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Over the past few weeks, California’s educators have responded and adapted to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with an innovative spirit, heartfelt dedication to students, and uncommon grace.

I am moved by your determination to continue teaching and the care you show for our children and youth.

CTA President E. Toby Boyd holds a tele-town hall meeting with members in March.

As you embrace the new environment of virtual teaching, you’re using creative ways to safely connect and inspire students and communities. While there have been challenges due to the lack of technology and access for some of California’s 6 million students, you’ve done everything in your power to reach them and meet them where they are.

And you are doing all this while balancing the impact of COVID-19 on your own lives and families.

CTA continues to advocate for our members and students. Since schools physically closed in March, CTA has prepared and hosted teacher-led webinar trainings to help educators transition to virtual teaching. Topics include classroom management in a digital setting, online math assessments, and teaching specialized populations. We are planning many more.

We’ve created a clearinghouse of resources for members that offers the latest information and guidance from state and federal agencies, best practices for distance learning, answers to frequently asked questions, member benefits, and other useful information.

Our Facebook group “CTA Teaching, Learning and Life During COVID-19” has drawn thousands of members who actively support, advise and engage each other.

And with schools closed for the rest of the academic year, CTA is working with the California Department of Education and labor and management partners to coordinate efforts on distance learning that will guide educators and allow more students to access school resources.

On a very bright note, in early April the Schools and Communities First campaign submitted a record-setting 1.7 million signatures to qualify the SCF initiative for the November 2020 ballot. SCF will bring in some $12 billion annually for our schools and essential public services. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the need for this measure, as educators, health care workers, first responders and communities grapple with the pandemic. Passage of SCF will go a long way toward ensuring equity and advancement in our society.

I could not be prouder of you and the work you are doing in this time. We are #InThisTogether and we will all get through this together.

E. Toby Boyd

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