Cranston, R.I. (June 11, 2020) - 'The National Education Association Rhode Island is supportive of a statewide unified calendar for all public school districts. For this upcoming school year, it gives the entire state a starting date and serves as a goal to which we can aspire. Teachers and Education Support Professionals will work 180 days, students will learn for 180 days, and eight days of professional development is built into that calculation. Whether we are teaching and learning in our school buildings, via distance learning, or a hybrid of both, we know there is a great deal of planning ahead in the coming weeks. Our teachers and support professionals have raised the bar high during an unprecedented period in our history. The last few months have taught us that, should we need to engage in distance learning at any point in the 2020-2021 school year, we have the ability to do so with much greater efficiency. The health and safety of our members and students always comes first and as we move forward, we will negotiate impact and details district by district.'