LFT News

4.6.20

LFT Monday Memo

It’s April 6, and what a different place we are in today compared to that of March 15- when the District announced school closures amidst a worldwide pandemic.

As we continue to navigate shelter in place and remote learning, we are witnessing increased health concerns and the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Let’s take brief pause and have a round of applause for managing the huge balancing act this COVID-19 time has placed upon us.  It has been a struggle for everyone and you deserve at least a self-pat on the back for quickly processing the many District messages and directives.  

Our members’ lives have changed dramatically in the last three weeks. Household incomes may be reduced, jobs lost, and our anxiety has increased knowing our extended students’ families may be also struggling to make ends meet.  

We all have felt the worry about so many unknowns in your emails.  We are collectively doing a great job learning so many new things and maintaining a high level of professionalism as we make some sense of our “new normal.” To the parents out there; keep on – keeping on- we hear your struggles and can visualize your world now upside down; do what you can. 

Feelings of being overwhelmed, frightened, angry and sad have been daily occurrences.  Seeing our students’ faces remotely have been the bright spots.  We try daily doses of optimism and hope the old ‘normal’ is closer than we think. 

Please know, The LFT Leadership Team appreciates the work that you have done and will do for our kids. We are the Santa Barbara County’s teachers and staff who have demonstrated working over and beyond.  We know and have witnessed how  LUSD staff are tremendously dedicated to supporting students, families and one another. 

The emails we have received have showed pretty much every emotion:   passion, concern, confusion, and triumph in learning so much at turbo speed. 

We ask that all of us continue to stay safe and well now and during our “spring break”.   Take the time for a much needed and well deserved break from work.

NEW BUSINESS: 

Spring Break:
Yes, there will still be a spring break. It begins this Friday, April 10 and ends Sunday, April 19. We are back starting Monday, April 20. You are not required to work during spring break. This is off contract time and it belongs to you, to do as you please.

LUSD School Board Meeting Tomorrow:

As a reminder anyone can address the LUSD School Board at this Tuesday’s, April 7th,  Board meeting during the “Courtesy to Visitors” Section (p. 4) of the Board Agenda now posted online- see the LUSD Website. 

The April 7th meeting will be held via Zoom at 5:30 p.m.: 

https://zoom.us/j/110727529

Meeting ID 110 727 529 

THE FOLLOWING STEPS MUST be made if an individual or group wish to address the LUSD School Board:  Please read carefully and follow the specific directions. 

  • Pursuant to Board Regulation 9320 a maximum of five minutes will be allocated to each speaker and a limit may be placed on the total amount of time allowed on any item. 
  • “Request to Address the Board” forms will be emailed to interested parties. 
  • Interested parties should email contact@lusd.org    prior to 10:00 am on the meeting date, Tuesday April 7, to request a form. 
  • The completed ‘Request to Address the Board’ form MUST be returned no later than 1:00 p.m. on the date of the Board meeting , Tuesday April 7
  • The Board may not discuss or take action on any issues not on the agenda, except to ask questions or refer matters to staff.  

Message from the SBCEO:
From the SBCEO website:

  •    “K-12 Public School Campuses in Santa Barbara County to remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year; Services will be provided through distance learning” see link below for website:   https://www.sbceo.org/Page/361

    Schools and Communities First Campaign:
    Last week, the Schools and Communities First Ballot Campaign announced qualifying for the November ballot.  In total, 1.7 million signatures were collected, which is the most ever collected in California backing a ballot initiative.  Thank you to everyone who collected signatures, signed a petition, and supported the effort to get this measure on the ballot.

    OLD BUSINESS AND REMINDERS:
    When working please assist your students and families the best that you can. 

    Use the 3.19.20 COVID MOU as a reference for current contractual language.  In summary,  be reachable remotely at all times during the professional day;   use Frontline if you are not available; follow the directives from your District and /or site administrator to the best of your ability under the circumstances; collaborate with teams and administration via zoom and other remote ways; expect a learning curve; and know we can do this!

    Also if you need accommodations and need an “Interactive Process” please contact. Ms. Valla in HR.  ‘To help determine effective accommodations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recommends that employers use an “Interactive Process,” which simply means that employers and employees with disabilities who request accommodations work together to come up with accommodations.’

