Principal’s plan ready for possible teacher strike


Alliana Samonte

Spanish teacher Marta Rodriguez and resource teacher Sadia Aziz talk with a parent when teachers distributed fliers on union contract negotiations with the school district back in October.

Farah Faiza and Itzel Luna

For the first time in 30 years, members of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union plan to strike after months of failed negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) concerning salaries, class size reductions and the hiring of more staff.

While the strike was initially planned to commence Jan. 10, the date was postponed to Jan. 14, which allowed schools more time to prep for the absence of 32,000 teachers.

UTLA has been in negotiations with LAUSD since April 2017, with its members working without a contract since July 2017. With both sides currently unable to reach a compromise, LAUSD is managing the situation by ensuring that schools have established plans in response to a strike.

“Every principal had to write a strike work stoppage plan and in that plan, each principal had to define how they were going to organize each day,” Principal Deb Smith said.

Smith plans to rotate students from room to room throughout the day, although not all rooms will be accessible. Students will be stationed in classrooms and will change only twice a day, unlike the school’s regular schedule. Room rotations will occur after nutrition and lunch.

It has also been confirmed that Daniel Pearl Magnet High School will receive substitute teachers but the amount is still unknown. Smith is unsure of the number of teachers striking but office workers, cafeteria workers and the plant manager will be in regular attendance. Parent volunteers and Financial Manager Erica Felicitas may be present, but if not, the student store will be closed. Teacher assistants will also be on campus to help special needs students.

Bus drivers and their routes are expected to remain the same, however, the drop-off and pick up locations may change from the back of the school to the front.

“I don’t expect our students to be unsafe anymore than they are right now,” Smith said.

Click here to view some interviews with teachers and students on the impending teachers strike.