Fortuna Union High School District revisits teaching options

FORTUNA, Calif. (KIEM) – In-person instruction began on Monday for students in the Fortuna Union High School District.

However, with complications surfacing and students leaving the classroom to switch to distant learning, the Fortuna Union High School Teachers Association is still negotiating with the board. FUHSTA is also asking for public pressure Humboldt County Public Health Officer, Dr. Teresa Frankovich.

“We want public pressure on Frankovich,” Fortuna High School Spanish Teacher and FUHSTA President, Inma Thompson said. “A lot of these things, like when it comes to the mask rules or any of the safety plans, she’s the one that looks at them as says that’s good or that’s not.”

According to Thompson, several teachers need more time to establish a fine tuned plan for simultaneously teaching in class and on Zoom, as well as more time to implement safety procedures and ensure their effectiveness.

In between the daily two hour and fifteen minute classroom periods, Fortuna High School teachers are given 10 minutes to disinfect their classroom and every student desk followed by 10 minutes for a personal break.

Many are finding the time to be inadequate for the amount of work that needs to be done.

Thompson adds, although students are doing a great job at keeping their masks on during the break, social distancing is not being maintained.

Another concern FUHSTA would like addresses is that some teachers have medical concerns or personal matters that hinder teaching abilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want the conditions of our memorandum of understanding to be met,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of safety conditions in there but still we could go to distance learning.”

The Fortuna Union High School District scheduled a Wednesday evening board meeting on Zoom. The meeting begins with a closed session at 5 p.m. and open session begins at 6 p.m. Here is the link: https://www.fuhsdistrict.org/August%2012_%202020%20Board%20Packet.pdf