LFT COVID-19 Weekly Timeline: 

  • Mondays- LFT Monday Memo will be  delivered via District emails
  • Tuesdays- LFT negotiating team’s  Zoom meetings
  • Wednesdays- LFT Site Representatives’ Zoom Meeting 3:30 weekly
    • Please if you have a site concern/ question please email your Site Rep.,  before the meeting
    • LFT will forward concerns/questions to the Superintendent and Cabinet
  • Thursday’s- LFT Executive Board meetings as needed
    • Concerns/questions from Site Rep meeting forwarded to the Superintendent and Cabinet
  • Friday’s CFT’s Tele-Town halls on Facebook live

LFT’s Website:

LFT’s website can be found at https://lompocfederationofteachers.org/  Please use this a resource for union-related information. Thank you

LUSD District Communication: 

Please continue check the District website for LUSD updates and your District emails throughout the professional day. 

LFT Officer Elections

Elections will be in May.  If you are interested in running for any position on the LFT Executive Board please contact Carolina Allen at allen.carolina@lusd.org

Positions are:  President, Treasurer, Secretary, VP Elementary, VP Junior High School, VP Senior High School, VP Special Education and VP Membership

CFT Union Scholarships:

If you have a dependent who is currently an undergraduate at a 2- or 4-year college, he/she is eligible to apply for a scholarship though the California Federation of Teachers. The application period opened on January 15, 2020 and closes on June 15, 2020. For more information and a link to the online application, go to cft.org and click on union benefits/scholarships. Please note, that if your dependent received a CFT scholarship as a high school senior, he/she is not eligible to apply. This does not apply to recipients of our local LFT scholarship. 

LFT Scholarships:

We have received the scholarship applications that were submitted to the counseling offices at the high schools. These are for the dependents of LFT union members. LFT has a panel in place to review these, and will submit the results to the counseling offices in early May.

Closing

  • Thank you to all the LFT members who have emailing, texting, calling and zooming with us.  We have been compiling messages received, without names that may be submitted with the LFT Site Rep Questions/Concerns weekly. 
  • Let’s get through this week; doing what we can under the circumstances for our students. 
  • Continue to reach out when you need to or if you have something to share for the LFT Monday Memo on April 20th

Take care and stay safe,

The LFT Leadership Team


4.3.20

LFT Friday Memo

Dear LFT Unit Members:

Thank you for all you are doing and learning during this time.  LFT members are doing an amazing job and the best they can under the circumstances.  Special thanks to all the staff who hosted the Professional Development; we know how challenging teaching is. 

Concerns were documented Wednesday at the Zoom LFT Site Rep Meeting.  We have opted in this pandemic to have weekly LFT Site Rep Meetings where the memberships’ voices can be heard and documented. 

Below is summary of concerns brought forward at the 4/1 Site Rep meeting.  We forwarded a more comprehensive list to the Superintendents last night to obtain clarity as we transition into the rest of the school year.

Summary of Concerns brought up by LFT Site Representatives at the 4.1.20 meeting:

  • No ‘Tele-Staff’
    • Teachers are concerned that they are not kept up-to-date with parents since they don’t receive the same information that parents receive on site Tele-Parent calls.
  • Tele-Parent
    • Sites stated some parents are not receiving the phone calls. 
  • Teachers with Young Children  
    • Staff are concerned about being on Zoom and keeping up with teaching and helping their own school-age children with the online learning from their teachers as well. 
  • Internet Concerns
    • It has been reported that internet access has been going down multiple times/day because of too many users accessing the internet (some because of Comcast providing free time).
    • It has also been reported that Comcast is only providing 1 hour/day free of charge.
  • Distance Learning
    • 30 minutes/day of direct instruction is a huge time obligation for TK/K/1st grade students (possibly 2nd grade) holding attention for 30 minutes at a time with home distractions. 
    • SDC—Some students may not have home support or modifications to keep up with Tele-Education.   
    • Teachers with limited data plans—additional minutes are required for contacting students during this distance learning period.
    • Secondary teachers are concerned about potentially being required to contact 150+

