We told the city and the DOE that our high school members needed only one day this week in school buildings to set up their classrooms and programs for safe in-person instruction. We are happy to report that the DOE issued revised guidance today on the staff workday for March 18 and 19. Staff with in-person programs cannot be required to report both days. Principals, however, have the discretion to bring staff in on one of the two days. Staff may choose to report both days, but principals may not require them to do so.
Tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday marks the first day back inside your school building since November for many of you. We understand this transition may be challenging and have been working ahead of your return to ensure your safety. Still, we are counting on you to be the eyes and ears of the building and to alert us immediately if you see any issues upon your return.
We have already reached out to your chapter leaders, and your COVID-19 building response team will be making sure the processes and procedures are in place for safety protocols, personal protective equipment and other COVID-related concerns. The building response team consists of members of your school staff who take on the following roles: BRT leader, special needs coordinator, emergency officer, assembly point coordinator, recorder, school nurse, custodian and school safety agent(s).
In addition to this school-based building response team, the UFT has sent health and safety liaisons to check that the PPE and safety protocols we established in September remain in place at your building.
High schools will be observing the more stringent in-school testing regimen that the city agreed to adopt in December when elementary and District 75 schools reopened:
●Mandatory weekly testing: Twenty percent of all in-person students and staff in all open school buildings will be randomly tested on a weekly basis.
●Student consent: No student will be allowed to stay in school for in-person learning without a testing consent form signed by their parent or guardian.
Answers to many questions on building safety can be found on our Safety FAQ, which is updated regularly to reflect the latest information.
Please alert your chapter leader and call our special safety hotline at 212-331-6317 to report unsafe conditions or protocols that are not working correctly at your school.
Your devotion to your students and your flexibility this school year are unmatched, and you deserve to feel safe in your workplace. Working together, we will make sure our school communities remain safe.