Majority of teachers’ union doesn’t support DSUSD’s latest education plan

Majority of teachers’ union doesn’t support DSUSD’s latest education plan

Olivia Sandusky


Desert Sands Unified School District has had students on campus for just over a month.

Tuesday night, they’ll vote to increase in-person learning from two to four days a week, while keeping safety precautions in place.

While teachers are ready to see their students, the Desert Sands Teachers Association (DSTA) says about two-thirds of their members don’t support the district’s proposal.

“Educators are completely exhausted and have no resources left to make any more changes,” said Trina Gonzales-Alesi, president of the DSTA.

If approved, the district’s plan would go into effect May 3rd.

Under the current proposal, Wednesday would remain a virtual day, but Cohorts A and B would be combined in the classroom on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Gonzales-Alesi says combining cohorts is a major concern for teachers.

“They’re not convinced that they would be able to fit all of their cohorts in their classroom because they know how many students are coming Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

When asked about the logistics of the change, the district says they can’t discuss the agenda item ahead of tonight’s vote.

But at their last board meeting, DSUSD board member Donald Griffith revealed they’ve received both praise and criticism over their reopening plans this year.

“Some people will tell us we’re moving too fast. Some people will tell us we’re moving too slow. Some people will tell us we’re moving in the wrong direction. But I will tell you we’re moving in a way that will advance the best interest of our students,” said Griffith.

The DSTA president says they’ve worked with the district continually throughout the pandemic to shift and meet state guidelines, but, she says this time, staff feels like its too late in the year to make more adjustments. 

“They’re exhausted, they have no reserves left and they feel with 24 days left it’s not going to make that much of a difference,” said Gonzales-Alesi.

The vote takes place at 7 pm on Tuesday April, 20.

You can watch the meeting or check the agenda here. 

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