Thanks to a reader, we were sent a copy of the Chancellor's Preparing for 2020-21 School Year video for principals. From the video, we learn the now-familiar protocols for what to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19 in a school. The classroom will be shut down for at least a day. While this is inadequate and has been dissected and criticized here, we finally learn from the video some of what the school day will constitute. Dr. Linda Chen is the Chief Academic Officer of the Department of Education. Prior to introducing Chen on the video, the Chancellor pointed out that before this guidance was released, it had been reviewed by the UFT and other advisory groups.
Dr. Chen talked in some "edubabble" about core instruction, social-emotional learning and such but eventually, she discussed some substance about the actual school day when she referred to programming students and teachers. She said they are working closely with CSA and UFT. She reviewed parameters and flexibilities:
●There will be a daily 30-minute instructional coordination period for teachers before the instructional day begins for students. The time will be used for teachers to plan together. Daily planning periods will help teachers ensure the continuity of learning. Combination of in-person, blended, and full remote. Teachers who are working together to support a group of students.
●Teaching for remote students will include synchronous and asynchronous instruction for all students. Synchronous instruction will be daily and tied to asynchronous learning activities. For students in blended learning, synchronous and asynchronous should complement each other to create a meaningful learning experience for students.
●To maximize instructional time, lunch will occur for students in class during one of the scheduled instructional periods like breakfast in the classroom. Teachers will still have a duty-free lunch period.
●6 hour and 50 minute day for teachers.
●Preps can be at the end of the day. Agreement that teacher preps could be 30 minutes that could be done remotely.
●Class schedules and schedules for synchronous instruction should be posted.
●Time built-in for 20 minutes of teacher office hours to communicate virtually with students and families.
Here is my question to our readers: Did anyone from the UFT discuss these rather significant contract modifications with you?