SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Shawnee school teachers and the school board Tuesday night reached an agreement on a one-year labor agreement.
This is the culmination of work that’s been going on since “March or April of this past year,” James Kanable, superintendent of Shawnee schools said. “We’ve been exchanging packages and looking through a lot of things. With our current financial position, the board just really felt diligent on as far as having to maintain a good financial caution area, especially with everything else still going on.”
The contract contains no provisions for raises.
“It’s a zero percent increase but we will recognize steps, that is the only thing, but that is normal practice. So there’s actually no language change needed or necessary for that to occur but it is a status quo, keep us where we are for the time being,” Kanable said.
Several teachers voiced concerns about the face-to-face education model currently being used and were urging the school board to approve a four days on, one day off schedule, with one of the days dedicated to remote learning.
“We may end up there, we don’t know. Our operation is a little bit different than what most schools are doing and that our kids are actually coming in and being part of the day-to-day class that’s occurring,” Kanable said.
The school board approved a revision to the reopening plan, with board member Jerome O’Neal voting against it.
Under the plan, there will be a two-hour delay each Monday, beginning Oct. 26. Staff will report at normal time. Remote learners absent 30 or more hours in the first quarter will return to in-person instruction. Remote learners failing one or more courses in the first quarter will return to in-person instruction. Students who are requesting a change in placement (in-person/remote) must complete the change on a weekly basis with notification by Thursday to allow the revised placement to occur the following Monday.
Many of the teachers at Tuesday’s meeting were concerned that having the two-hour delay on Mondays wouldn’t be as productive as having the delay later in the week, which would give teachers a chance to catch up on their work. They also expressed concerns about being over-worked and exhausted having to prepare lessons for those in the classroom and those on Zoom.
Around 10% of Shawnee students take their classes remotely.
“We’re playing catch up with many of the other local districts that are already approved for one plan, delay schedules with early dismissal or late arrivals. Shawnee teachers are responsible for teaching concurrently, simultaneously teaching online kids and kids in the classroom. There’s a lot of extra work putting together the digital content to properly teach both sets of students at the same time. There’s a lot of stress, there’s a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of teachers that are trying to give their all,” said Brian Krawetzke, Shawnee Education Association president.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.