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Edmond school officials answer questions for parents about possible teacher walkout

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EDMOND, Okla. – Edmond school officials are answering questions for parents regarding the possible teacher walkout.

Will schools shut down completely, or will they remain open for parents who work and have no daycare or other arrangements for their children?
Schools will be closed. Students will not be in classes if there are not enough teachers or substitutes to adequately and safely instruct and supervise students during the school day.

If schools remain open, will buses run?

As long as school is in session, our transportation department will operate on our normal schedule.

Will the Career Tech campuses close during a teacher walkout?
It is highly doubtful that Career Techs will be closed during any time of a public school walkout. If Career Techs are open, Edmond Schools will provide transportation from the high schools to and from the career tech center.

The teacher walkout is scheduled to occur at the beginning of testing-what will that mean for my student?
Every school district is required to test all students as directed by the state and federal governments. This includes testing during the set testing window. We have multiple plans in place to make sure students are tested as required. Every plan is contingent upon when school resumes.

  • 3rd – 5th Grade Tests
    • 3rd – 5th grade window is April 2nd – 20th. Because the elementary tests are pencil paper, we can test multiple grades or even all students on the same day. The hardest part is finding enough monitors for each test administered. We may need many extra volunteers to help make elementary testing happen.
  • 6th – 8th Grade Tests
    • The 6th – 8th grade testing window is April 2nd – 26th. Middle school tests are administered online. If our testing window is greatly shortened, we may need to bus students to the high schools and test in the gyms where 150 students at a time can test on computers.
  • ACT & 11th Grade Tests
    • The ACT is the test Edmond uses for high school state testing. It is required for all 11th grade students. The ACT is online and scheduled for April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12. There is a makeup date on April 24 which is a pencil and paper test. If a walkout occurs, ACT testing will occur as scheduled. The students know which day they are scheduled to test, and we would have enough administrators and support personnel to administer these tests.
    • The 11th grade science test window is April 2nd – 26th.Currently schools have this scheduled around the ACT testing dates. The 11th grade history test can be taken in class at any time.
  • Advanced Placement Tests
    • AP testing begins the first week in May. Students have invested hours studying and preparing for these tests, and many families have already paid hundreds of dollars for tests in advance. No plan is in place yet. Principals, teachers and district administrators are discussing how to work through these testing issues that should be required. Teachers may hold study sessions or send study work home for students to continue preparing for these tests; no grades will be taken during the walkout.

Will the walkout affect students’ grades?

Teachers will award grades on assignments given during regular school days. the walkout should not affect a student’s grades.

How will the walkout affect academic eligibility?

It is important that students have all missing work turned in before any potential walkout as eligibility may be extended longer than normal due to the walkout.

What about students on the free and reduced lunch program? Will the district continue to feed them? What about students who receive food through the weekend backpack program?

In the desire to continue to feed students who need breakfast and lunch, the district is considering plans to offer a child nutrition meal program at several schools around the district. This would be for any and all students who are currently receiving meals through Edmond’s Child Nutrition program as well as anyone between the ages of 1 and 18 who shows up at a feeding site. Although regular bus routes will not be run, transportation will be provided from all schools to and from the designated cafeterias on daily schedule. If possible, Edmond will continue providing the weekend backpack food program at the schools using volunteers and school staff.

During a walkout, will student activities and athletic competitions continue?

This decision would be entirely up to each local district. At a meeting last week, most Oklahoma City metropolitan and suburban districts agreed that it is in the best interests of students to attempt to keep an activity schedule as close to normal as possible. Principals and district athletic and activities coordinators have begun discussing with coaches and sponsors how these practices and activities would move forward with a teacher walkout.
Unlike an academic class which would be made up if the school calendar had to be extended, the majority of scheduled activities (e.g. academic competitions, student association (FFA, DECA, TSA, etc.) competitions and conventions, Special Olympics, athletic events and tournaments) cannot be rescheduled due to conflicts, rental agreements and a compression of events which would need to occur in a short time period.

