As the new school year approaches, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union is calling on its district to delay the implementation of its multifaceted reopening plan.
In a press release issued on Thursday, Cleveland Heights Teachers Union President Karen Rego said that her union is "demanding" that the district instead initially open online-only for the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year.
"Our teachers and support staff most certainly want to be with their students," Rego said. "However, beyond the fact COVID 19 cases are spreading at an alarming rate throughout the county and the state, my members have serious concerns about the capacity of the school district to guarantee a safe teaching and learning environment for students and staff.”
Following a virtual meeting with all union members, Rego said that there are still several matters that must be addressed before schools open with students and teachers present.
"First and foremost our membership has an interest in the safety of students, staff and community and we are recommending that Cleveland Heights - University Heights City Schools begin the 2020-2021 school year remote and remain remote through at least January 2021," Rego said.
The union also said its recommendation comes as a result of the following concerns:
- A lack of availability of PPE for all students.
- The impractical nature of enforcing a mandate for all students to wear masks.
- The inability for students to physically distance in various settings.
- A lack of trust that buildings will be consistently cleaned properly.
- A lack of quarantine space for students and teachers.
- Safety for high-risk students and teachers.
"Members of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union Local 795 are hopeful that the district leadership will respond favorably to our request to provide instruction virtually for all students," the release read.