ROCKLIN, Calif. — Concerns are being raised about re-opening classrooms in the Rocklin Unified School District.
The district just had a grievance filed against them by the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association (RTPA). The students go back to school Monday as part of the district’s hybrid model, blending virtual and in-person learning. But the teacher’s association says certain safety measures haven’t been put in place yet.
Travis Mougeotte is president of the RTPA. He says that the district and association came to an agreement in August about safety but that things took a turn.
“We found that even though the district had messaged out to all employees that the safety precautions that we were concerned about had been addressed,” Mougeotte said. “Employees were starting to find out that that wasn't the case.”
The association then filed its grievance on Monday. Mougeotte says that lack of communication is the foundation of the issues between the district and teachers association, and the main safety concern is special air filters supposed to be in classrooms.
“We were finding that classrooms were checked off as completed of having that filtration taken care of, but then either no filters [were] in place or the new filters [were] not in place,” Mougeotte said. “We also found out that there were a handful of classrooms that had been without ventilation altogether.”
The school district sent us this statement:
“Rocklin Unified School District received the grievance on Monday, September 14, 2020 from the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association (RTPA). We don’t agree with all the issues our labor partner has raised.
District officials met Tuesday with the RTPA president to address the concerns and share information related to the grievance.
As per Placer County Public Health guidance, we have contact tracing and COVID -19 testing in place for all staff and students. Regarding filtration systems, we currently have Merv 13 filters in place, as recommended under California Department of Public Health guidelines, in all of our buildings with the exception of one elementary school gym. This is due to a back order in the delivery from our vendor and will be remedied shortly.
The safety of our students, families and staff have been and will continue to be a top priority. We look forward to welcoming students back to school in our hybrid model on Monday, September 21, 2020.”
ABC10 showed Mougeotte the statement. While he agreed that he did meet with the district Tuesday, at that point the concerns the teachers association had still weren’t addressed.
“The statement here doesn't ring true depending on when it was written,” Mougeotte said. “These things were not in place and their own staff verified that.”
There was no vote at the September 16 school board meeting. The students will be back to school under the hybrid model September 21 and teachers say they’ll still be there also.
The board did agree at the school board meeting during Mougeotte’s presentation that better communication is needed and they’d like to work together to strengthen it.
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