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October 1, 2020 Negotiations Update


Negotiations Update: October 14, 2020

Elementary Report Cards

A working group of teachers from all grade levels met to address concerns about the ability to assess students' progress in an online environment. A survey with high participation among elementary classroom teachers (over 90%), showed strong support for a narrative style format, with one score per major subject area. There was also strong support for eliminating the social/ emotional component on report cards during distance learning. This feedback led to agreement on a narrative format report card. Students will receive a number score of 1-4 and brief comments in reading, writing, math and participation. Guidance for scoring and aligning report cards will be developed. 

Elementary Conferences

The first trimester will end on Friday, November 6. Conferences will be held the week of November 16-20. All conferences will be held online or via phone. 

Classroom teachers will hold one whole class meeting (synchronous) at 9 am each day from Monday through Thursday. The remainder of each day will be available for conferences and preparation of synchronous and asynchronous lessons. BUSD will provide 45 minutes of asynchronous work on each of these days. Teachers will provide sufficient asynchronous work to meet the remaining requirements. Teachers who provide enrichment, ELD, intervention, and Special Education instruction will continue to provide synchronous instruction. As always, the synchronous minutes they provide count towards students’ daily total. 

Friday, November 20 will be entirely devoted to conferences. Teachers will not meet with classes online or provide asynchronous work. If teachers are able to complete all of their conferences before Friday, they are not required to work on that day. 

There will be no staff meetings on Wednesday, November 4 or Wednesday, November 18.  November 11 is a holiday.

The previously scheduled conference day, Friday, October 30 will be a distance learning school day.

Reporting STAR Test Results

District Leaders will draft a brief uniform message informing parents/guardians about their child’s STAR test results. The message will explain the purpose of the test and its role in Distance Learning. Teachers will deliver the message to parents/guardians at or before the time the STAR results are reported. 


Middle School Conferences

Middle School conferences will be held on October 21, 27, 28 and 29. Teachers will be available for a total of 8 hours of conferences. Specific schedules and determination of which families to meet with will be determined by sites. 

On October 21, teachers will hold regularly scheduled synchronous advisory classes, but will not meet with equity based small groups. Teachers will provide asynchronous assignments. There will be no staff meeting in order to prepare for conferences. 

On October 27 and 29, teachers will not be required or expected to initiate equity based parent communication as provided in the Distance Learning schedule. 

On October 28, teachers will hold regularly scheduled synchronous advisory classes, but will not meet with equity based small groups. Teachers will provide asynchronous assignments. There will be no staff meeting. 

The complete MOU on report cards and conferences can be found here.

Progress Made Toward Health and Safety Agreement

BFT continues to fight for strong and detailed measures to protect the health and safety of all members in all job categories who may eventually work with students in person. The agreement will ensure that every person will get Essential Protective Equipment (including masks, gloves, gowns and face shields). The plan will also include protocols for testing, screening, contact tracing and reporting, including universal testing before employees return to sites plus ongoing surveillance testing. Other elements nearing agreement include: physical distancing based on actual room size; mask requirements for students and staff; standards for ventilation and air filters; sanitizing and disinfecting; plans to isolate sick students; limits on visitors and congregating; leave for employees who test positive or are required to quarantine; and adherence to public health guidance. 

We are negotiating with district leaders carefully, seriously and often. We feel great responsibility for the safety of our members--and our students, their families and the community. BFT will share the entire agreement as soon as it is finalized, likely within the next few days. 


Negotiations for Phase 1 Services Have Not Yet Started

BUSD is proposing a phased approach to reopening for in person instruction. Phase 1 will consist of small cohorts of students who have been recommended by their site intervention teams because they are at risk of learning loss. These students will do Distance Learning at a school site and will be supervised by staff who opt-in, possibly Bears, Learns or Instructional Assistants. Additional 1:1 support might possibly be provided to those students by teachers who opt-in. Any opting-in will be completely voluntary. BFT will meet with all subgroups to discuss individual concerns. 

Teachers who currently have substantial roles in Distance Learning are unlikely to be able to participate in Phase 1, since both BFT and BUSD are committed to avoiding disruption of ongoing Distance Learning. 

It is BFT’s position that all of the health and safety measures must be agreed upon and in place before any in person services occur. For that reason, negotiations about specific 1:1 services and small cohort support have not yet begun. We will be guided by member survey results, meetings with specific affected sub-groups, and our Executive Board, which passed this resolution on October 8. 


For information or to offer comments please contact BFT Vice President Janine Waddell at

This Negotiations Update was prepared by BFT Treasurer Cynthia Allman and edited by the BFT Negotiations Team.


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