Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
The next Delegate Assembly is back on May 18.
SHOW OF SPIRIT: Members from Susan Wagner HS on Staten Island cheer Dr. Helen Decker, who received an Excellence in Education award at the Academic High School Awards Recognition Ceremony.
Salaries will increase 3.5 percent on May 1
The salaries of UFT members employed by the Department of Education will increase 3.5 percent on May 1 as part of the 2014 contract. All teachers and other pedagogues including paraprofessionals on the Q Bank payroll will receive the 3.5 percent increase in their May 16 paycheck. Members will receive a regular wage increase of 1.5 percent coupled with a 2 percent wage increase that is the second step of the phase-in of the 8 percent retroactive rate increase arising from the 2009–11 period. Substitute paraprofessionals will see the 3.5 percent increase in their May 31 paycheck. All teachers and other pedagogues who work per diem or per session will first see the new pay rate in the June 1 paycheck for any days worked from May 1 to May 15. Paras' per session rate will be calculated based on the new salary rate in their regular, semi-monthly check dated May 16. If you have any questions, please contact a salary rep in your UFT borough office.
Share photos from your school's May 4 celebration
We want to spread the word about the great teaching and learning taking place in public schools across the city. That's why we've asked you to plan a celebration at your school on Wednesday, May 4 — the week after spring break — and why we are asking you to post your photos from your celebration using the hashtag #CelebrateSchools on Instagram and Twitter that day. Use the hashtag for your Facebook posts, too! And we invite you to send us your two best photos, with caption information (your school, borough, who's in the photo, how your school is celebrating) to UFTphotos@gmail.com. You can reach out for assistance to Vice President Richard Mantell at email@example.com or Francine Streich at firstname.lastname@example.org, and copy your district rep. Please use our online form to let us know that you will be participating on May 4 and how your school will be celebrating.
Thanks for getting out the vote for Hillary Clinton
With the help of hundreds of UFT volunteers, Hillary Clinton emerged as the winner of the hotly contested New York primary this Tuesday. Your participation in our borough office phone banks and the virtual phone banks from home as well as door-to-door canvassing on the weekends made a difference on Primary Day. UFT members also came out in large numbers to a number of New York City events organized by her campaign. "New Yorkers have a long history with Hillary," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "We know that she can get things done. We know she cares about students and teachers and our public schools. We know she wants to make sure the middle class and working people have a voice in how this country works. That message came through here in New York." See our news story with full Primary Day coverage on the UFT website.
How teacher ratings will be calculated this school year
Acting on the recommendation of the governor's Common Core Task Force, the Board of Regents earlier this year adopted a regulation that guarantees that the grade 3–8 English language arts and math state assessments will not be used as part of teachers' evaluations this year and the next three school years. There is no change for high school teachers. Teachers who have grade 3–8 math or ELA assessments as part of their Measures of Student Learning will receive a Transition Rating that excludes grade 3–8 ELA and math state assessments for the 2015–16 school year. Where this rule results in a teacher having no remaining assessments to use in his or her Measures of Student Learning portion of the rating, the teacher's Transition Rating will be based entirely on his or her observation scores. State-provided growth scores will continue to be computed for advisory purposes only, and an Overall Rating will continue to be provided to teachers based on such growth scores. Through 2019, however, only the Transition Rating will be used for purposes of employment decisions. Grade 3–8 test scores will still be used for schoolwide accountability measures, such as measuring progress in schools designated by the state as priority or focus schools. For more information on evaluation, see the teacher evaluation page of the UFT website.
Come to the annual School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon
Please encourage your school secretaries to attend the 30th annual School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon, which will be held on Saturday, May 14 from 12 to 3 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor. This event will feature cocktails, a luncheon and an awards ceremony. The cost is $30. The payment deadline is Friday, May 6. For more information and to register, see the mail-in coupon.
Salary & Personnel
May 6 deadline to suspend transit benefit deductions for the summer: The city has set processing dates for the Direct Deposit (EFT) and Wage Works/Transit Benefit as well as 529 College Savings Programs. Paper-based changes made after Monday, May 2 will be processed in September. The DOE's online deadline for changes, enrollments and/or cancellations is close of business on Friday, May 6. Anyone wishing to suspend his or her transit participation deductions for the summer must also enter these online by Friday, May 6. You will not have to sign up again in September if the resume dates are properly indicated. Since funds are not refundable or accessible after an employee leaves the DOE, anyone who is terminated, resigning or retiring and is enrolled in the Park-n-Ride Program must complete and fax the Park-n-Ride form to 718-935-3702 in order to cancel his or her enrollment. For more information and to download forms, see the DOE Payroll Administration Memo #11.
