In response to the Western Maine Leader's Letter that recently went public, Heidi Broomhall, President of DEA, and I met and we are releasing this joint statement:
RSU 56 and the Dirigo Education Association (DEA) have worked diligently together in all aspects of the RSU 56 Return to Classroom Instruction Framework. A Collaborative Team was formed in July, consisting of 18 members including administrators, teachers, ed-techs, nurses and building/grounds/transportation employees. All four members of the DEA executive board serve on the Collaborative Team. The Collaborative Team remains active and convenes, as necessary, to review the Framework and recommend adjustments to the Board as deemed appropriate.
We believe that RSU 56 is one of the districts that is “handling the situation better than others.” The combined efforts of RSU 56 and the DEA have already resulted in:
More time for teachers to prepare. The school day was shortened by an hour each day to allow teachers more prep time.
Remote learning teachers have been designated at Dirigo Elementary School.
Autonomy of teaching is valued.
The PEPG (Professional Evaluation, Professional Growth) evaluation system has already been modified during COVID.
Support Staff are valued and creative ways to work with students has been encouraged.
PPE and other safety measures have been put in place, including student-sized masks, social distancing, one way traffic and establishing smaller pods of students where feasible.
Involving educators in decisions regarding education and safety.
We believe that a strong, professional working relationship between RSU 56 and DEA has resulted in a unified Framework that focuses on the safety of staff and students. We look forward to our continued collaboration in service to the best interest of staff and students of RSU 56.
Pam Doyen, Superintendent
Heidi Broomhall, DEA President