Teacher association position
Teacher association position
Dr. Smith, Mr. McGregor, and Members of the Board,
We, the members of the Lawrence Education Association, are tendering our professional position on reopening our schools, even with recent changes. Currently, COVID-19 virus is a grave threat to the LT framework of innovative in person instruction. We urge you to support our position by recommending a full virtual re-opening plan for Lawrence Township Schools. Neighboring school districts are mitigating community spread through this decision. As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to climb in Marion County, this is the time to be bold leaders against this threat.
Peer reviewed scientific research confirms the spread of this virus is highly contagious through airborne spread, especially indoors. Seventy-five per cent of LT schools have updated HVAC systems; however, teachers in these buildings continue to report issues with circulation and air quality. Moreover, what of the remaining 25%? Additionally physical space allowance, classroom furniture, and numbers of students in classrooms are also prohibitive to implementing these plans with fidelity. The LT Re-Entry Plan states “where possible” for many key guidelines--the current plan does not instill confidence, even at the building level.
As the leaders of the Lawrence Township School District, we urge you to analyze the LT Re-Entry plan through a critical lens. Visit each of our school buildings this week to discuss the feasibility of the plans. Use the LT Re-Entry plan alongside other Indiana school districts plans to compare the answers to stakeholder questions. Do the LT District and building plans provide adequate answers? We need more time to improve on the tremendous work already completed before we welcome our students back.
Reexamine the organizational communication between division leaders, staff, and our community. In this global pandemic, information is flowing and changing at an exponential pace in ways that are uncomfortable and fuel anxiety. Dr. Smith, as our leader, we ask you to pivot from LT standard protocol to give all of us clear direction. Every staff member, parent, and student is hungry to hear: “Dr. Smith knows how hard this is. I’ve got you. We are ONE Lawrence Township. We will survive.” Not just once, but regularly. Right now, the power of your reassurance is beyond measure. The Lawrence Education Association will be your partner in this campaign. When we are truly united, our community feels all our support for what is right and just.
We applaud the efforts of our district in providing food, supporting technology, and other complementary services to our students and their families during these challenging times. Your teachers and staff shared in these efforts, and spread this passion to their personal communities. We are caregivers, friends, volunteers, parishioners, and activists. Do not force us to choose in person instruction over our health, our relationships, and our extended communities.
The Lawrence Education Association asks you to provide leadership lacking at the state and federal level to protect our Lawrence Township family. Guide us with passion and care by recommending a full virtual re-opening of Lawrence Township Schools until at least October. If data at that time supports a decline in COVID positivity rates, then we can begin moving toward full in person instruction.
Justin Brown, LEA President Kim Payne-Shearer, LEA Vice-President