Communication from Superintendent Zarea

Superintendent Email to PVSD Staff and Community

Agreement Reached between the Portola Valley School District (PVSD) and the Portola Valley Teachers Association (PVTA)

August 10, 2020

Dear Portola Valley School District Community,

We are excited to announce that the Portola Valley School District (PVSD) and Portola Valley Teachers Association (PVTA) have reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the District's ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.* 

Our ability to reach agreement so swiftly is a testament to the strong relationship between our District and the Association. Key to the negotiations was a mutual commitment to ensure health and safety for all, while also putting the needs of students first. 

The following key items were agreed to:

  • Teachers will provide extensive live, synchronous teaching during distance learning.

  • Teachers will have the option of teaching from their classrooms as they implement rigorous distance learning.

  • When the district deems it appropriate to pivot to the "in-person" model, teachers will be given no less than 48 hours notice to transition from a distance learning model to live instruction on-campus with their students. 

  • Teachers will deliver distance learning through District-approved platforms (i.e., SeeSaw, Google Suite and Zoom) and site administrators will have access

  • Staff may be involved in some in-person services on campus, such as material preparation, individualized assessments and other essential activities as needed. All health and safety guidelines will apply.

  • All teacher evaluation protocols remain in effect as normal for the 2020-2021 school year, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 environment.

Additionally, the District and the Association mutually agreed to adjust the school year calendar in order to provide six days (August 13th-20th) devoted to preparation, training, and collaboration before school starts for students on August 21st. This period is critically important to providing teachers time to prepare for distance learning instruction.

“I am pleased with how quickly we were able to reach an agreement with PVTA,” said Portola Valley School District Superintendent Roberta Zarea. “After working to proactively address key staff concerns which have arisen as a result of COVID-19, we have collectively reached the best possible plan given our current circumstances — including extensive live instruction teaching and the ability to transition into on-campus learning quickly, while also valuing the safety of our teachers, students and broader community.”  

Portola Valley Teachers Association President John Davenport said he was also pleased with the negotiation outcome.

“PVTA is happy to have worked with PVSD’s leadership in order to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding that ensures safe working conditions for the teaching staff while creating the best possible learning environment for the students.  The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to circumstances that are troubling school districts nationwide.  Fortunately, PVSD and PVTA have the kind of relationship that allowed us to tackle the problem together in a true spirit of cooperation and collegiality.”

Superintendent Zarea added “We greatly appreciate the community’s patience as we have worked collaboratively and intentionally to finalize this agreement and craft a timely and successful school reopening plan. Teamwork, collective accountability and efficient communication have been and will continue to be key elements to a successful relationship between PVTA and PVSD. Most importantly, moving forward together will ensure that PVSD will provide a quality education with safe environments for all students and staff members. I look forward to the day students are back on campus. Until then, please know that you have a strong commitment from our teachers and district leadership to make these incredibly difficult circumstances the best they can be for students. We are all in this together.”

*The school board will be asked to ratify this agreement at the August 13th school board meeting.