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DSEA calls for school districts to look more closely at COVID operational capacity

The Delaware State Education Association – the union that represents teachers – is calling for school districts to assess operational capacity during the latest COVID surge.

DSEA President Stephanie Ingram is seeking changes to combat the challenges schools face during the post winter break surge in COVID cases.

Ingram is calling for COVID cleaning precautions to be resumed and adequate support to meet increased need for all workers

Ingram also called for KN95 masks to be distributed, and supports Gov. Carney’s plan to distribute 125,000 masks to educators and students.

"We are very thankful that the governor's office sought to release that first round of masks for our schools. It's one of the items that we know our members are asking for on a regular basis," said Ingram. "And we know that this is a one-time distribution, and we're hopeful that now the districts will continue to use this as kind of a guide and continue to provide masks for their staff and their students as well."

Carney said supplying the masks is a way to show support during the winter surge, and while Ingram will take any help from the state, she says helping teachers is a local issue for each district.

Ingram said teachers are going above and beyond and stretched to a breaking point covering classes since winter break.

She also wants districts to follow Laurel’s lead and to create a plan to address operational challenges and to communicate it to the community.

"This is what it looks like going forward if a happens then b, if b happens then c. Kind of plotting it out so people could actually be informed about how the decisions were being made and how that will affect them, a student, or a staff member, or a parent in the community," said Ingram.

Ingram also wants districts to use federal money received through the American Rescue Plan Act to help solve operational capacity issues many schools are dealing with now.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.