      students every week (especially since students are aware that the work assigned during this period is optional).
  • Work Packets
    • Teachers are concerned with how to deliver materials that have not been picked up by students.  Will they be mailed?  If so, who will mail them?
    • Teachers are being asked to correct work that is turned in (the packets they sent home with students).  There are concerns as to whether this is safe or not. Should these packets even be returned to school at all, and if they are, how long should sites wait until they are safe to touch (i.e., how long does this virus live on paper surfaces and computers)?
    • Teachers feel that there is still ambiguity coming from the District on the grading policy.  The District still has on their COVID FAQ this answer about grading:  “The work is not graded and is not mandatory.  Once it is graded and/or mandatory issues of disparity and civil rights can arise.  The work can only improve their grade not hinder their grade.”  This answer seems to contradict itself.
  • Clarity Directives
    • Teachers who have tried to access their rooms are being told that there are safety protocols—can policy changes be shared with staff who might be coming in to access their classroom, phones and internet?
  • Zoom
    • A comprehensive list was sent:  some items were addressed or may be answered today.  Still unit members have many security concerns with this platform. 
    • Many teachers feel they have been successfully working with their students remotely since the closure.  Teachers shared successful procedures that were in place that did not include Zoom.  Teachers want to know why they have to now go to a different platform.
    • Handling the Zoom sessions with TK/ Kindergartners-2nd Grade:   Clearer suggestions were requested. 

LFT firmly believes that communication during this crisis is essential in providing the best possible learning experiences for our students and staff during this difficult time.

LFT will send the Monday Memo as scheduled with any updates we may hear.

Have a good weekend… Please know are working collectively to have your voices heard. 

Thank you for all you are doing!  

The LFT Leadership Team

Lodene Blair, President

Tom Garrard, Negotiating Team Member

Jackie Munoz, Treasurer 

Cynthia Pereira, Vice President of Special Education 

Skyler Petersen, Vice President of High Schools

Carolyn Russell, Vice President of Elementary Schools

Cindy Spangler, Secretary

Margaret Tennant, Vice President of Middle Schools


3.30.20           

LFT Monday Memo

Hello Everyone!  Please continue to do all you are doing remotely to assist your students and families.  Use the 3.19.20 COVID MOU as a reference for current contractual language.  In summary,  be reachable remotely at all times during the professional day;   use Frontline if you are not available; follow the directives from your District and /or site administrator to the best of your ability under the circumstances; collaborate with teams and administration via zoom and other remote ways; expect a learning curve; and know we can do this!

LFT Timeline: 

  • Monday’s- LFT weekly message will be  delivered via District emails
  • Tuesday- LFT negotiating team’s  Zoom meetings
  • Wednesday 4.1.20 – LFT General meeting at Cabrillo is cancelled 
  • Wednesday 4.1.20- LFT will zoom meet with the LFT Site Representatives on their personal email accounts at 3:30pm. 
    • Please if you have a site concern please email your site rep before the Wednesday LFT Site Rep Zoom meeting- thank you
  • Thursday’s- LFT will have Executive Board meetings as needed
  • Friday’s CFT’s Tele-Town halls on Facebook live

LFT’s NEW Website! J LFT’s new website can be found at https://lompocfederationofteachers.org/  Please use this a resource for union-related information. Thank you Skyler Petersen, VP of Senior High School, for building, maintaining and launching our website.  Our membership THANKS YOU!

LUSD District Communication: 

Site by site things look different based on each school’s needs.  Site administration are operating their schools and working with their staff based on multiple factors.

 According to the LUSD Website: 

“The Lompoc Unified School District is committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. District personnel continue to monitor the situation by communicating daily with County and State officials to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. We are announcing at this time that all Lompoc Unified School District schools will remain closed at least through the end of April. Every Wednesday, parents, students and staff will receive an update concerning the length of the school closure and any new or additional information from the District. During the closure of our schools, we will continue to provide breakfast and lunch meals to our students. Teachers will be available by phone and/or videoconferencing to support your student’s needs. The Lompoc Unified School District remains fully committed to the goal of combating the spread of COVID-19 while also continuing to educate and feed our students.”

 ***Please check the District website for LUSD updates.*** 

LFT Officer Elections

We will have elections in May as we do every year.  If you are interested in running for any position on the LFT Executive Board please contact Carolina Allen at allen.carolina@lusd.org

Positions are: 

  • President, Treasurer, Secretary, VP Elementary, VP Junior High School, VP Senior High School, VP Special Education and VP Membership

CFT Union Scholarships:

If you have a dependent who is currently an undergraduate at a 2- or 4-year college, he/she is eligible to apply for a scholarship though the California Federation of Teachers. The application period opened on January 15, 2020 and closes on June 15, 2020. For more information and a link to the online application, go to cft.org and click on union benefits/scholarships. Please note, that if your dependent received a CFT scholarship as a high school senior, he/she is not eligible to apply. This does not apply to recipients of our local LFT scholarship.  

