UFT election ballots due no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 25.
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE: Speech therapists Ana Machuca and Kathleen Gomez are honored for their outstanding contributions at the UFT's annual Better Speech and Hearing Month celebration on May 19.
SBOs must be submitted to union by early June
By now, you should have initiated the process for any school-based options (SBOs) you are considering for your school. After consulting with your principal about any possible SBOs, hold a union meeting to present all SBOs for consideration. Conduct a survey to gauge whether there is a will on the part of the chapter to ratify any proposed SBOs. As chapter leader, you have the right not to put to a vote any SBO that your chapter does not like. Be aware that single-session schools can use the SBO process if they want to vary their session time from a standard 6 hour and 20 minute day followed by 80 minutes of professional development on Mondays and a 75-minute block of Parent Engagement and Other Professional Work time in Tuesdays. A new SBO is necessary each school year to continue a modification of the standard configuration. Tuesday, June 7 is the deadline for schools to submit to the DOE a UFT-approved SBO to change session times. For more information on SBOs related to session-time changes, see the DOE memo. Please consult the SBO Manual and your district representative for detailed guidance on the SBO process. In order for the district rep and union leadership to properly review each SBO, the online SBO form should be submitted to the union by early June. Please make sure your district representative is kept informed at every stage of the process.
Members can apply to rent an affordable apartment in Brooklyn
Brooklyn's newest residential apartment building at 461 Dean Street is accepting applications for below-market-rate studios and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments interspersed throughout the luxury rental building. Scheduled to open this fall, 461 Dean Street sits on the corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, to the east of Barclays Center. The housing lottery for 461 Dean's below-market units is now open to households with incomes between $20,675 and $144,960. The housing lottery is open until June 27, 2016. Members who are interested in this rental opportunity can learn more about the building, qualifications and application process or call 718-246-8080, ext. 224. You can also gather your required documents and submit your application to NYC House Connect. Selected applicants will be contacted in the summer of 2016. You will be contacted only if your application is selected in the random lottery process and if your application meets the requirements. See more information on the UFT website.
Attend a solar power workshop next week at a UFT borough office
UFT members who live in New York State are invited to attend a workshop in their UFT borough office to learn how to cut their electricity bills while also helping the environment by switching to solar power through a UFT Member Benefits-endorsed solar program. The workshops are from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the following dates: Monday, May 23 at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams Street, and at the Queens UFT office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., Rego Park; and Tuesday, May 24 at 52 Broadway in Manhattan as well as at the Staten Island UFT office, 4456 Amboy Road. For more information on the program, visit the American Solar Partners website. To register, email email@example.com or call 914-699-3366.
Salary & Personnel
New reading coach positions available: The DOE is inviting experienced elementary school and literacy teachers to apply for the reading coach position that has been created to align with the DOE's Universal Literacy Initiative aimed at ensuring that all students are reading on grade level by the end of second grade. Starting in September, trained reading coaches will support elementary schools in their early literacy instruction. For the 2016-17 school year, reading coaches will be hired for four high-needs districts (Districts 9 and 10 in the Bronx and Districts 17 and 32 in Brooklyn) and receive extensive training and ongoing support. For more information, see the flier.
Last chance to apply for summer school positions: Let members know that the summer school application is available on the DOE website. Before beginning the application, everyone must register as a new user, even if they have previously registered as an applicant for the Summer School Instructional Program. Members should claim retention rights if they are entitled to them. If someone believes they are being improperly denied retention rights, use the "Contact Us" form on the left column of the Summer School Instructional Program website and email Michael Sill at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applying for summer school is Thursday, May 26. Please remind members that if they edit their application after they have submitted it, the date of application is reset. So, if members edit their application after the May 26 deadline, the application will be marked late.
Salaries increased 3.5 percent on May 1: The salaries of UFT members employed by the Department of Education increased 3.5 percent on May 1 as part of the 2014 contract. All teachers and other pedagogues including paraprofessionals on the Q Bank payroll should have received the 3.5 percent increase in their May 16 paycheck. Members received 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. Nurses, therapists, education officers, education analysts and other employees who are on the H Bank payroll will see the 3.5 percent increase in their May 20 paycheck (for the entire May 1 through May 14 pay period). If you have any questions, please contact a salary rep in your UFT borough office.
The Open Market Transfer Plan period is in full swing: The Open Market Transfer Plan offers all pedagogues as well as paraprofessionals access to job openings in their current license area 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.
Remind members about upcoming teacher evaluation deadlines: Remind your members about some key deadlines approaching for teacher evaluations. Teachers' summative end-of-year conference must take place between May 2 and June 24; the end-of-year Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) assessment window is May 2 through June 10, and all classroom observations must be completed by June 3, absent extraordinary circumstances. Please urge your teachers to read Teach.Reflect.Advance, the DOE's new quarterly newsletter focused on best practices and teacher development. It will alert teachers to upcoming key dates related to teacher evaluation throughout the school year. The May-June 2016 edition of Teach.Reflect.Advance has all the details about the upcoming deadlines. Plus, the newsletter contains other resources to support teaching practice and to enable teachers to drive their own development of their skills. For more in-depth information, see the Advance Guide for Educators on the UFT website or speak with your district rep.
