LAUSD food centers will stay open under “shelter at home” protocols
Volunteers handed out more than 90,000 meals on Day 2 of the LAUSD food centers, a huge jump over the previous day and a sign of how deep the need is. LAUSD’s student food centers will stay open under the new “shelter at home” protocols because they provide an essential service to support families in need and to keep people healthy to stave off the virus. The large number of people accessing this service means that it is critically important that all safety measures be followed rigorously at all 60 locations. We've been informed that all staff now have access to masks. The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in partnership with the LA County Office of Emergency Management will support these student food centers. UTLA will continue to monitor the implementation of safety protocols to protect both the volunteers and the families accessing the services.
As of now, UTLA members are not expected to report to school sites during this two-week closure. This applies to all categories of UTLA members, school-based or not. Members are expected to support the continuity of learning remotely — not at school sites.
Exemptions from working
Who is exempted from working during this time?
Nobody is exempted at this time, as it is not a work stoppage. That being said, UTLA members are not required to report to a work site at this time.
If you're sick
Will I get paid if I am under quarantine or out sick?
District officials have indicated that they intend to pay all school staff who are not able to work because they are under quarantine or out ill.
Do I need a doctor’s note if I am out sick?
No, the district has said that you do not need a doctor’s note during this time.
What if I am out sick with an illness other than the coronavirus?
You should stay home. The district has indicated that you will not need to use sick time to do so.
Traveled outside the US and what to do
Should I stay home from work if I have recently traveled outside the US?
Yes, if you have visited any countries outside the US in the past 14 days, you should not come to work. Request a substitute. You will not have to take sick time to stay home and you will be paid your regular salary.
UTLA’s 10-point Common Good Community demands
What is the status of UTLA’s 10-point Common Good Community demands?
We are working with district, city, state officials to push a broad-based common good agenda that assists our communities, not just in a crisis but in an ongoing, systematic way.
Early Education PD & resources
Should educators at Early Education Centers complete the PD that LAUSD announced last week?
Yes, the district has clarified that educators at Early Education Centers are required to complete the four two-hour professional development sessions outlined in the @Home Continuity of Learning memo.
LAUSD says that the PD will be geared toward EEC teachers using the California Early Child Online training provided through the CDE. Through MyPLN, EEC teachers can register for the California Preschool Learning Foundations—Social Emotional Development, and the 3R’s of early education: Resilience, Relationship, and Readiness (each of the 3Rs training is approximately two hours). Upon completion of the training, teachers will need to go back to MyPLN and complete the reflection so they can receive their certificate. EEC teachers with questions on navigating the online courses can email LAUSD Early Childhood Education Division staff members Maribel Zuniga at email@example.com or Lisette Sepulveda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educators have until April 17 to complete the PD. The district originally said that the four PD sessions had to be completed by April 2, but after educators raised concerns and UTLA took those to the district, LAUSD extended that deadline. There is no specific daily window to get them done — the PD is self-directed and can be completed outside of traditional work hours, at a time that accommodates your own family obligations.
Are there special resources for Early Education families?
The LAUSD Early Childhood Education Division has posted home learning resources for our youngest learners at https://achieve.lausd.net/eced (click on “Home Learning Resources”). The resources available for parents include interactive home activities, worksheets, and read-alouds for children to watch. LAUSD is adding new resources daily as EEC teachers send videos of themselves demonstrating activities with their students.
Classroom Teachers - What To Do
If I’m a classroom teacher, what should I do?
This is not a work stoppage. Teachers should be in communication with their administrators, parents and students to provide a continuity of learning by using a variety of online resources and communications without being able to be with your students in person.
What happens if I am a Prob 2 educator?
Prob 2 educators who were not non-reelected by March 15 for next school year will automatically become permanent on the first workday of the 2020-2021 school year. Prob 1 educators who were not non-reelected by March 15 for next school year will automatically become Prob 2 on the first workday of the 2020-2021 school year.
Special Education IEP
What are the guidelines for IEPs?
We are tracking what guidelines come from the federal government on IEPs. We know the lack of clarity has been stressful for our special education teachers and families.
Special Ed memo to RSTs: We've heard from many Resource Specialist Teachers about the tedious and time-consuming requests in the new memo from the LAUSD Special Education Division about documenting distance service sessions. We have reached out to the district and will push back on these unnecessary change
Access to School and Classroom
Will I have access to my school and classroom?
Yes. Access to campus should be coordinated with your administrator. Additionally, any valuables should be locked up.
School Year Closure Timeline
Will the school year be extended to make up for the closure?
That has been mentioned as an option but it would need much more discussion.
School year: Governor Newsom and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond both announced this week that schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year. This has not been publicly confirmed by LAUSD.
How should I communicate with my students?
We encourage all educators to check in with their students regularly to ease anxiety and to support their ongoing learning while at home. As always, adhere to the code of conduct with students, which includes not conducting individual virtual meetings.
If schools are closed, are we going to have to engage with students from home via online chats, Skype, etc?
We have concerns about access to wifi, equipment, and much-needed training. We are asking that the online resources be self-directed for students.
How should I be working with my students under these conditions?
Using a variety of electronic and online resources, stay in touch with students and parents, and be ready to update what you’re asking them to do. The district is willing to be flexible on this; there are many members with creative ideas who are communicating across the city.
How will our students be looked after, if parents or caregivers cannot stay with them at home?
Los Angeles Unified will open 40 Family Resource Centers starting Wednesday, March 18, to provide a system of support for all children grades K-12, as needed. The centers will be staffed weekdays from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM. LAUSD students will have priority for Resource Center services.
