This fall, instructional days for West Contra Costa Unified students, who will start the year with distance learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will start at 10 a.m. and end by 3 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, according to a tentative agreement reached between the school district and members of the United Teachers of Richmond (UTR).
As part of the agreement, on Fridays teachers will, in part, receive professional development on race and equity, and will have time to reach out to families to offer support and build relationships, according to WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy, who summarized the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a recent statement.
The UTR membership is currently voting on the MOU. Votes are reportedly set to be counted Friday. The agreement must also be approved by the Board of Education.
Under the MOU, according to Superintendent Duffy, students will be required to engage in 260 minutes per day of content instruction, learning and/or engagement from Monday through Thursday. That time “includes a daily advisory or homeroom and office hours where teachers can connect individually or in small groups with students and families,” along with a 40-minute lunch break, Duffy said.
“On Fridays (which we have dubbed ‘Wellness Fridays’), teachers will have time set aside for ‘Family Hour,’ where they will reach out to families to offer support and build relationships and professional development on race and equity,” Duffy said. “Students will have their daily advisory and time for socio-emotional support, enrichment activities or to simply to catch up with work from the week.”
The WCCUSD has released sample schedules of what the school week could look like for both students and teachers (see below for some examples).
“The MOU creates the frame for the opening of schools and what classrooms will look like for educators, students and families when instruction begins on August 17,” Duffy said. “This is a starting point and we would like to thank UTR, school leaders, and parent and student groups for their support and feedback that has gotten us to this point.”
Examples of sample schedules proposed for this coming fall for teachers and students: