FILE — Little Rock Education Association President Teresa Knapp Gordon talks with teachers and supporters at Central High School as Little Rock School District employees held a one-day strike in this Nov. 14, 2019 file photo.
The Little Rock Education Association, a union of teachers and support staff in the Little Rock School District, has scheduled a membership meeting for Sunday, association President Teresa Knapp Gordon said Friday.
The 2 p.m. online meeting of the private organization comes after Little Rock Superintendent Mike Poore announced Wednesday that the district of more than 20,000 students will begin a five-days-a-week, on-campus instructional program starting Monday for those students who have opted for in-person learning.
The five-days-a-week instructional plan is a change from the phased reentry schedule used this past week, but it’s one of the two options for instruction — the other being 100% online — that the district initially announced for the opening of schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gordon said after Poore’s announcement that her group disagrees with the plan that puts more students on campus each day — about 50% of all students as compared with the 25% to 30% on campus each day with the phased reentry plan.
“We are not pleased with the decision,” she said Wednesday. “We are not satisfied with the safety in schools and believe that this move is premature.”
Before the start of school, Gordon had said that teachers would give the phased reentry plan a chance by teaching on campus.
She also said that if teachers see safety threats to students and teachers or are treated as being dispensable, “we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps to prevent unwarranted exposure and illness from covid-19.”
For the 24-hour period between 3 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, the district reported that one staff person at McDermott Elementary School had tested positive for the virus. Four other staff members and two students affiliated with the school are in quarantine. Additionally, one student at Booker and two students at Forest Heights schools are in quarantine.
The Little Rock district’s daily and weekly updates on numbers of district students and employees with covid-19 or who have been quarantined because of exposure can be found online at lrsd.org/covidupdate.