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New LAUSD guide tells parents how to prepare for a teacher strike and talk to their kids about it

Esmeralda Fabián Romero | October 16, 2018



As Los Angeles moved one step closer to a teacher strike, LA Unified this week released a Family Resource Guide to help parents prepare for the possibility of a teacher walkout.

The guide, also available in Spanish, addresses questions parents have raised about what will happen at the schools and how to talk with their children about it. It also outlines how the contract negotiations with the teachers union reached this point, and it includes contact information for schools and other LA Unified offices.

What parents need to know:

  • Schools will remain open.
  • Students are expected to attend school every day.
  • School schedules will remain the same, including before and after-school programs.
  • Students will continue to receive classroom instruction by qualified LA Unified staff, including substitute employees and school administrators.
  • Meals will continue to be served.
  • Students will be safe and will be supervised by district staff.

What can parents do?

  • Make sure your school has your current contact information, so if there are changes such as to school schedules, you can be notified immediately.
  • Volunteer at your school to help in the classroom or playground.
  • Continue to check grades and assignments through the Parent Portal website.
  • Encourage your children to continue to focus on their studies.
  • Assure your children that they didn’t do anything wrong and that the strike is temporary, and that people will return to work.

The call to parents to volunteer, however, didn’t address a new rule this year that requires all adults who have any contact with children to be fingerprinted. Parents have reported the process is complicated and time-consuming. Two months into the school year, one elementary school had received only the first batch of 19 parent volunteer badges, but 250 parents were waiting to be processed.

Community organizations have also been preparing for a potential strike and have been fielding questions about what will happen in the schools. At parents’ request, one organization held an informational session and invited a representative of United Teachers Los Angeles to speak. But parents were frustrated when they heard only about the union’s demands around salary increases and class size reductions and not about how a strike could affect their children’s education or how they could prepare for it.

• Read more: UTLA wanted immigrant parents’ support for a teachers strike. Instead, parents wanted to know, ‘How would this strike guarantee a high-quality education for our children?’

A district spokeswoman said the guide has been posted on the district’s website and social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She said principals will go over the guide with parents at their “Coffee with the Principal” meetings and at the schools’ parent centers. This week, the district also will be calling students’ homes and sending emails to parents to let them know about the new guide.

 

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