Superintendent Message on Amended Teacher Agreement

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Christine Gordillo
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Superintendent Message on Amended Teacher Agreement

Postby Christine Gordillo » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:36 am

This message was sent to Lakewood City Schools families on Nov. 18,2020

Dear Families:

I first wanted to express my sincere appreciation to our parents, caregivers, staff and community members for your continued support of our students over these past months.

During this pandemic, our focus has been to provide the best instruction possible in as safe a manner as possible. This remains our focus.

We have listened to the voices of our community and recognize that our families are in different places and have different needs. Some passionately want the students to return to in-person instruction. Others, with equal passion, are advocating for remote instruction. As Board President Emma Petrie-Barcelona said at the Nov. 16 board meeting, “we must respect each other and recognize that our experiences (in regard to the pandemic) might not be shared with everyone else.”

Earlier this evening, at an emergency meeting, the Lakewood Board of Education approved an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding between the board and the Lakewood Teachers Association (LTA). The modified agreement will allow the District the flexibility to potentially bring students back into the buildings prior to the end of the first semester (Dec. 17) and provides the district ability to make adjustments to our in-person instruction as needed.

We respect and appreciate that families have different opinions in regard to in-person instruction. As such, we will offer THREE instructional options so that families may choose the option that works best for them:

Option #1 – In-person instruction (date to be determined)
Option #2 – Remote instruction (with current teacher for remainder of semester)
Option #3 – eLearning LKWD (students currently in this model will remain for the rest of the first semester)

If in-person instruction begins before Winter Break, students choosing to stay remote will remain with their current Lakewood City Schools teacher through Dec. 17.

I want to thank the leadership of LTA and my administrative team for working together to come to an agreement on a plan that will best serve the needs of all our students. I also want to thank the Board of Education for providing its steady leadership.

All decisions regarding the timing of returning to in-person instruction will be made after reviewing the latest information from healthcare experts and relevant data. This means that the District will not automatically offer in-person instruction beginning November 30. All factors will be carefully weighed and considered, including the Stay-at-Home Advisory issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health today.
As we all continue to navigate this difficult situation, we respectfully ask that community members remain open to the perspective of others. We ask that they thoughtfully consider that what may be best for one family, may not be best for another family. The three options provided by the school district are designed to provide each family with the option that they believe is best for their situation.

We will share more information with you in the near future regarding the details of our in-person instruction timeline. Again, I want to thank you, our families and community members, for the many ways you have been supporting the students of Lakewood.

We are grateful for your partnership.

Respectfully,

Mike Barnes
Superintendent


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