Seattle Public Schools may delay the start of the school year so teachers can train on “remote learning best practices,” according to a district newsletter sent Friday.
The district’s website said this possible delay was a topic of negotiations with the teachers union, which have been underway since June. Classes are scheduled to start Sept. 2.
It is unclear by how long the school year would be delayed. SPS spokesman Tim Robinson declined to share more information, citing ongoing bargaining. Union officials were not immediately available for comment.
“That is all tied up in the bargaining so there’s nothing I can say about it,” Robinson wrote in an email.
The district and the union have been discussing work expectations for this fall, sparring over the prospect of some instructors providing in-person services. This marks the third straight summer when bargaining talks have cast doubt over the first day of school.
Robinson denied that the idea of a delayed start was being explored because not enough teachers were trained in the spring and summer.
“There is no tie in to some sort of need to make up for deficiencies over the summer,” he wrote.
The district has offered some opportunities to brush up on skills since the closures. Since spring, over 1,400 educators took a course on Schoology, the district’s learning management system, according to a fall “reopening” plan the district submitted to the state. A few hundred more took different courses on topics like recording videos for the internet and digital citizenship. The union represents about 6,000 SPS employees.