 3/18/20 - part of that agreement was to continue talking. When the governor makes the decision to return to school sites VTA will be part of the discussion to insure conditions for VTA members and students are safe. In addition, we will do our best to ensure there is adequate lead time for our members that have responsibilities to care for children, parents or other personal situations. As a community we haven’t experienced this sort of disruption in close to a century
I am very concerned about the demands on ALL EMPLOYEES during this school closure. What if we can’t get everything done? Regarding the 7.5 hour work day in the MOU, can we do more and will we be paid for extra time worked
Teachers spend countless hours working more than they are paid for. Just like we often spend our own money on supplies for our students. We will only be paid for extra time worked if the work is requested and approved by admin. To avoid confusion, always request in email confirmation of extra pay
What will happen to my long term sub
Long term subs will continue to work and be paid
Are we still accruing sick time while being off/on call?
Yes, but you will also be charged a sick day if you need to take a day due to illness, necessity or personal business.
There were many questions and comments early on about contacting parents and students. About using video conferencing with students and parents. What are teachers allowed to do
Teachers are concerned over equity for their students. How will we be able to provide the best possible education to our ELLs/SPED/MainStream/Preschool/Elementary/Middle/HS/Adult Ed - (ALL OF OUR STUDENTS)
The District is implementing a committee to address the needs of the various special needs groups (IEP, 504, ELD, etc) and has provided technology and information for all students for free as we transition to a virtual platform
Will teacher service credit be jeopardized during this time that we are working remotely?
At this point STRS Credit has not been impacted as we are still working
It concerns me that employees in high risk groups are in physical contact with parents when handing out devices. This puts them at risk for infection.
Our MOU on 3/18/20 specifically addresses this. Unit members who have a doctor’s note or written self certification indicating a higher risk for serious illness from coronavirus because of age, a serious long-term health problem, or otherwise, shall not be required to report to a worksite during school closures. Sites limited workers to volunteers and limited the number of volunteers at each station, provided masks, gloves and maintained social distancing when possible (technology pick up was drive through), and provided disinfecting wipes and/or handwashing stations
Do the circumstances like this current school interruption cancel/change our contract
Our current contract is still in place. We have added some specific language in the form of the MOU on 3/18/20. While the district does have some leeway due to the current “State of Emergency”, Governor Newsom has implied that districts are not allowed to just impose working conditions. VTA also has an understanding with the district that we will continue to bargain and discuss work related issues.
Is the standard disability insurance still going to be open April and May?
Yes. Open enrollment will still be going on through May 15th, 2020. Visit the Disability section here on the website to sign up.
What is the status of Spring Coaches Stipends, will they be paid in full or pro-rated
As of now, stipends are still being paid
Will members have to use any sick leave time during the school closures
Yes and No. If you are currently on a leave that utilizes your sick leave, then yes. As we begin working in the virtual environment, there will be days when you cannot log on to work as you might be sick for that day. At that time, you would use a sick day and record your absence in SmartFind. The MOU outlines other types of leaves relating to COVID 19. Laws could continue to change regarding any requirement for utilizing sick leave. If you have any questions regarding your personal situation, feel free to contact HR and we will review your situation with you and provide you with current information relating to available paid leaves.
Will there be any disruption to my health, disability, or other insurance coverage
What are my responsibilities during this time with respect to student IEP's, 504's, and other special programs?
The District is compiling a committee to address these concerns. As of now, teachers can be flexible with time, but other accommodations may not be able to be met and are not the teacher's responsibility. District plan comin
What about teachers/staff/students who need to get personal or necessary items out of the classrooms or sites?
Please contact your site administrator who will review your need and follow current safety protocols for accessing the site.
How are technology deficits for students and staff going to be handled?
The district has put a technology request form on the Virtual Vista link to help gather information on need. They will then formulate a plan that will adhere to public health guidelines to get the technology out to those who need it. Students will start receiving devices on April 6th. A professional development plan is currently being created. This will most likely also start on April 6th. All staff and students will receive support for devices and programs.
Will we have to make up days at the end of the year?
Not at this time. If there is a need to add days to the end of the school year, both VTA and VUSD will negotiate those days.
What are online learning expectations in the future for teachers?
The District is working on Vista Virtual as the District online education delivery model. A Vista Virtual Handbook is being developed and will become available by April 6th. This handbook could be updated at any time as we move forward with online instruction. All staff will be notified of any changes and a link to the live handbook via Google Doc. Tentative roll out date for Virtual Vista is 4/6/2020
Will teachers be asked to grade the online work which is being launched?
Anything pushed out to students at this time, through 4/6/20, is to be considered enrichment and not necessarily grades. After Virtual Vista launch, these guidelines will change.
Parents are reaching out to teachers and asking for their username and login for cloud connect, especially since the younger students do not necessarily have their numbers memorized, is that ok to give that to them?
This information will be provided by the site.
Can teachers take District Computers home?
Yes. They are needed for instruction, record keeping, and grades. Contact your site if you do not have yours.