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September 27, 2020

PVUSD, teachers union approve back-to-school plan

WATSONVILLE—One week after the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees approved a distance learning plan for the 2020-21 school year, the district signed an agreement with the teachers’ union on Thursday that approves the finer details of how teachers will return to work.

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The memorandum of understanding is the result of more than two months of negotiations between the two groups, said Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT) President Nelly Vaquera-Boggs.

“This is the result of the district agreeing to start contingency planning in May,” she said. “Because we started early enough, we could make the shift.”

The distance learning plan—and the understanding signed on Thursday—are part of a districtwide effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by limiting in-person contact.

Students will be learning from home at least through January, and could return to class on a limited basis if the Santa Cruz County Health Officer and the California Department of Public Health determines it is safe.

Among other things, Vaquera-Boggs said, the agreement sets a districtwide standard for how many hours of online instruction teachers are expected to deliver.

In addition, the agreement requires anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 to be sent home, and for the district to notify PVFT of the location where the infected person works.

Teachers required to isolate due to a Covid-19 infection are not required to use their sick leave under the agreement.

Also under the agreement, PVUSD will provide the personal protective equipment the teachers need, and will make sure that all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are in working order to assure proper ventilation.

“This sets a standard across the district, across all sites,” Vaquera-Boggs said. “It’s creating a baseline.”

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To see the agreement, visit bit.ly/3fKLyXK

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