In early July, the school`s management decided to start the school year with a mix of in-person and online learning. Students should be divided into two groups, who would spend two days a week in the classroom and three days at home with distance classes. The Edmonds School District will begin on September 9 with distance classes at all levels. District and Edmonds Education Association leaders are negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding on how much time teachers have to prepare curricula, refine teaching strategies and interact with students and their families. “Expectations are so much higher and the teaching burden is so much higher than in the spring,” said Andi Nofziger-Meadows, president of the association that represents certified teachers in the district. “Everything in an isolated environment takes longer exponentially.” “The remaining point is related to the time not allocated to the teacher,” he said. “The District is continuing negotiations with the EEA in good faith. We believe that our neighbourhood has incredible teachers and that their presence has never been greater than in this unprecedented period of distance learning. Teachers want more preparation time than the county offers. A mediator will try to resolve the dispute.

The plan presented by Balderas on Wednesday is in progress. There are no details on how participation is accepted and what grades are awarded. And the day plans proposed for elementary, high school and secondary students are projects and depend on the outcome of the negotiations. The dispute does not jeopardize the start of classes. It is not about wages or other issues either. Landkreis and teachers agreed in July to extend the current collective agreement by one year. And now we`re calling in a mediator to help resolve disputes. They also need to keep things like participation and give grades, which they didn`t have to do last spring, when the coronavirus outbreak forced schools to abruptly close and move to e-learning. On Wednesday, Edmond Superintendent Gustavo Balderas issued a statement confirming that Thursday`s mediation was “an exceptional point at the negotiating table.” At the end of the comments, the Chair of the Board of Directors, Deborah Kilgore, responded.