FCPS SBTS MATTER

19 April 2020

Dear FCPS School Based Technology Specialists,

First and foremost, the Fairfax Education Association Board of Directors would like to thank and recognize the efforts of YOU, our wonderful School Based Technology Specialists. We are forever indebted to you for your professionalism, unquestionable work ethic, and dedication to our colleagues and students during this time of unprecedented crisis.

We have heard your stories. We have witnessed your treatment at the hands of FCPS leadership first hand during the School Board Meeting held on 16 April 2020. We are appalled with the manner in which you were maligned and attacked by staff over the course of this meeting.

From listening to you, we know that – despite claims otherwise – SBTS operated under the guidance and provisions laid out by upper FCPS leadership, and are in no way responsible for the complete fiasco that occurred during the first week of distance learning. 

Winston Churchill once said that, “the price of greatness is responsibility.” If the above meeting is any indicator, this notion is foreign to those at the top of the synchronous distance learning rollout. The apparent FCPS culture of leadership passing the blame while expecting greatness from frontline staff is troublesome and does not foster  a “caring culture.” We expect better from them.

Therefore, the Fairfax Education Association is expecting the following actions from the School Board, Dr. Brabrand, and upper FCPS Leadership:

  • A formal public apology from the Department of Information Technology Assistant Superintendent to SBTS for myriad defamatory comments made during the above School Board meeting
  • Consideration of hazard pay for SBTS, especially those who still reported to buildings over the weeks following the shutdown
  • A public statement from Dr. Brabrand and FCPS Upper Leadership recognizing the excellence of our SBTS’ hard work since schools closed on March 13th
  • A commitment from FCPS to keep the FEA informed of any directives they give to SBTS from this point forward

We want you to know that we have also heard from your colleagues at your worksites. Stories of your professionalism; stories of your dedication; stories of you putting your health on the line to prepare and give students the tools they need to thrive during distance learning; stories of appreciation for your extraordinary efforts to assist colleagues. 

The simple truth is that what makes FCPS a “premier school system” is YOU. It is your colleagues – the teachers, counselors, instructional assistants, bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and support professionals – whom we are thankful to work with every day. Our students deserve our best, and we deserve the best of those in leadership positions within FCPS. We will continue to demand this, as we always have.

The FEA stands in solidarity with our SBTS community.  As the leading voice for FCPS students and employees, we will continue to fight for you. Please note, that the FEA can only represent individual SBTS who are members of the Association. For more information contact Kimberly Adams at: kadams@fairfaxea.org or join FEA at: www.fairfaxea.org/membership-form 

In Solidarity,

The Fairfax Education Association

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