May 15 deadline to apply for teacher leadership positions: The deadline for applying for a teacher leadership position is Monday, May 15. The application for teacher leadership positions is available online. Tenured, full-time teachers are eligible to apply if they were rated Effective or Highly Effective last year. The available positions are Model Teacher, Peer Collaborative Teacher and Master Teacher. These are great opportunities, even if your school does not currently have teacher leadership roles. Successful applicants can be screened and placed in an eligible pool, which allows them to possibly transfer into a teacher leadership position in another school, either this summer or in the future. The UFT believes in teacher leadership. We believe that teachers have the knowledge and expertise to positively shape our profession. Please encourage your members to apply for these positions.
The Open Market Transfer Plan period is underway: The Open Market Transfer Plan offers all pedagogues as well as paraprofessionals access to job openings throughout the city through an online registration process. During the transfer period, which runs from April 15 to August 7, you do not need a release from your principal to change schools. You may even apply to schools without current openings, and your application will be kept in an electronic file in the event an opening occurs. We suggest following up all electronic applications with a hard copy that is mailed, emailed or dropped off at the school. The Open Market Q&A on the UFT website offers more information about the process.
Part-time Educator/Professional Development Facilitator position open: The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF) is a New York-based not-for-profit organization that works with K-12 teachers and administrators to integrate Education for Sustainability into core content areas. CELF has an opening for a Part-time Educator/Development Facilitator. This position will work collaboratively with the Director of Education and other staff to design, implement and support the delivery of professional development programs for the organization. For more information, contact CELF Executive Director Katie Ginsberg at email@example.com.
Last opportunity to verify the accuracy of your roster data: The Roster Maintenance and Verification (RMV) process is intended to provide all teachers with the opportunity to review and correct class-roster information for the 2015–16 school year. From March 14 to May 3, all teachers are asked to review and verify the accuracy of their roster information in STARS Classroom. Class-roster information is being used for many purposes within a school, including generating accurate report cards, linking teachers to students in the Advance Web Application and calculating teachers' state and local Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) ratings for Advance. Therefore, it is critical that your teachers have accurate roster data to ensure that they are associated with the correct courses and students for the correct amount of time. We recommend that teachers complete the following steps in STARS Classroom: 1) review your roster information for the 2015–16 school year; 2) request updates and corrections to class-roster data; and 3) verify that your roster data is accurate. Remember, you must sign in using your DOE credentials (DOE User Name before the @ symbol) before you can access the STARS Classroom portal. Teachers who experience technical difficulties using STARS Classroom should contact their STARS administrator for support. Questions about how information from RMV is being used as well as questions about Advance should be directed to your principal or the principal's designee; teachers may also contact the DOE's Advance Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the RMV Guide for Teachers for detailed information about the verification process, including a checklist of all the steps required to complete RMV, as well as answers to questions such as what the policy is for teachers who were on leave or absent for an extended part of the year, and much more.
Sign the petition to hold Pearson accountable: Pearson is the largest testing, publishing and education corporation in the world, and its business model supports high-stakes decisions based on test scores. A group of 100 major international pension funds, labor unions and concerned shareholders — the "Pearson 100" — have joined together to tell Pearson to end its high-stakes testing fixation and its support for the privatization and segregation of schools in the developing world. We are asking you to send a letter to Pearson and demand a free, high-quality public education for every child. We need your voice to speak up alongside us and tell Pearson that it's time to change course.
Help with funding classroom projects: Encourage new teachers to explore innovative ideas for classroom projects and tell them that there are many funding options available to them. The UFT has scoured the Internet and other sources for grants, awards and free things that New York City public school educators are eligible for. Teachers looking for resources for classroom projects can find them in the Funding classroom projects section of the UFT website.
New FAQ clears up confusion on special ed issues: Special education teachers and related-service providers see firsthand that many students with disabilities are not getting the services they need. After we shared our chapter leader survey documenting the problems with integrated co-teaching classes, the DOE agreed that it needed to set out the rules and protocols that schools should be following with regard to services for students with disabilities. Now that we've spelled out the requirements of IEPs, integrated co-teaching and Chapter 408, it's time to make sure these programs are being implemented properly to support our students. Please print out and distribute in mailboxes or email this special education FAQ to members of your chapter who work with students with disabilities. If the procedures outlined in this FAQ are not being followed in your school, please make it part of the agenda for the next consultation committee meeting with your principal.
