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Pinellas County School District proposes simultaneous teaching solutions, some say it’s not enough

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LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Defeated and angry, the Pinellas Classroom Teachers’ Association said that’s how many teachers are feeling because of simultaneous teaching. That’s when they instruct their students both online and in-person at the same time.

The school district and teachers union are both proposing changes, but still, aren’t seeing eye to eye.

“Defeated and frustrated because they’re not able to reach all of their students and cant provide the level of education that they’re used to providing,” said Nancy Valardi, PCTA President.

She said changes they proposed to the board include re-doing schedules to create small pure face to face classrooms, virtually group students in online-only classes by school or county, and stipends for those teaching simultaneously.

“I would venture to say that anything is possible but it all comes at an opportunity cost,” said Kevin Hendrick, Pinellas County Associate Superintendent.

Hendrick said they’re proposing different solutions, including teaching groups in 20-minute segments, using a tablet to allow teachers to watch students at home and in class, using a headset earbud to hear online students while teaching the in-person class.

8 On Your Side’s Christine McLarty asked Hendrick if the district would consider the stipend the classroom association is asking for? “I can’t speak to that,” said Hendrick. He said that’s something that happens in negotiations so it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to make a comment.

The district said 52% of teachers are teaching simultaneously, by PCTA said they would like to get that number below 10%.

Travis Lueth and his wife are teachers, he said while leaders negotiate, they’re stuck in the middle.

“Somewhere along the way someone is getting the short end of the stick, teachers only have so much attention to give,” said Lueth.

PCTA said their next bargaining meeting is at the school district headquarters Monday, September 14th. Stay with 8 On Your Side for details about decisions that could impact students and teachers.

Below is the latest proposal of solutions from PCTA to the school district.

Below is the latest proposal of solutions from the school district leaders to PCTA.

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