Dear School Board Members, Dr. Taylor, and SEA Members,
On Tuesday, January 11th, SEA distributed a survey to all SCPS employees. We asked for position, building level, and two simple questions:
- Do you support the current policy requiring masks for everyone in SCPS schools?
- Do you support the current policy requiring masks for everyone in SCPS non-school buildings?
We also gave staff the option to provide additional comments. Over 1700 employees responded to this survey, preceded in precedent only by the Wellness Days survey from earlier this school year. That amount of participation speaks to the level of employee concern over this topic.
As you can see from the survey results, SCPS employees overwhelmingly support masking for all in both school and non-school buildings. In fact, merely 22% of employees did not support masking in any SCPS locations.
Multiple school districts across the Commonwealth have publicly indicated that their mask mandates will continue to be enforced for all, including but not limited to Richmond, Alexandria, and Henrico.
SEA has already received nearly 50 reports of staff intending to resign in light of the Governor’s announcement, and we anticipate this number will climb through the remainder of the school year unless sufficient mitigation strategies are enforced for all.
Numerous staff and students across the county are battling serious illness, autoimmune disease, undergoing cancer treatments, or are otherwise at extreme risk from COVID-19.
The health and safety of SCPS staff and students should be prioritized with the continued enforcement of CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Anything less knowingly puts the entire division at risk.
Kathy Butler, SEA President
Michele Wickman, Data Consultant
Robin Gardner, SEA Uniserv Director