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.
March with striking Verizon workers: Mobilize your members to stand in solidarity with striking Verizon workers and join their picket lines with the UFT. On upcoming Fridays, we will walk with Verizon workers from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Verizon Wireless stores throughout the city. For meeting locations, as well as other ways you can show support for Verizon workers, see the flier.
Join the fight to increase Teacher's Choice: Did you know that the average New York City public school teacher spends $500 out of pocket on school supplies each year? That's why we are making another big push this year to ask the City Council to increase Teacher's Choice funding in the city budget. Sign up to join the fight for a significant increase. We need our elected representatives to see the direct connection between educators' out-of-pocket spending and student learning. Chapter leaders, encourage teachers to share their stories. We want to know what projects students have been able to accomplish with the supplies teachers have paid for with their own money. What gaps do they use their own money to fill? Thanks to your lobbying and the personal stories you shared with us last year, the City Council boosted Teacher's Choice funding by 62 percent for the 2015–16 school year. But it's still not enough!
Health and Safety
Use of personal equipment in classrooms: Chapter leaders should be aware of Chancellor's Regulation A-850 regarding sustainability initiatives. Part of this regulation requires that schools remove nonessential personal equipment such as refrigerators, microwaves and personal fans from the classrooms. Custodians have been told to provide at least one location in the school where this equipment is available for use by the staff, with the leeway to decide what works best for their school building. Fans may be used to keep staff and students cool in classrooms where there is no air-conditioning. However, small desk fans for individual, personal use may face removal under the regulation.
Spring safety checklist: Review the Chapter Leader Safety Checklist for this time in the school year. The checklist includes items that provide security for those working in the building and protect the personal property of your members. Some items on the checklist can be addressed in consultation with your principal or during school safety committee meetings.
Additional student debt clinics scheduled: Due to the enthusiastic response to our first two student debt clinics, presented by the AFT and the UFT, we have added additional sessions to help UFT members get relief from crushing student debt. All UFT members are invited to attend these workshops, which alert teachers to federal programs that can help lower monthly student loan payments or even get their debt forgiven. New sessions will take place on Thursday, June 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Staten Island UFT office, 4456 Amboy Road; and on Thursday, June 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey Street. The June 16 debt clinic in Queens is filled up. See the flier for more information and to register.
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 education 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.
Summer DASA workshops scheduled: Alert paraprofessionals and other members who received notification that they must complete certification requirements soon or face termination that the UFT will offer two six-hour workshops on Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) this summer to fulfill this requirement. The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12 and again on Tuesday, August 2. The training will be held at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor, room B. The fee is $25 for paras and $50 for pedagogues. For registration information, see the UFT Safety Workshop page or call 212-701-9413.
New 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.
AFT National Latino Caucus scholarships for high school seniors: All UFT members are invited to join the AFT National Latino Caucus to learn about Latin culture and history. The caucus, a strong advocate for our schools and students, is the sponsor of the annual Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship, which awards three Hispanic high school seniors a $1,000 book stipend and a laptop to use in college. High school chapter leaders, please tell your members to encourage your school's eligible seniors to apply for the scholarship. The application deadline is Wednesday, June 1.
Puerto Rico book talk and signing: All members are invited to attend a book talk about Puerto Rico to be presented by the AFT National Latino Caucus on Wednesday, May 25 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 3rd floor. Author Nelson A. Denis will discuss and sign copies of "War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony." Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. Space is limited. To register, contact Susan Perez at Sperez@uft.org. For more information, see the flier.
Apply for an MA in Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute: The Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at CUNY offers an MA in Labor Studies that strengthens the ability of students to advocate for equity and social justice in their communities and workplaces. Students develop critical thinking, analytical and leadership skills, while learning about labor law, organizing, collective bargaining, international perspectives, labor relations and strategic research. To learn more about the institute's graduate level labor studies programs, UFT members are invited to attend an information session on Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m. For more details, read the Murphy Institute's blog post.
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.
Peer Intervention Program vacancies: The Peer Intervention Program (PIP) provides voluntary, confidential assistance for teachers who believe their teaching would benefit from such assistance. PIP is accepting applications for full-time positions as Peer Intervention Program Intervenor. Applicants for the position must have a minimum of eight years of full-time teaching experience and demonstrated outstanding classroom teaching ability. Priority will be given to teachers licensed in High School English, High School Social Studies, Junior High School English and Junior High School Social Studies. For full selection criteria and responsibilities, see the posting or email PIP@uft.org. Please post this position on your UFT bulletin board.
