We have reached an agreement with our teachers to begin hybrid instruction on March 11. Superintendent Susan Enfield sent this message to Highline families this morning.
Dear Highline Families,
I am very happy to share that we have an agreement with our teachers to begin the next phase of hybrid instruction on March 11. The membership of the Highline Education Association (HEA), the union that represents our teachers, ratified the agreement Monday night. The start dates for in-person instruction are:
- March 11: PreK, kindergarten, grade 1 and K-12 IAC
- March 22: Grades 2 and 3
- April 1: Grades 4 and 5
I value our students and staff, and I take very seriously my responsibility for their health and safety. We can all be confident in the safety plans and protocols developed in collaboration with our labor partners and approved by our teachers.
Now that education employees are eligible to be vaccinated, our staff has an added layer of protection. On Sunday, all staff who are working, or scheduled to work with students in person in the coming weeks had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Thanks to our partnership with St. Anne Hospital, nearly 1,000 people received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly every Highline employee on our list to get a vaccination was able to get one, and we will work with anyone who was missed to make sure they are vaccinated. We had enough doses on Sunday to vaccinate many other staff members, as well.
I regret that negotiating hybrid learning became so contentious over the past two weeks. Negotiating with HEA is never about standing with or against our teachers, but about collaborating to balance the interests of all the individuals involved, with all their very real individual needs and perspectives. This is not easy in the best of circumstances, but it was extraordinarily difficult given the challenges of the pandemic.
I am grateful to the district and HEA bargaining committees who worked tirelessly to arrive at a plan that prioritizes the safety of our students and staff and provides our students with the in-person learning that they need and deserve.
It has been nearly a full year since most of our students were in schools, and for our PreK and kindergarten students this Thursday may very well be their first day in a school building ever. This is a moment we can all be proud of and celebrate together.
Thank you for staying strong and for your continued support and understanding. We have been challenged mightily over the past year, but we never abandoned our promise to know every student by name, strength and need. This is what makes our community so special, and why I am so honored to live, lead and serve here as your superintendent.
Together we are Highline.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D. | Superintendent | Highline Public Schools
Office: 206-631-3070 | firstname.lastname@example.org