LFT Scholarships:

We have received the scholarship applications that were submitted to the counseling offices at the high schools. These are for the dependents of LFT union members. LFT has a panel in place to review these, and will submit the results to the counseling offices in early May

  • Thank you to Charryse Muro, La Honda Kindergarten Teacher Extraordinaire, for lifting up her students and staffs’ spirits by sharing the link here:  Enjoy! 
  • Thank you to all the LFT members who have been emailing, asking thoughtful questions and giving encouragement to each other.  We are all proud to be working together during this time. There is amazing work happening in Lompoc because of your efforts and those of our colleagues.
     
  • Have a great week and feel free to reach out when you have a question, something to share for next week’s memo or want to join the Union (if you are not already a member).
  • We may not have all the answers…, but we have ‘U’- The Union!

In Unity,  

Lodene Blair, LFT President 


3.27.20

Meeting Change

The next regularly scheduled LFT General Meeting on Wednesday, 4/1/20 at 3:30 PM has been CANCELED. Instead, LFT Site Reps will meet with the Executive Board via Zoom at that time to address any questions or concerns.

***If you have a question or concern, please contact your site rep before 3:30 PM on Wednesday, 4/1/20. If you are unsure who your site rep is, a list of current site reps can be found here.***


3.23.20

LFT Memo

Hello LFT Unit Members:

Over the weekend many news briefs and press conferences happened in our Country.  The amount of information is still overwhelming and at times shocking. I was relieved that our Union was able to reach an agreement and MOU with the District last Thursday evening that will help our membership. 

Today as your Union President, I struggled with how to reach out to each of you;  just as I wonder how much to communicate with my parents and families who are also coping with their lives being turned upside down. 

I spoke with our CFT Field Representative, Wes Davis, today and he suggested I send out a weekly memo with updates and where questions are addressed.  So as of now that will be my goal, to communicate weekly and more frequently if needed. 

I have had a few emails and questions this weekend that I have addressed and tried to answer from the phone.  I will not have all answers but I will field those I can as they come in.  I will also lean on the experience and expertise of the others members on our Executive Board. 

 Last Thursday, when we wrote the joint communication LFT failed to thank Carol Arnerich, Martha Bauer, and Wes Davis for ALL their help this last week.  I also have been in contact with other leaders in our state affiliate CFT; who I will also be zooming with tomorrow. 

Please remember to visit the CFT website.  There are so many resources and updates on there for our membership. 

I want to re direct everyone to #2 in the MOU below and restate:  YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MEET WITH PARENTS OR STUDENTS IN PERSON BUT MAY BE REQUIRED TO REMOTELY. 

Please follow all safety guidelines that our President and Governor are giving us. 

I must state do not take directives from Instagram and or Facebook.  Check your LUSD District email to communicate with your administrator/s when they call, Zoom and or email.  Remember to call into Frontline if you will not be available for work. 

I am available by email and or text.  I have spoken to many people over the weekend and already today.  I am here, as are your LFT Executive Board Team. 

As I think about our work as educators, I am so proud of our Unit and what everyone has done to help out students, staff and each other.

Thank you for your support and please take care,

Lodene Blair, LFT President


3.19.20

COVID-19 MOU

This is a joint communique between LUSD Management & Lompoc Federation of Teachers. Special thanks to Lodene Blair, Tom Garrard, Skyler Petersen, Margaret Tennant, Cynthia Spangler, and Cynthia Pereira. In addition, thanks to the LUSD Management team of Doug Sorum, John Karbula, Trevor McDonald, Bree Valla, Noelle Barthel, Katy Wallace, Heather Anderson, Agnes Kumi, and Paul Bommersbach. 

The District and the Lompoc Federation of Teachers spent Monday and today negotiating  the  COVID-19 Pandemic’s impacts and effects on LFT unit members. 

Overwhelmingly,  certificated staff has gone above and beyond and has handled this crisis with grace.  The employees have continued to be positive and cooperative throughout this last week.

Click here to find a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the agreements made regarding the impacts and effects of this pandemic on our certificated employees.