Help middle school boys and girls celebrate prom with style: Prom season for 8th-graders is upon us once again. The UFT's Middle School Division will be accepting members' donations of new or gently used gowns and dresses for girls as well as tuxedos, vests and suits for boys. Until Friday, May 27, members can drop off their donations with Adelina Santiago on the 14th floor of UFT headquarters. Chapter leaders can also contact Adelina at email@example.com or 212-598-6839 if they'd like to make alternate arrangements for their school's donations.
Free Bronx sustainability gathering: All educators are invited to join NYC Eco-Schools for the Bronx Sustainability Coordinator Gathering on Tuesday, June 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bronx Guild High School. Participants will tour the school's biodiverse farm and orchard, with over 200 fruit trees planted by students as well as learn about how a dedicated wild zone in the garden has attracted all manner of wildlife from snakes and hawks to skunks and opossums. This event is free but you need to RSVP by Friday, June 17.
Free Manhattan sustainability gathering: All educators are invited to join NYC Eco-Schools for the Manhattan Sustainability Coordinator Gathering on Wednesday, May 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Earth School and the Fifth Street Farm, 600 East 6th Street. The Fifth Street Farm is a model green-roof gardening initiative that is teaching students about the natural world, where food comes from, and the vital role plants play in our lives. Refreshments will be served. This event is free, but you need to RSVP by Monday, May 23.
Mississippi school district remains segregated: Sixty-two years after the landmark desegregation ruling of Brown v Board of Education, a federal judge has ordered a school district in Mississippi to integrate its middle and high schools, reports the Washington Post. The Cleveland School District, which is divided by railroad tracks that separate white and black families, was found to be running an illegal dual system, failing year after year to reach the "greatest degree of desegregation possible." To comply with the order, the district must now consolidate its high schools. Currently, one high school is 100 percent black.
More workers to qualify for overtime pay: Under a new rule announced on May 17 by the Obama administration, any worker making a salary of less than $47,476 per year will automatically qualify for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week, according to CNN Money. The change, which has been criticized by many employers as too drastic, will go into effect on Dec. 1 and will expand access to overtime pay for otherwise low-salaried workers who have been denied overtime because they perform some managerial duties. Vice President Joe Biden characterized the changes as "restoring and expanding access to the middle class."
New test reveals STEM gender gap: The National Center for Education Statistics, best known for its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has uncovered surprising results from its Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment, according to The Atlantic. This test, first introduced in 2014 and designed to measure students' understanding of basic engineering and technology principles, revealed that 45 percent of females met or exceeded the proficient level, compared with 42 percent of males. Researchers hope that those results will not lead to a reduction in efforts to excite girls to pursue studies and careers in STEM.
Monday, May 23: Brooklyn and Queens members who live in New York State and who are interested in cutting their electricity bills while also helping the environment are invited to attend a solar power workshop in their borough. For more information and to register, see the item in This Week's Focus.
Tuesday, May 24: The social workers and psychologists executive board meeting will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, room 2B. This meeting has been rescheduled from an earlier date.
Tuesday, May 24: High school educators are invited to "Creative Regents Review: Beyond Drill and Kill," which will explore ways to make Regents review both effective and engaging. This workshop will take place from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. A $10 fee is required to participate. For more information, please contact Angel Valentin at 212-598-9217. Online registration is required.
Tuesday, May 24: Manhattan and Staten Island members who live in New York State and who are interested in cutting their electricity bills while also helping the environment are invited to attend a solar power workshop in their borough. For more information and to register, see the item in This Week's Focus.
Tuesday, May 24: All members are invited to a lecture on treating thyroid disease from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, rooms B and C. The lecture will be presented by Dr. Edmund W. Giegerich, the chief of endocrinology and the vice chairman of medicine at New York Methodist Hospital, who will share his expertise on the causes, symptoms and treatment of thyroid disease. Light refreshments will be served. To register, please call Christine Jittan at 212-539-0667.
Wednesday, May 25: The citywide academic high schools meeting will be held at the Staten Island office, 4456 Amboy Road from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, May 26: The paraprofessional representative chapter meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.
Save the Date
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.
ATSS/UFT (Assn. of Teachers of Social Studies)
ELAC/UFT (English Language Arts Council)
Editor: Peter O'Donnell
Executive Editor: Bernadette Weeks
Contributors include: Amy Arundell, Carmen Alvarez, Hannah Brown, Joseph Colletti, Rita Danis, Koraldys Duverge, Paul Egan, Ellie Engler, Lila Ezra, Brian Gibbons, Anthony Harmon, Lynne Kilroy, Lisa Lau-Kim, Junior Linton, Charles Lobello, Farheen Malik, Richard Mantell, Samantha Mark, Ebony Martin, Deidre McFadyen, Gary Mehra, Emma Camacho Mendez, Rachel Nobel, Jeffrey Povalitis, Ellen Procida, Tina Puccio, Christine Rowland, Nanette Sanchez-Rosario, Hector Ruiz, Michael Sill, Liz Truly, Jose Vargas, Miriam Vega, Kerry Yefet and Shelvy Young-Abrams.
United Federation of Teachers • A Union of Professionals
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Posted by UFT / AFT News at 7:19 PM