It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year in Oak Grove School District. After starting the year on distance learning, we began learning a whole new way to teach. OGEA members rose to the challenge of distance learning. We then began negotiating what a return to in-person instruction would look like. During these fall negotiations, management and OGEA agreed to abandon the idea of hybrid instruction. Then the Covid -19 surge hit from November through February. As our county surged to levels of almost six times the threshold for the purple tier of infections, the return to in-person instruction was set aside. Through all of this, the school board supported OGEA members in waiting for vaccination before attempting to reopen schools.
At this point, the state and federal government have allocated billions of dollars for California schools to return to in-person instruction. OGSD will receive an infusion of cash to help with this return. Now that vaccines are widely available to educators, we are headed towards a phase-in opening with hybrid instruction beginning April 26. OGSD has returned to the idea of hybrid instruction because attempting to reopen schools with 100% of students would violate state distancing guidelines.
Management presented the AA/BB model of hybrid instruction to the school board and the community during the March board meeting. OGEA has been bargaining for safety language and to make the AA/BB model as successful as possible. While we recognize that this instructional model may not be ideal, we are working to make the best situation possible for the 7 weeks that we return to in-person instruction this year. If next year begins with hybrid instruction again, then we will have the opportunity to work with management to change the current model. This will depend on what state health guidelines and educational requirements look like for the fall and what we, as OGEA members, decide to push for. Our current situation is temporary and our union of professionals will rise to the challenge for the remainder of the school year.
Thank you to our members who have been so engaged in the bargaining process this year. You have filled out numerous surveys, attended site meetings and written your feedback to the bargaining team. If you need to contact the bargaining team, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also reach OGEA Vice President, Bob Prola, at