Dear ND United members,

I hope all is well wherever this note finds you and that you and yours are healthy and happy.

It is almost the Fourth of July and that means that it will be “go time” in six weeks or so for almost all of North Dakota’s great public schools. Right now, the ND Department of Public Instruction and Governor Burgum are developing guidance for school districts as they reopen their schools. It is our hope that those guidelines will be in the hands of local school boards as soon as possible.

In meetings with administrators, school-board members and DPI staff that I have had these past two weeks, it is clear that they want the state to provide guidance in the form of data sets that school districts should monitor regionally that would inform their decisions, but that they want to make those decisions for their schools, not the state.

What is also fairly clear, and what I advocated for, is that teachers and education support professionals will be included on local committees and task forces charged with developing local plans that adhere to the state’s guidelines.

Attached please find a document prepared by NEA that provides guidance on reopening:

Initial Guidance for Reopening Schools

Please read the document and discuss it with your colleagues. Most importantly, though, make sure your voice is heard as the reopening plan for your district is developed.

Have the best Independence Day! Be well and stay safe!

Nick Archuleta