COVID-19: Resource Page for VEA Members
March 13, 2020
March 13, 2020
Today, Governor Northam issued new guidance for the 2020-21 school year. There are still many questions to be answered, but I want to begin by thanking you, our members, for the amazing work you’ve done the past three months under incredibly difficult circumstances. I’ve never been prouder to be a part of this great organization than I’ve been as I’ve seen you meet the challenges of this pandemic.
And I know you’ve been doing all you can for your students even as you face your own struggles and anxieties about the coronavirus and its impact on yourselves and your families. The response from VEA members has been nothing short of heroic.
Your Union has gone all-out to advocate for the health, safety, and continued learning of everyone in our schools. Without pause, we have carried your message to education and elected officials: educators need more support to be able to overcome the virus’ disruption of student learning and wellbeing. Our field staff have mobilized to directly assist members with job-related issues. Our members and staff have served on state task forces and strategy groups to promote our professional expertise. We’ve kept in touch with you through emails, this COVID-19 Resource Page, and twice-weekly Facebook Live sessions.
It is completely natural for you to feel nervous and apprehensive about the guidance issued by the Governor today, because what schools are being asked to do is unprecedented. And, since the state and localities split many responsibilities, many of the questions you probably have cannot be answered with certainty right now. Most of the decisions to be made rest with local school divisions.
The measures outlined by Governor Northam today will require millions of new dollars for Virginia public schools—dollars that many localities will struggle to, or will not be able to, provide. The VEA is calling for increased federal investment in schools, including the passage of the HEROES Act, which would supply hundreds of billions of much-needed dollars for public schools and state budgets. Click here to add your voice urging Congress to pass the bill.
VEA is also demanding that the Governor and General Assembly, in finalizing the state budget, put every available dollar toward helping students, and the schools that serve them, thrive in these exceedingly difficult circumstances.
One of the side effects of COVID-19 is that it has laid bare for all to see the painful inequities in our school funding, especially for students of color and those who live in poverty. Nothing in our state budget matters more than providing the support to these students who have already had significant disruption to their schooling. State leaders must do whatever it takes to support them.
We will continue to be in close touch with you, our members. This page is regularly updated with the most recent COVID information available; our field offices remain open to serve you; and I’ll continue to meet with you on Facebook Live sessions every Monday and Thursday at 3 p.m.
Always remember: There’s nothing we can’t accomplish, together.
COVID-19 has left many educators and administrators nationwide operating under a rapid response system to make sure learning continuity plans are in place for students. Click below for a list of items for educators to think about in the case of a school closure.
We know you’re in a whole new world of communicating with your students, so here are some tips from VEA on how best to navigate the world of online instruction and communication.
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) works closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and other state and federal authorities to provide the latest information and guidance on COVID-19 to the commonwealth’s public schools.
Click below to find useful articles, links, resources, and webinars to help you through this challenging environment, followed by some tips and answers to common questions.
We know this is a stressful time for our members and we also know our members—you’re going to be looking to reach out to others. We want to be here for you!
This webinar includes:
Our moderator is LaQueshia Jeffries, an elementary special educator who has presented to VEA’s Community of Practice. She’s the creator of the Teaching and Taking Care Facebook group for teachers and the Reframing ED podcast. You can learn more about her at laqueshiajeffries.com.
NEA Member Benefits wants you to know they’re here to support you during this difficult time.
Many NEAMB partners are offering special assistance to members in need who may have been affected by an involuntary layoff. Click below for a list of contact information for partners and details on specific assistance they have available.