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Joint Statement: WCCUSD, Employee Groups Statement on Spring In-Person Student Intervention Plan Tentative Agreement

The West Contra Costa Unified School District and its five employee groups, the United Teachers of Richmond (UTR), Teamsters Local 856, School Supervisors Association IFPTE Local 21 (SSA), West Contra Costa Administrators Association (WCCAA), and Adult School Teachers United (ASTU) released the following joint statement on the spring in-person student intervention plan.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created significant disruption to the learning environment for all students.  The model of distance learning has been beneficial for some students. In contrast, others have struggled with a lack of social interaction and the ability to learn in the virtual classroom environment.

As a result, the West Contra Costa Unified School District and its five employee groups announced an agreement on a spring in-person student intervention plan. We believe that intervention should be above and beyond the core, academic program and students and teachers should not lose access to their core classroom community. Student and staff safety is built into this model and the agreed-upon Covid Prevention Plan (CPP).

WCCUSD, the United Teachers of Richmond, Teamsters Local 856, School Supervisors Association IFPTE Local 21, West Contra Costa Administrators Association, and Adult School Teachers United agreed on the voluntary plan, focused on students in most need of in-person support starting April 19.

On April 21, this plan will expand to allow all students to have access to in-person learning this spring, as availability allows. 

Students in grades preschool through 12th grade who meet specific criteria would return for in-person intervention from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thursdays would also have some in-person activities focusing on Social Emotional connection from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

The tentative agreement allows for students to have 10-plus hours per week of in-person support and intervention. Student cohorts will not exceed 10 students (with exceptions for Music and physical education, which can operate outside with higher numbers safely). 

Priority is given to students based on the following criteria: homeless, foster youth, English Language Learner, African American, attendance/engagement challenges, internet connectivity issues, special education, disengaged students, credit recovery students at risk of dropping out, and students identified as needing social and mental health support. For students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) who would benefit the most, the District will provide additional in-person support.

The number of staff volunteering for the plan will determine the number of students served under the agreement. Additionally, once the number of students identified for the in-person intervention support is known, the second phase of students in grades preschool to 12th grade and students who do not meet the priority intervention criteria will be offered a return for in-person activities on April 21.

Students in Phase 2 will follow the same schedule. The second phase’s priority will focus first on Title 1 schools and then expand based on interest and availability.

The safety of students and staff is at the center of this agreement. The District encourages all employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Additionally, the District will provide no-cost Covid testing for all staff and students who participate in this program. 

The District and its employee groups have agreed on additional safety measures to ensure safety, including universal masking, proper ventilation, hand sanitization, and social distancing at all schools and departments. We believe that our facilities are ready to welcome back staff and students safely and have jointly created protocols to ensure issues can be swiftly reported and mitigated. 

WCCUSD and its partner labor unions are proud of the work we have done and are excited to safely welcome students and staff back to campus for in-person intervention and social-emotional support. We recognize the challenge all WCCUSD communities and stakeholders have faced this past year due to Covid-19 and believe that this plan moves us forward together.