Yonkers Public Schools teachers must now respond to parents’ and students’ emails using their district-issued email addresses, according to Lohud.
This new policy came into effect on Monday, Feb. 13 after members of the Yonkers City Council began questioning how often teachers correspond with parents via email.
"They're always talking about parental involvement, so they should answer parents' emails," Liam McLaughlin, president of the Yonkers City Council, said at a meeting last week before the City Council Education Committee, reports Lohud.
Yonkers Public Schools spokeswoman Jerilynne Fierstein cited that other forms of communications have included and will continue to include, but not be limited to phone calls, person-to-person meetings, and written correspondence, according to an email to Lohud. However, teachers will not be required to respond on weekends or holidays.
Pat Puleo, president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, said that the problem is not with correspondence, but rather having the tools to do so. "It's a false statement to say teachers don't respond to emails," Puleo said, according to Louhud. "We've always taken the position that unless you give us an email system that works, a computer that works, and an email storage system, we're reluctant to require it." A proper email system and equipment is expected to be in place in the district by September.
Mayor Mike Spano has been negotiating a retroactive contract that calls for raises of about 2 percent annually between 2014 and 2021 since December. The delay led to the deal requiring teachers to be responsive to families on email. On Tuesday, Feb. 14 the City Council approved the seven-year contract for Yonkers teachers to include retroactive raises, reports News 12.
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