English Language Learners
NYSABE 2016 conference: The New York State Association for Bilingual Education will hold its annual conference on Saturday, May 21. The theme of the conference is "Changing Policies, New Directions: Bilingual Education Paving the Way to Every Student's Success." For more information and to register, see the NYSABE website.
Submit proposals for LOTE conference by April 27: Educators who are interested in sharing best practices in curriculum, instruction and assessment at the June 9 World Languages conference are invited to submit proposals for workshops. The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 27.
PD hours for certification to take effect in 2016-17 school year: New regulations for PD hours will go into effect next school year. They will require holders of permanent teaching certificates (those certified before 2004) to register with the State Education Department. Professional and Level III teaching certificate holders will be required to complete and show proof of 100 hours of professional development every five years. More information about the new requirements will be forthcoming. For the 2015–16 school year, state regulations requiring professional certificate holders and Level III teaching assistants to submit proof of completion of professional development hours (175 hours and 75 hours, respectively) remain in place. Anyone who is completing a fifth year of the professional development cycle in June 2016 should submit a completed and signed tracking form to the DOE. You can find the tracking form for teachers and the tracking form for paraprofessionals on the UFT website.
Citywide formative assessment conference: Educators from all grades are invited to a citywide conference entitled "Unlocking the Power of Formative Assessment," presented by the UFT Teacher Center. This event will be held at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will strengthen their understanding of how students learn and will practice applying a formative assessment system to promote instructional decision-making. Plus, teachers will have the opportunity to explore attributes of classroom learning environments that encourage student to take ownership of their learning. There is no cost for the conference, but online registration is required.
Citywide social studies conference: All kindergarten to grade 12 educators are invited to the citywide conference "Experiencing Social Studies: Active Strategies to Develop Historical Thinking," presented by the UFT Teacher Center. This event will be held at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway on Sunday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will deepen their awareness of the social studies practices embedded in the new curriculum guidance from New York City and New York State; engage in interactive learning experiences that develop historical, chronological and geographic thinking; and explore strategies for using online resources, including the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources, to create activities that apply the practices. Online registration by grade level is required.
Contest for integrating economics into high school classrooms: All high school teachers are invited to apply for the Council for Economic Education's Sloan Award, which promotes economic education at the high school level by honoring teachers who effectively deliver this important content in and out of their classrooms and achieve results. Applicants can teach any content area but must demonstrate how they integrate economics into their teaching. Awardees will receive a $5,000 cash prize as well as other awards. For more information, including full eligibility requirements and to submit an online application, see the organization's website. The submission deadline is June 15.
Encourage your students to enter the Build a Better School video contest: New York City public school students from elementary through high school are invited to submit a three-minute video telling why their school is in need and what project they would undertake to make it better. The winning school will receive a monetary prize of $10,000. As in prior years, UFT members can help supervise student production teams. Selection will be based on the school's need, its spirit of collaboration, the creativity of the project and how the project will help strengthen the school community. The contest has begun accepting entries. The submission deadline is Wednesday, June 15. For details, see the contest flier.
English language learners underserved in gifted programs: Of the three million students identified as gifted in the United States, English language learners are by far the most underrepresented, reports NPR. Nationally, 32 states mandate gifted education but only four fully fund gifted programs, according to the National Association for Gifted Children. Few, if any, require that English language learners be tested and most teachers aren't trained to identify those students.
Fight for $15 rally against Trump and Christie: New Jersey workers in the Fight for $15 movement are stepping up their protest of Gov. Chris Christie's refusal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, reports Politicker.com. The group, which marched on the State House to lobby legislators to shore up support, has been demonstrating for over two weeks to voice frustration with the state's current $8.38 minimum wage. "If you raise the floor, you raise everybody," said Kevin Brown from SEIU 32BJ.
A new direction for standardized testing: The Obama administration has announced new priorities surrounding the Enhancement Assessment Grant program, an initiative aimed at helping states and districts get smarter about standardized testing, according to Education Dive. Building upon last fall's Testing Action Plan, which called for a reexamination of the way tests are used in schools, the president said students "should only take tests that are worth taking — tests that are high quality, aimed at good instruction and make sure everyone is on track." The Obama administration also recently proposed a teacher-led effort "to ensure fewer, better and fairer tests" for students.
Friday, May 6: Encourage your members to come to the Be BRAVE Against Bullying conference to engage in a dialogue about anti-bullying strategies. You can register online on the UFT website or complete the mail-in coupon. The registration deadline is today, Friday, April 22.
Saturday, May 7: The UFT's annual Spring Education Conference will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New York Hilton. There will be a morning panel, exciting workshops, innovative exhibits and a gala luncheon. See the event listing to register.
