When we started working with students, none of us knew that we would have to teach during a global pandemic. It has been challenging for all of us, but our members here in St. Paul have risen to the occasion, providing high quality public education to thousands of students in our community.
We know educators have a lot of questions about teaching during COVID-19. We built this FAQ to answer many of them. Find it here.
Keep reading for more information about about reopening in St. Paul Public School and keeping yourself and your students safe.
SPFE Member Training!
What you need to know about COVID-19 in SPPS schools: SPFE leader and SPPS school nurse, Tom Stinson will be conducting trainings for SPFE members on COVID-19 and what you need to know about symptoms, reporting cases, and staying safe when schools reopen. This one hour training will be offered via zoom on Friday, January 22 from 3:00p.m.-4:00p.m. and Saturday, January 23 from 9:00a.m.-10:00a.m.. You can sign up for one of the sessions at this link.
- February 1: Grades pre-K-2 and stage 1 schools will return to in-person learning with full classrooms.
- February 15: Grades 3-5 will return to in-person learning with full classrooms.
Find SPFE’s Classroom Safety Checklist here. Stewards and other members should use this information to make sure their work site is safe and prepared before reopening. Information about how to address safety issues in your building are also included.
NEA — our national affiliate — is tracking coronavirus information at schools across the country. If there is a COVID-19 case reported at your building, report it here. NEA is using this information to protect educators, students, and our communities from the unsafe reopening of our public schools.
Saint Paul Public Schools is also tracking COVID-19 cases. If there is a COVID case at your building, use the district’s form to report it.
As members begin to return to buildings, MDH will be providing on-site COVID testing to those working fully in-person on Monday of every other week. For Feb. 1, this would be all staff in PreK-2. All other staff can order a free test anytime at https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid. The test is free, but you will be asked to provide your health insurance info. All citizens of MN are eligible to order these tests as often as they’d like. You must use a test before ordering another one.
With the district moving into reopening elementary schools with fewer safety precautions, SPFE is committed to negotiating with SPPS to ensure educators, our students, and our community are safe and secure.
Your SPFE bargaining team met with the district twice this past week to discuss reopening elementary schools. The latest counter proposal to our demands from SPPS can be found at this link.
Your SPFE officers and bargaining team will be meeting with the district again on Thursday and Friday this coming week. We are committed to demanding a safe return and will continue to demand that we wait to reopen until case numbers are lower and all staff returning in person are vaccinated. Discussions on secondary reopening plan concerns are being scheduled.
Return to In-Person Learning Questions and Concerns
SPPS announced that students in Pre-K-2 and stage 1 will return to in-person learning with full classrooms on Monday, February 1. Students in grades 3-5 will return to in-person learning with full classrooms on Monday, February 15th. Previous safety plans for a hybrid model and opening only when community spread is low are no longer being followed and elementary students will not maintain social distancing when they return.
Secondary students (grades 6-12) will come into buildings for targeted support starting sometime in February. Individual buildings are developing plans.
Members who have been asking questions and raising concerns have been critical in highlighting that we are not ready for a safe return at this time! We have compiled those questions and district responses at this link.
Memoranda of Agreement
With the transition to distance learning in Spring 2019, SPFE and Saint Paul Public Schools have been negotiating about working conditions for educators. The agreed up on MOAs can be found below.
- COVID-19 Memorandum of Agreement 1: Additional Benefits and Essential Care Site – Includes student safety, sick leave provisions, Essential Kid Care site pay, and voluntary layoff information.
- COVID-19 Memorandum of Agreement 2: Distance Learning – Includes agreements on leave and substitutes, asynchronous learning, connections with families, improvement plans, and more.
- COVID-19 Special Education Memorandum of Agreement – Includes special education services, delayed and incomplete evaluations, personal protective equipment provisions, and distance learning.
- Hybrid Memorandum of Agreement-Provisions for any hybrid learning plan.