Grading: The grading window has been pushed back to April 14. The state has said that students should be held harmless — in other words, they can’t get a lower grade than they had before the closure.
PE minutes for elementary schools
Am I required to submit verification of teaching the state-required PE minutes?
Elementary teachers received an automatic reminder this week to submit verification of teaching the state-required PE minutes. Our state affiliates, the CTA and CFT, are working on getting a waiver for this requirement, which we expect will happen. Even if PE is built into a distance learning lesson plan, it is very difficult to certify that the PE has taken place
IEP and Graduation
If schools don’t reopen, what about grading, employee evaluations, IEP deadlines, graduations, etc.?
Public education is an incredibly complicated ecosystem. There is much we don’t know and won’t know for a while. The uncertainty is stressful, but it’s our reality right now. Keep posting your questions on Facebook or emailing email@example.com. Even if we can’t answer them now, we need to know what the concerns are out there.
Lacking School supplies
What if my school does not have soap, sanitizer, and paper towels?
The district is distributing weekly care packages of sanitizer, soap, and paper towels. We are calling for a designated team at each school to handle distribution of the weekly care packages. If your school is either not receiving these materials or not distributing them, call the LAUSD hotline at (213) 443-1300. The hotline is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If the entire district gets shut down, who will process our payroll?
LAUSD has set up a contingency plan for payroll and other essential operations so that they continue uninterrupted.
Will school staff be paid for the closure?
The district has committed from the beginning to pay all employees during the duration of the school closures, including auxiliary pay. Additionally, inasmuch as this is not a break in service, salary paid during this time will qualify for STRS service credit.
If schools are closed longer than two weeks, will employees continue to be paid?
Gavin Newsom has pledged to continue to fund schools at normal levels throughout the closure, which allows employees to continue to be paid.
Will I get dinged on my evaluation if I am out sick?
Administrators have been instructed not to use absences negatively on evaluations. Also, for students, LAUSD has suspended attendance campaigns and incentives so as not to encourage ill children to attend school.
HHS Staff & Home Visits
Are Human Services professionals being required to do home visits at this time?
No Health and Human Services professionals are being required to do home visits. We expect to get more clarity soon from the district on assignments. We know there are a lot of unanswered questions for our HHS members, and we're working on a specialized FAQ.
Do I have to submit grades? What about state testing?
There is no requirement to submit grades this week. The grading window has been moved to April 1 and may be moved further depending on the crisis. LAUSD confirmed no state tests will be given in this time and UTLA is pushing for a cancellation of all state testing.
Two week lesson plans
My principal is telling me to prepare two weeks of lesson plans. Is that accurate?
The district has instructed principals to be flexible during this crisis. Preparing two weeks of detailed lesson plans is not feasible. Teachers should review resources (online and in print) with students and make sure all students have used the sign-on to access online platforms. The district's Teacher Resources flyer suggests that teachers consider projects that can be done independently, such as reading logs, book reviews, and journaling. The district has committed to creating the time to do this work, including through grade level/department meeting time, coverage time, partnering with teacher colleagues, advisories, and homerooms. Principals have been advised to raise teacher copy quotas as necessary.
I’m still being pressured to finish two weeks of lesson plans. Do I need to do this?
At this point, there has been no clear directive from the district requiring detailed lesson plans for two weeks. However, we encourage members to use current available resources to support the continuity of learning of our students.
Are AP exams being postponed?
The College Board is looking into allowing students to take AP exams at home.
Any updates on testing?
We are advocating for all mandated standardized testing to be canceled. Newsom signed an executive order, pending federal approval, canceling all standardized testing this year.
Newsom talked about parents home schooling students under a long school closure. Does that apply to LAUSD?
Of course parents are incredible allies in educating students, but in LAUSD the intention is to keep up the continuity of learning between educators and students.
Family Resource Centers
Why were plans canceled for the Family Resource Centers?
Changes in guidelines for containing the COVID-19 virus prevented LAUSD from opening the centers. In their place will be 60 drive-up food distribution centers opening on Wednesday, March 18, to provide free meals to LAUSD students.
Volunteering for Resource Centers
I signed up to staff a Resource Center. What happens now?
First of all, thank you for being one of the 4,500 people who answered the call to staff the centers—those are big numbers and show the commitment of the public education community in LA. As far as signing up, LAUSD is considering people who signed up for a resource center as signing up for a food distribution center. Be patient. Not everyone will be called right away. Volunteers will work from 6 am to 11 am and will receive a $100 stipend every day, in addition to their regular pay. Remember, even in the places across the world that went into shelter in place or dramatic social isolation protocols to flatten the curve, food distribution centers continued to operate. They are essential.
What is the plan to keep volunteers and families picking up food safe at the food distribution centers?
Safety is a top priority. Specific safety protocols,deep and constant cleaning protocols, and social distancing measures will be in place, including a plan for volunteers to place food for pick up on a table instead of handing items over directly. Families will then drive up to the table and pick up the items.
Do the food distribution centers need volunteers?
No, no more volunteers are needed at this time.
How To Help if you're a UTLA member
I am a UTLA member and I am the primary caregiver for my family or have school-aged children at home. How can I help?
Staying home with your children or supporting family such as elderly relatives is a priority, along with supporting the continuous learning with your students, as outlined above.
UTLA during shutdown
Will UTLA be closed during the LAUSD shutdown?
UTLA will be open, with employees working remotely. Staff will be available during working hours to communicate with members as usual. Call 213-487-5560 if you need help.
How will UTLA communicate with members?
We will continue to post updates to our website and send emails as needed. We’ll also be streaming updates live on social media.