Saturday, April 23: Members who would like information about the process for obtaining American citizenship are invited to a free citizenship workshop from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey Street. Participants will receive a U.S. citizen application, an application fee waiver and legal consultation. You will need to bring your Social Security card and other information and documents. For more details and to register online, see the event listing.
Monday, May 2: All occupational therapists and physical therapists are welcome to attend a general membership meeting from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Staten Island UFT office, 4456 Amboy Road, Room J. Refreshments will be served. Please register online.
Wednesday, May 4: Staten Island paraprofessionals are invited to a certification seminar to learn about salary and certification concerns from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Staten Island UFT office, 4456 Amboy Road. Refreshments will be served. For more information and to register online, see the event listing.
Wednesday, May 4: Staten Island members are invited to a maternity and childcare leave workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Staten Island UFT office, 4456 Amboy Road. This workshop will help participants understand their rights concerning maternity, childcare and FMLA leaves. See the event listing for more information and to register online.
Wednesday, May 4: Social studies teachers are invited to a social studies professional learning session to learn how to use the Social Studies scope and sequence and the Social Studies curriculum to discuss how the arts can be embedded in instruction using various art strands. This event will take place from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams Street. Participants will walk away with strategies on how to use paintings, trade books and the Library of Congress to anchor the arts in Social Studies. The registration fee is $10. For more information and to register online, see the event listing.
Wednesday, May 4: The speech chapter executive board and general membership meeting will take place from 4:14 to 6:16 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to confirm attendance.
Wednesday, May 4: Educators and paraprofessionals who work with students with disabilities are invited to a workshop on testing accommodations that will educate you about the legal responsibilities of proctors when assisting a student with disabilities on state and local assessments. This workshop will be held from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Please register online. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Angel Valentin at 212-598-9217.
Thursday, May 5: New teachers in District 2 are invited to "Questioning and Discussion Techniques, Reflection and Celebration," the fifth workshop in a free series of learning opportunities. This event will be held at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 10th floor from 4 to 6 p.m. Online registration is required.
Thursday, May 5: Full-time paraprofessionals are invited to the workshop "Understanding Our Own Personal Identities and Biases" from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams Street. This event is limited to the first 120 registrants, so register early. Walk-ins will not be permitted. The cost is $10 per person. RSVP no later than Tuesday, April 26. For more information, contact Alfreda Brownlee at the DOE at 718-935-2449 or see the flier.
Thursday, May 5: New Brooklyn teachers are invited to a certification and licensing workshop from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams Street, 25th floor, room D. Preregistration is required. This workshop has been rescheduled from an earlier date.
Thursday, May 5: The 11th annual Friends of District 75 awards dinner and scholarship gala will be held at El Caribe Caterers, 5945 Strickland Ave. in Brooklyn from 6 to 11 p.m. The event will honor Wendy Fox and commemorate the life of the late District 75 district representative Walter O'Leary.
Save the Date
Saturday, May 14: School secretaries are invited to attend the 30th annual School Secretaries of the Year Awards Luncheon. For more information, see the item in the This Week's Focus section.
Monday, June 13: The Albert Shanker Scholarship Fund awards ceremony will take place at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor from 5 to 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.
For more events, go to uft.org/calendar.
UFT Professional Committees offer a wide range of workshops, presentations and exchanges, enabling all members to take an active part in their professional growth. Unless indicated, meetings are at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway. Check the lobby for exact locations. For further information contact us at 1-212-598-7772 or visit us online.
ELAC/UFT (English Language Arts Council)
Editor: Peter O'Donnell
Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks
Contributors include: Karen Alford, Amy Arundell, Carmen Alvarez, Hannah Brown, Joseph Colletti, Rita Danis, Koraldys Duverge, Paul Egan, Ellie Engler, Lila Ezra, Brian Gibbons, Anne Goldman, Jeff Goldstein, Mona Gonzalez, Anthony Harmon, Lynne Kilroy, Lisa Lau-Kim, Junior Linton, Charles Lobello, Farheen Malik, Richard Mantell, Ebony Martin, Deidre McFadyen, Gary Mehra, Emma Camacho Mendez, Cara Metz, Rachel Nobel, Emil Pietromonaco, Jeffrey Povalitis, Ellen Procida, Tina Puccio, Christine Rowland, Nanette Sanchez-Rosario, Michael Sill, Liz Truly, Miriam Vega, Kerry Yefet and Shelvy Young-Abrams.
United Federation of Teachers • A Union of Professionals