Planning for teams to cope through teacher stike

My school district (Denver public schools) is looking like we will have a teacher strike beginning next week. It will certainly effect a number of teams including mine, and I’m trying to sort out what I’ll be able to do, should it come to a strike. I’m a teacher and the team head coach, so it’s likely that not only will I have to stay out of team stuff, but the team will lose access to our shop for the duration. So. Anyone been through this before? Any advice?

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Your teams’ best move is most likely to identify somebody’s garage or other alternate build site, like, right now, and move all the stuff you need over there. Depending on your access methods (i.e. whether you have to unlock separately from school stuff or if someone else has keys or whatnot) you may want to start migrating immediately. Identify contingency plans.

With the robot most likely barely started you’ve actually got a really good opportunity to farm the small work out to students who have access to tools at home, if there are any. If you come back from the strike ready to assemble…

I’ve been on a team that lost their workspace for a short term due to “other stuff” and that’s how we handled it. The robot and other stuff migrated before we were kicked out, and migrated back when we could return.


This stinks. There is more to think about that you, however. During a strike all the school property may be locked up as well. The robot and robot parts may be considered school property along with the tools you need. There are two paths to take:

  1. It’s better to ask forgiveness than get permission: Get everything out of the shop now. That way someone can be working on things during the strike. This might cause some blow back with your Admins for various reasons. Be prepared.

  2. Ask what you can do: Your Admins may not care about the tools and robot, and may not have an issue with you taking it out of the building while on strike. That’s a possibility

Either way, you need to find a small shop, shed or garage you can work out of until the labor issue is resolved. Good Luck!

I doubt they’d care that much about the robot parts - any school-owned tools, maybe, but even then it’s well worth moving offsite immediately.

Our team was in a similar-ish situation last year. Our district’s midwinter break was near the end of build season, and the school’s new management decided that, for some reason, this would be the first time that the school would be completely closed over break and that we would be unable to access it whatsoever.

We packed up everything we could and carted all of our stuff to a student’s home who had a large garage and a few tools in place already. We then identified a group of around ten of the most senior and most effective build/electrical/programming students, and worked with only them over break (as much as we would love to include everybody, a garage can only fit so many people).

In the end, that worked out pretty well. I’d recommend attempting something similar if you can. Good luck.