8/13/2020 Updates and Q&A

Dear Colleagues,

As the school year rapidly approaches, we still have more questions than answers. Things are still changing daily, especially at the district level. (Employees who work in the districts will want to keep a close eye on what their districts are up to and alert us with any concerns.) However, some things are starting to come into focus. We want to make sure you know what we know, so have a look below for some important info, and get in touch if you want to talk about any of it!


At the last ESD Board meeting, Tony presented to the board the tentative reopening plans for the ESD-housed programs: the Juvenile Detention Education Program, the State Hospital, and the Westmoreland programs. It appears that Westmoreland is going to begin the year remotely, then move to a hybrid model. It appears Serbu and the hospital are going to resume in-person. If you work at one of these programs, you may want to have a look to get an idea of what ESD administration is preparing to submit to the State:

These are works in progress. If you have any questions or concerns about these plans, please get in touch with the union or with your supervisor.


LCEA is going to send out its own return to work survey at the end of this week to get members’ opinions and learn how to better serve members. It will be strictly confidential and the information will be used to help get things ready for the beginning of the school year for both the ESD as a whole as well as individual classrooms housed in certain districts.


Here are the highlights from some of the weekly Input meetings between the union and ESD administration:

Legislative Update

It looks like the legislature came through with most of the money, so we will dodge most of the big budget cuts!

Will I return to the school building to do distance learning?

The admin will expect employees housed in districts to follow district policy. Admin is still deciding whether or not employees in ESD-housed programs that are doing distance learning will be required to report to the school building.


The ESD will provide a cloth mask and disposable masks for employees. Employees may also provide their own masks for “everyday” use. On some occasions, such as feeding or personal care, special PPE will be required (such as a face shield or a medical grade mask.) In these instances, the ESD will provide them. They are still working on protocols for students who are unable to wear masks.

At-Risk employees

The OHA guidelines for at-risk continue to change. If you believe you may be at-risk, please keep a good watch on these guidelines.

Safety Committee

The LCEA/ESD Classroom Safety Committee will begin to meet soon, and will feature involvement from SAIF (worker’s comp. insurance). If you want to participate, reach out!

How many times can one person use COVID leave?
Just one time for yourself if you are sick. There is still a question if you can use COVID leave if your classroom is shut down due to sickness.

If you have any questions or concerns you would like us to bring to the admin, reach out to us and we’ll do our best to find the answer!


ODE just updated their guidelines for reopening, special ed, distance learning, and COVID scenarios effective 8/11. Find these documents here. You can keep an eye on Lane County’s COVID Metrics here. 


There was a glitch where some people were denied their claims. This has been resolved. We are hoping that this will not affect the timeline for payment, but are skeptical of the unemployment department’s capabilities to promptly deliver. When the money shows up from the Feds, do NOT lose the check! It might not be able to be replaced.


LCEA is currently seeking IA reps. If you are an IA and would like to get involved, or if you have a coworker you think would be great for the position, please contact us!