Many of you have noticed the tension that has developed between the understandable desire to have children return to school, and the sensible insistence on safe working environments under COVID-19 conditions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, health experts have advised that individuals avoid the “Three Cs” – Close Contact, Closed Spaces, Crowds. Thankfully, there is a way that some in-person instruction can still take place while meeting health and safety guidelines; ODE calls it LIPI (Limited In-Person Instruction).
According to the Oregon Department of Education, LIPI is when schools operating in the Comprehensive Distance Learning instructional model bring a limited number of students, for limited hours and with specific conditions, on-site.
Per ODE Guidelines:
- LIPI cohort groups are limited to no more than 20 students.
- Students cannot be part of more than two cohorts (including transportation) in any given week.
- Any one staff member (even in multiple roles) cannot interact with more than three cohorts in a given day and five in a week.
- LIPI cannot take the place of any CDL instruction.
You can read the full Guidance for Limited In-Person Instruction During CDL HERE.
Your PAT bargaining team has worked over the last three sessions to negotiate the fine points of LIPI activities in PPS. Key to our conversation:
- LIPI instruction will be provided by educators on a voluntary basis. If the District cannot find a volunteer from the regularly employed PAT membership, PPS will open the positions to PAT substitute educators.
- Volunteers who agree to provide LIPI during teacher-directed time in their regular schedule will be paid at their individual per-diem hourly rate for all lost teacher-directed time, plus for an additional hour per week for time spent planning LIPI sections.
- Educators who volunteer can rescind their volunteer offer if they do not feel safe once they inspect the space provided for LIPI.
We reached conceptual agreement on all points last week and you can look for the final copy of the language attached to the next Bargaining Brief.