Placer County Educators Band Together for School Safety
Sent Letter To Placer County Office of Education Superintendent and Placer County Health Director To Not Endanger Students
PLACER COUNTY-The presidents of 13 Placer County California Teachers Association locals issued this letter on behalf of the educators and students, who are served in Placer County’s TK-12 public schools, to the Placer County Office of Education Superintendent and Placer County Health Director to urge them to follow new guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Additionally, educators are concerned about the expansion of in-person instruction when the positive case rate for COVID-19 in the county exceeds the CDPH guidance of 25 per 100,000. Teachers are requesting a meeting to discuss concerns and provide input on steps that must be taken to keep our students, teachers, and community safe during this unprecedented global pandemic.
Since the beginning, educators have said that schools should only open for in-person instruction when it is safe to do so. Educators expect transparency and collaboration to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and community.
“Many Placer County educators, TK-12, are teaching in-person despite the dangers of COVID19. There is no regular testing, we question whether the new CDPH mandate will be followed, and vaccinating educators seems to be a long way off in Placer County. A safe education setting has always been the primary goal of educators. Even if the buildings were or are closed, education continues. Working together with educators is the fastest route to returning to a safe classroom for educators and students,” said Eureka Union Teachers Association President Kelly Lewis.
“Together, we hope we can find the safest solution possible so the safety of our students, educators, and staff is kept as a top priority. This has taken a complete team effort to make sure we are consistent in our decisions to keep everyone safe,” said Roseville Teachers Association President Lisa Shrider.
“The Tahoe Truckee Education Association (TTEA) supports reopening schools when it is safe to do so. We must use transparent and well-researched evidence-based metrics supported by solid public health science to make decisions about what is safe for all members of our community. Just because we are legally allowed to do something does not always mean it is the right or safe choice,” said TTEA President Jessica DeLallo.
“Excluding labor leadership from conversations that include Placer County Health and district superintendents is ridiculous. Having all three stakeholder groups involved in the discussion would translate to a more transparent and united vision in dealing with COVID-19 related issues in education,” said Associated Teachers of Placer President Mike Sabins.
“Educator, student, and community member safety should be looked at first when making decisions to bring more students and staff onto school campus,” said Association of Colfax Educators President Craig McAtee.
“Teaching and learning have never stopped since the pandemic began. Educators continue to utilize new tools, platforms, and strategies, but safety must be the priority moving forward to ensure that when this crisis is over, we all continue in the careers that we are so deeply passionate about and dedicated to,” said Auburn Union Teachers Association President Lysa Sassman.
"Education is essential and so are the educators in our schools! From day one, educators wanted to be in front of students doing what we love, but we CANNOT do this without the most protective safety measures in place. Only through a collaborative effort can we as a county provide the education our students deserve, and the safety our staff and students need,” said Rocklin Teachers Professional Association President Travis Mougeotte.
“The safety of our students, staff, and community must continue to be a priority. We are urging for collaboration with educators to ensure the safety of everyone is met,” said Dry Creek Teachers Association President Mona DeArcos.
“Being in the classroom with all students having the option of in-person instruction is a great thing, but educators in the classroom must be a part of the direct conversation with the Placer County Health Director and Superintendent of Education, not a pawn in the process. It is reckless to not include educators in these weekly meetings exclusive to superintendents regarding the health and safety of the students, staff, and local communities,” said American Bear Education Association President Juli Longtin.
“Safety is not expensive...It is priceless,” said Loomis Teachers Association Vice President Deanne Opdahl. “The safety of all students, staff members, and members of the community is our number one priority. We believe that all CDPH recommendations should be followed consistently throughout the county,” said Bowman Ackerman Teachers Association President Caine Sussman.
“As the experts in education, we appreciate the opportunity to participate in discussions that include being able to educate our students in the safest possible environment,” said Western Placer Teachers Association President Tim Allen.
Placer County’s TK-12 Public Schools are affiliated with the 310,000-member California Teachers Association and the 3 million-member National Education Association.