The EEA ratified the 2017-2020 contract during a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The Edmonds School Board held a five-minute special meeting on Wednesday and unanimously approved the contract.
EEA voters also “overwhelmingly” approved the contract, according to EEA President Andi Nofziger.
“Our members were very pleased with the agreement,” Nofziger said. “They like that it focuses on the students and classrooms that needed it most. It makes steps toward providing them resources to do their jobs.”
Elements of the agreement include full-time counselors in elementary and K-8 schools, increased certificated nursing time in all schools as well as four additional student half-days to allow teachers to plan, assess, collaborate or communicate with parents.
There are also guarantees for smaller class sizes for classrooms containing students who require more teacher attention, such as English Language Learners or those with learning disabilities.
“It is a great contract for both the kids and the certificated staff in our system,” Nofziger said. “We would have liked to do more with class size reduction, but until the state fulfills the McCleary funding, we are unable to do so.”
The contract also includes incentives for substitute teachers to work in Edmonds. Nurses will also be given an additional full day at each school, meaning they will have three days at high schools and two days at elementary and middle schools.
Class sizes, teacher time and nurse time were all issues brought forward during rallies this summer before and during school board meetings.
School Board members were vocal in their approval of the contract.
“What these teachers do and the impact to our students is so, so important, and I was so glad to see everyone come together to work for our kids,” said Board Member Diana White.
“I’m very, very happy to be signing this,” Board Member Carin Chase said.
With the approval on both sides, school is expected to begin as scheduled on Sept. 6.
Though not yet updated as of Aug. 30, the full contract will soon be posted to the School District’s website.