A MESSAGE ABOUT REMOTE LEARNING FROM THE NATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL INITIATIVE

As you may know, I’m one of the co-founders of The National Summer School Initiative (NSSI). Our program is currently working with 53 organizations in 17 states to offer 12,000 students in a rich and engaging summer experience.

We are planning for our fall program and would love the opportunity to connect with a select number of potential district and charter school partners to explore how we might work together to support remote learning in the new academic year. We plan to focus on grades 3-8, which I think will help narrow the target audience.

I’ve attached a letter for you with more context and details. Additionally, linked here is our website. Thank you in advance for your support and interest.

Steven Wilson

Co-Founder

THE NATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL INITIATIVE

schoolsreimagined.org

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PREMIERE SPONSOR EQUITABLE AND THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS GROUP

To each of you who make up the NC charter school community, Equitable Advisors, LLC is excited to be the Premiere Sponsor for the 2020 Annual Charter School Conference. On behalf of each of us, we are thrilled to be participating, sponsoring a breakout, and presenting one of the conferences special guest speakers, Ann Hughes, founder and president of The Female Affect! Register to join her session. We promise you will NOT want to MISS this! Here for you as your Trusted Resource bringing Clarity and Confidence to your Financial Futures – Where we turn your 403b into a comfortable retirement plan that you deserve!

The Retirement Benefits Group!

Get the Best out of Yourself with AXA Advisors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnUlRWE8YbY&authuser=0

The Retirement Benefits Group!

Get the Best out of Yourself with AXA Advisors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnUlRWE8YbY&authuser=0

LEGAL ALERT FROM ATTORNEY LISA GORDON-STELLA

We know many of you have  inquired about waivers/assumption of risk policies/forms for COVID.  This is an individual school decision that you should discuss internally and with legal counsel.  As we shared last week,  HB118 also provides limited immunity from claims related to COVID.  Keep in mind that waivers and assumption of risk agreements related to COVID have not been legally tested and there is no clear answer as to whether these types of agreements will be legally enforceable and provide protection from litigation.  Prevention and compliance with government orders, DPI/OCS guidance, CDC, OSHA and NCHHS is your best protection. Waivers will likely not protect you from gross negligence, failure to follow required guidelines and orders, or intentional acts. Attached are template assumption of risk and waivers created by attorney, Lisa Gordon Stella.  Before enacting or using them, be sure to discuss with your teams and legal counsel.

 

As for employee waivers, no waiver or other attempt at limiting liability can replace the need to maintain a safe workplace. You should start by ensuring you are in strict compliance with local orders, state regulations, and guidance from government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and local health authorities. Waiver agreements between employers and employees are traditionally disfavored due to the unequal bargaining power between them, as employers typically have superior bargaining power. In most states, such waivers do not apply to gross negligence or willful, intentional, or wanton conduct, as employers cannot waive such liability.  Employee waivers are even further limited due to workers’ compensation statutes, where states generally require medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs be provided to employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. For work-related injuries, employees generally cannot waive their worker’s compensation claims. Although it may be difficult for employees to prove they contracted COVID-19 at work, some states (like California) have created a rebuttable presumption that workers who contract COVID-19 are presumed to have a workplace injury covered by the workers’ compensation system. Waiver agreements with employees do not protect employers from OSHA complaints or enforcement action when a workplace is dangerous. However, the president recently signed an executive order directing federal agencies, like OSHA, to make exceptions for employers who attempt in good-faith to follow agency regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may ease some concerns about agency actions.

Practically speaking, waivers may discourage employees from returning to work and hinder restarting operations as a result. They may also result in negative reactions and publicity concerns, as has occurred in several instances across the country already.  But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains unclear whether courts and states will allow employers to enforce waiver agreements in this unprecedented time. Regardless of whether you decide to institute COVID-19 waivers to your returning workforce, you should develop return-to-work plans including steps to train employees on any exposure danger, how to eliminate those dangers, and best practices to stay safe.

Sample Acknowledgement of Risk and Responsibilities

Sample COVID-19 WAIVER, RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT