Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Here are a few things on my radar this week:

  • Corona Virus (COVID-19) — The National Education Association (NEA), exercising reasonable caution, has decided to cancel or postpone several upcoming events. The Bargaining Conference, MW Region meeting, the Executive Directors’ meeting, the State Affiliate Presidents’ meeting and the Leadership Summit are all canceled. The NCSEA Teacher Shortage Convening will be rescheduled. From a personal point of view, I was one of the leaders helping to plan the Bargaining Conference and the Teacher Shortage Convening. I’m sad that they will not go on as planned. Still, it is just too risky to bring folks together and potentially expose them to this insidious virus. The CDC has some great information about COVID-19 as well as some recommendations to avoid contracting the virus that  you can find here.
  • More on COVID-19 Our brothers and sisters of the NEA affiliate Federal Education Association and others who work on military bases around the globe are at particular risk of infection. In Italy, where base schools are closed, teachers are expected to report to their classes and teach students online. You can read about that right here.
  • Valley City Public Schools — A while back, Valley City Superintendent Josh Johnson sent an e-mail to education leaders asking for help in developing a plan to tackle growing concerns in VC related to his district’s growing ethnic diversity. I was able to arrange a meeting between Superintendent Johnson, NEA’s Human and Civil Rights shop and myself. On Thursday, we met again with the HCR staff to discuss the specific needs of the district and to determine the best training for students, staff and the community. We will meet again in VC later this month. This is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, this community needs the necessary guidance and the tools to mitigate the issues that have become divisive and hurtful. Second, ND United wins when it is recognized as an organization that school districts can partner with when they need help with concerns like these or with other meaningful professional development.
  • 2020 Census We should all be thinking about the upcoming 2020 Census. The information gathered during each decennial census is used to help determine federal funding for everything from Head Start to road construction. I have heard that with the near-record unemployment figures in the state, Census 2020 workers are more and more difficult to find. If you know someone interested in making between $18 and $21 per hour doing this important work, send them to this site, where they – and you, too! – can find important information regarding the 2020 Census.

That’s it for this week. As always, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a note at nick.archuleta@ndunited.org.

Here’s wishing you a great rest of the week!




Nick Archuleta
ND United President