Our Commitment to Public Education in Washington County, Maryland
Preamble: In Washington County, Maryland, one public education community exists that includes teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, all educational support personnel, the elected Board of Education members, parents, guardians/caregivers, students, and other community stakeholders including business and industry leaders. Cooperative and collaborative relationships and partnerships between stakeholders and educators are vital to the health and success of the entire school community which is supported through the bargaining process and negotiated agreements. Formal, informal, and fluid opportunities to collaborate serve the best interests of our educational system, students, and community. Therefore, we believe, whether at school, via distance learning, or within blended educational settings, that:
- Free, quality, equitable, and accessible public education is a fundamental civil right that is vital to sustaining and improving democracy.
- Young people, regardless of who they are, where they are from, what they can do, or what they believe must be educated in the skills and mindsets needed to be responsible, productive, and healthy humans and citizens.
- Mental, emotional, and physical wellness (including trauma informed care) of students, families, school employees, and the overall Washington County community must be a priority and be fully resourced and implemented in order for meaningful work and learning to occur.
- Actions and decisions in response to national, state, or local emergencies, crises, and initiatives must include the input and cooperation of the entire school community (parents, guardians/caregivers, business and industry leaders, teachers, administrators, and students) to plan, prepare, and implement educational activities in order to ensure equity, accessibility, quality, and success for all.
- Roles, responsibilities, and rights of teachers, educational support personnel, and administrators as well as parents, guardians/caregivers, and students must be respected and apparent in all interactions, communications, and decisions so that each individual’s dignity is upheld.
- Maryland State Department of Education regulations are necessary for public interests. According to Education Section 6-408, local school boards and administrative leaders must include and work in good faith with teachers and support personnel through their respective bargaining units* in conversations, decision-making, and task forces/committees relevant to working conditions at school, via distance learning, or within blended educational settings in order to fully support employee efforts to “educate and enable all students to fully access opportunities afforded them in a rapidly changing, diverse, global society” (WCPS Vision Statement).
*In Washington County, Maryland, teachers are represented by the Washington County Teachers Association (WCTA) and educational support personnel are represented by the Washington County Education Support Personnel (WCESP).
Written and adopted by the Washington County Teachers Association Board of Directors, the 26th day of May 2020, on the eve of the celebration of WCTA’s 100th Anniversary (1921-2021), in support of all partners in the educational community of Washington County, Maryland, and in response to ongoing efforts on behalf of members in this new era of public education.
2020 WCTA Board of Directors
President - Neil Becker; Vice-President - Carol Mowen; Secretary-Treasurer - Eric Tilmans;
High School - Beckie Higgins-Arey and Carol Kreykenbaum-Barnhart;
Middle School - Tonya Rowe and Eric Yeckley;
Elementary School - Keith McCray, Robin Spickler, and Jeffrey Sievers
To add your name and join us in signing this pledge, please click here.
Amber R. Woody
Jaime Mason Lego
Michelle A Rafter
Heather A. Hickok
Amy M. Miller
Mary Chanda Thompson
Pamela J Tew
Emily J. Clark
Betty J. Spessard
Kerry Durgin Krebs
Jillian E Horton
Updated June 27, 2020: These "digital" signatures will be updated regularly. Thank you for your support of the Washington County, Maryland, public education community.