The contract, which was made official by district and union heads on Aug. 31, stipulates that teachers “will not have any assigned duties that involve supervising any students for the first 15 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the school day.” That’s meant to give Eastside teachers a chance to hang up their coats, read emails and review curriculum before the school day begins in earnest each morning and do more of the same after it ends each afternoon.
But, despite the words on paper, East Grand Forks Education Association leaders claim that elementary-level teachers are still being prompted to supervise students during that time. The union filed a formal grievance with the district on Sept. 26.
“We should have no students assigned to us for any responsibility until 8 o’clock or after 3:30,” Mark Swenson, a middle school science teacher at the district who heads the union’s negotiation committee, told the Herald on Tuesday. “The district isn’t living up to that…It means that kids are either in the teacher’s room or right outside a teacher’s room, which requires the teacher’s attention, rather than letting the teacher get organized and make phone calls and prep for the day and