School re-opening press release

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Contact: Karen Rego

(216) 321-0020

krego@chtu.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cleveland Heights Teachers Press for Online Only Reopening of School

Cleveland Heights Teachers Union President Karen Rego announced today that her union is demanding that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education delay the implementation of its multifaceted reopening plan and reopen totally online for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. 

Rego cited several reasons for this action. “Our teachers and support staff most certainly want to be with their students.  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.”  

After virtual meetings with the union’s leadership and conducting a webinar for all union members, Rego cited several specific items that must be addressed before schools can safely reopen with students and staff present.  

Rego stated, “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.” 

We are making this recommendation for the following concerns:

-Our belief that the district cannot provide adequate PPE for all students and staff requiring them

-Mandating that all students must wear masks is impossible and impractical.

-The inability of students to social distance in the classroom, hallways, playgrounds, bathrooms and other areas occupied by students.

-Lack of trust that buildings will be properly cleaned to the level required. 

-Inadequate quarantine spaces and protocols for staff and students.

-Safety of Immunocompromised  students and staff that are at high risk. 

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.

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The Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, AFL-CIO, AFT Local 795, represents 520 teachers, ancillaries, certified support staff, related service providers and security monitors.