Summit Alumni Support Summit Teachers

Diane Tavenner

After over two years of bargaining and mediation, Summit Public Schools has yet to settle a first contract with Summit’s teachers’ union, Unite Summit. Our school communities cannot wait any longer for the student supports and job protections for teachers that we are advocating for in our contract because we know that students are the ones who are most impacted by the high teacher turnover.

Currently, only 30% of Summit teachers have been with Summit for over 3 years.

On March 31st, 95% of Summit teachers across all California school sites voted yes to authorize a strike.

We are calling on the support and show of solidarity from Summit alumni who know firsthand the impact that Summit teachers, as mentors and subject teachers, have on the experiences of students during their time at Summit schools. Summit communities are built on the relationships between students and their teachers, and it is imperative that we settle a fair contract NOW.

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Oakland, CA

To: Diane Tavenner
From: [Your Name]

We, the alumni of Summit Public Schools, are in solidarity with Summit teachers represented by Unite Summit and their efforts to settle for a fair contract that provides adequate support for English Language Learners, does not allow management to suspend the contract during emergencies, and includes a 2 year probationary period.

Summit teachers are the backbone of our communities and they deserve respect and to be valued for the work that they put into our schools by providing them with the support they need to best serve their students and basic rights to be treated as the professionals they are.

Summit mentoring continues to be the heart of how Summit operates. The issue of teacher retention within Summit schools makes this vision near impossible to enact, especially with the ongoing pandemic and a teacher shortage. As alumni, we remember year after year, the high turnover of teachers, forcing students to abruptly end relationships with trusted adults while having to adjust to new faculty. We know, firsthand, what it is like for mentors to leave during our time as students and the uncertainty and instability that causes for us and our peers. It is in your best interest to listen to teachers and act on their recommendations to ensure that you are retaining current and future mentors, who play such a significant role in the lives and success of Summit students.

The amount of time negotiations are taking is unacceptable and a clear dismissal of the experiences of both teachers and students. Current Summit students should not have to suffer from another year of high turnover of teachers. Settling this contract is vital to better the Summit community. It is time that you respect Summit teachers as professionals and settle this contract now because they know what is best for students and their communities.