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Midland ISD teachers protest school district’s re-entry plan

Many used their Friday lunch hour to gather outside the MISD Administration building calling for change
Published: Nov. 7, 2020 at 8:02 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - A group of Midland ISD teachers protested against going back to school five days a week Friday afternoon.

Starting Monday, the Midland ISD moves to Phase 5 of its re-entry plan, which moves schools from four days of classes per week to five.

Some teachers have a problem with that because they say nobody asked them if they had a problem.

Around 50 teachers protested the re-entry plan. Teachers like Erika Weber say they don’t like the idea of having traditional five-day classes during a pandemic.

“There needs to be an approach to accept the fact that there need to be new ways of doing things, and we’re going to have to change the way we’re doing things,” Weber said. “We’re not going back to the way it was before March.”

Under Phase 4, middle and high school students go to class four days per week, allowing teachers to spend Friday doing other work.

“I just think with the Fridays off, it gives us the whole day,” geometry teacher Christopher Suiter said. “It’s not like we’re taking a break. We are working. We are planning for the next week and the week after that. It just gives us time to get the grades in.”

Teachers feel like the current system is working, noting that students are putting in the same amount of work they would in a five-day week. But the school district is moving ahead with Phase 5 anyway, and teachers want to have their say.

“It’s not that they’re ignoring us,” Weber said. “We just want to be at the table when decisions are made.”

The school district has a different perspective.

“As a school district, our job is delivering school,” said MISD Chief Communications Officer Elena Ladd. “So, that is what we’re really focused on right now.”

But teachers feel the solution is simple: ask for their opinion.

“Ask us to come into decision-making as needed,” Weber said. “We will make time, even though our days are full.”

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