Monday night, at the Caddo Parish School Board meeting, there was an agenda item called, Request for Level IV Grievance Hearing, Re: Planning Period. The process is for the board to decide if they will hear the grievance (typically at the next meeting), to move to uphold the lower decision or to move to uphold with additional information or directive from the board. To date, five high schools had signed onto a class action grievance over the lack of planning time.
The first motion was from Larry Ramsey, moving to uphold the lower decision, Jasmine Green countered with a motion to hear the grievance. After consultation with us, the motion was adjusted to include moving to a 7 period day for next school year, planning will be daily (minimum of 225 minutes per week), before and after school will not be used or considered as planning time. The motion passed unanimously.
What does this mean? The message Red River United members sent in filing the grievances and coming before the board last fall was heard. They formalized it last night. You won! You stood up for your professional rights and the very purpose of what you do – teaching and learning. We should feel a sense of satisfaction and pride. This vote applies to every elementary, middle, and high school teacher in Caddo Parish.
We will remain vigilant. We must continue to watch for additional elements such as student hours, overcrowded classrooms, lunchtime, and of course, encroachment on planning. We are also moving legislation to have BESE define ‘planning’. Representative Norton is presenting that this session. At this point, we do not foresee any problem with it moving. All this work just sets the stage if we need to address any of it again, including the possibility of litigation.
Finally, let me say, I will forever remain in awe and humbled by what you said and did throughout this process. You are true heroes.
Please contact Jackie Lansdale with your personal circumstances if you are still short planning time. School Principals have a list of interim solutions that should be put into practice to resolve planning concerns.