Minneapolis Federation of Teachers 0

To The Interim Superintendent, Administrators and Members of the Board of Education of the Minneapolis Public Schools

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Working directly with students and being prepared for the next day's work with them are the most important responsibilities teachers and related service professionals have;

High-quality lessons and meaningful interactions each day are paramount to successful teaching and learning;

Teachers and related service professionals are already short of adequate time to prepare for the next day's work with students:

We, the undersigned, are disturbed by the following:

The proposed seven-period day schedule will interfere with adequate preparation time by reducing bookend times to less than 15 minutes;

Workloads that were supposed to decrease under new MPS declarations and a Memorandum of Agreement have increased. Class sizes and caseloads are growing and there are now additional meetings, professional development sessions, and new initiatives for next year;

At the middle school level, dismissal times have been changed so that teachers and students are expected to leave the grounds at the same time, which is not a workable situation;

Preparation times during the day are being used up for things other than preparation, i.e., IEP meetings, professional development, paperwork, data entry, lack of reserves, PDPLC, team meetings, and so on;

The back-to-school week, now being called "Workshop Week", has greatly reduced our ability to prepare for the start of the school year with students; there was never an agreement that this time would be cut to less than two days -- an unacceptable timeframe for being well-prepared for students, and;

Teachers are being asked to stay for meetings after work hours on a volunteer basis;

THEREFORE, MPS Teachers and Related Service Professionals call upon you to take the following actions:

Minneapolis Public School leadership will put a moratorium on all initiatives and time changes to the school day and/or school year until such time as a thorough review can be taken of the urgent need for the changes, their impact on teaching and learning, and the implementation support that will be provided for the changes. This review must be done WITH the professionals who work with students on a daily basis in buildings. Given that being prepared for our work with students is one of our most important responsibilities, we expect that any changes resulting in a loss of preparation time for professionals, will be adjusted or not implemented.

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