I have a special needs child. What services, if any, will be offered for special education students during a teacher walkout?

Other than activities described in this FAQ regarding transportation to the Career Technology Center and Athletic/Special Olympics participation, as well as supports/accommodations for the ACT exam, the District will not provide educational or related services to students during a walkout. The District plans to make up the educational and related services required by student IEPs when the walkout ends. The District will be treating the first 6 days of the walkout as inclement weather days; however, every missed day after the 6th day will be made up beginning on May 24, 2018. Parents may request IEP meetings to discuss whether or not their child(ren) would need Extended School Year (ESY) or compensatory education services to be provided during the summer months in order to make up for the IEP services missed during the time school was shut down.

Will graduation still be held on May 12?

Edmond will have graduation on schedule regardless of a teacher walkout. Students typically graduate before the end of classes and finals. The issuance of their diplomas is held up until all requirements such as course completion and attendance are met.

If I have a Pre-K student and have already paid for tuition, will I be reimbursed on a pro-rated basis for any days my child is not at school?

The extended day preschool contract is for the annual enrollment in the program regardless of attendance. There is no financial adjustment for days missed whether voluntary or involuntary (e.g. snow days or days missed for a teacher walkout). Likewise, if a walkout were to last long enough that students and teachers would have to return after the normal school year end; there would be no additional charge for the extended day Pre-K on those make-up days.

How will the Pre-K lottery be handled in the event of a walkout?

The Pre-K lottery sign-up will continue beginning April 9 at the district’s administrative center, 1001 W. Danforth. The sign-up process for free Pre-K at Title I sites is still being discussed. More information about that process will be sent out the week of March 26-30.

Will teachers be paid during a walkout? What about their benefits-will they continue?

Many Oklahoma school districts already require students to attend school for more minutes and hours or whole days than the 180 days or 1,080 hours required by the state. Edmond is one of those districts. Currently EPS has six “ banked” days of instructional time over the state minimum requirement. Edmond teachers can miss six days before additional instruction must be made up. If a walkout lasts longer than six days, missed instruction will be made up by adding additional days at the end of the current instructional calendar. Teachers’ pay is annualized so that teachers always have worked in advance of when they are paid. This allows for teachers to receive monthly paychecks in June, July and August for work. Under these circumstances, if teachers walkout, there will be no loss of pay or benefits and no disciplinary actions associated with their walking out.

Will support personnel be paid during a walkout? What about their benefits-will they continue?

Most support employees are hourly employees whose contract days coincide with students being in school. A plan for possible work days or work activities for the first six days of a walkout for those employee groups is being discussed but has not been approved at this time. Beyond the first six days of a walkout, a gap in support pay could occur until support employees come back for the extended days at the end of the instructional calendar. Support employees who are not on a 240-day contract are at the greatest risk of losing compensation. Again, there is no firm plan at this time. Employer-provided health, life and disability insurance will continue during a work stoppage. If an employee has dependent coverage or other voluntary deductions but insufficient pay to cover them, the employee can continue coverage in those products by bringing in a check to cover the premiums.

How might the school calendar change if there is a teacher walkout?

Days Missed End of School Last Day of Teacher Contract
6 May 23 May 24 (No change in current calendar)
10 May 30 May 31
15 June 6 June 7
20 June 13 June 14
25 June 20 June 21

*Due to the need to close out the fiscal year by June 30, any days missed above 25 will require not only missed days to be made up, but additional hours to be worked each of those days to fulfill the contract and instructional hour’s requirement.

Will a teacher walkout affect Summer School?

  • Elementary Summer School
    • If school is extended into June, summer school will be delayed until after the end of the regular school year. Elementary summer school will be shortened accordingly so it will not extend into July.
  • High School Summer School
    • High school can only have a June session if there are 14 days at 4.5 hours available. The July session will run as normal.
  • ESY Special Education Summer School
    • If school is extended into June, then the District plans to make up the ESY educational and related services determined by the IEP teams into the month of July.
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