Following are some of the focus areas:
- Special Education Committee: GEA members take part in a monthly SPED Committee with district leadership. This committee continues to meet electronically to address the questions and concerns expressed by SPED teachers and specialists. GEA AdvoCats and Leadership have reviewed and had input in the documentation recommendation information sent out earlier this month. We are also in continual conversation with interim SPED director, Alison Milne as she communicates with us, and on behalf of, incoming SPED director, Bryce Day. Mr. Day is expected to be on staff with Granite School District in July of this year.
- GEA reviewed and provided teacher concerns and input regarding the recent grading protocols which have been released to educators by building administrators. How grades were to be input for the 4th quarter was a decision made by each local school district, with an overall recommendation by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). GEA communicated not only with district administrators, but with colleagues and leaders across the state representing local education associations. The final decision made, while not perfect, was a way to minimize inequality among students, and maintain grading integrity for students who receive scholarships or are graduating. Your GEA representatives worked hard to ensure that teacher opinions around these issues were heard.
- Surprisingly, individual advocacy needs have not decreased. There are many ways an administrator and educator may become sideways with one another, even with distance learning. GEA AdvoCats and Leadership have been fielding phone calls, emails, and facilitating resolutions on a regular basis.
- What about next year? With the current uncertainty around COVID-19 and how the District will navigate opening schools in the fall (best case scenario), or continue with online learning protocols, GSD and GEA continue to collaborate to protect students and teachers from the unexpected and expected side-effects of the past several months. GEA AdvoCats and Leadership continue to be vocal around potential summer distance-learning and adequate pay for educators who may volunteer to take part in any potential program.
- In the recent special session called by the Utah State Legislature, a resolution was made that cautioned local school boards and superintendents to not use allocated monies to increase current school budgets, i.e. “don’t negotiate teacher salary increases.” GEA and GSD (school board and superintendent) stand by the negotiated agreement for the 2020-21 contract year. In the face of pressure from other local school boards and administrators, GSD has stood firm in its plan to pay a 5% COLA and 3% One-time Bonus to teachers for next year. GEA AdvoCats and Leaders are also firm in our unending advocacy and representation for the negotiated agreement.
If you have a question or concern that you believe needs to be addressed, please email any one of your AdvoCats, and we will do what we can to resolve the issue or concerns.