Thanks JETA

Thanks for setting this up! It is a great way to communicate.

Team Leader MOA and Job Description

Some of our members have asked for clarification regarding job descriptions for Team Leader positions.  With that in mind, I have included some language from one of our Memorandums of Agreement with the district regarding the expected role and responsibilities of these teacher-leaders.  It should be noted that team leaders are not administrative, or even quasi-administrative positions.  Team leaders, therefore, should not be asked to discipline individual members of their team, nor should they be asked to provide any evaluative evidence related to the performance of team members in the classroom.  It is the duty of the principal and/or lead evaluator to collect evidence, conduct evaluations, and discipline when appropriate.  Below is some language taken from the MOA–

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT

Between the

Jordan-Elbridge Central School District

and the

Jordan-Elbridge Teachers’ Association

WHEREAS, the parties recognize that teachers should play a valuable role in the leadership of a school district; and

WHEREAS, the need exists to put together a structure where teacher leadership is utilized at grade levels/subject areas as a resource to help us move forward together as we work to meet the challenges in the changing landscape of public education;

NOW, THEREFORE,   the parties agree as follows:

 

  1. The District and the Jordan-Elbridge Teachers’ Association will expand the provisions of Article VI, section G to include one Team Leader each for the subject areas of ELA UPK-4 and Math UPK-4 at the elementary school for the 2013-2014 school year.

 

  1. It is the intent of the parties to evaluate this program at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and consider its continuation as well as expansion to other appropriate grade levels/subjects.

 

  1. The position will be posted for application in the appropriate school building(s).

 

4. The job description will include, but is not limited to the following:

a. Facilitate subject areal grade level meetings and act as a liaison to the administration

b. Work with the subject area/grade level to coordinate the budget

c. Make scheduling recommendations to the building administration

d. Facilitate implementation of curricula (CCLS)

e. Work as an instructional leader and provide APPR support to the department

f. Facilitate review of data at meetings of the department

g. Support of discipline/grade level NYS/SLO testing and scoring

h. Attendance at monthly after school meetings

 

 

Tenure, Talking Points

Teacher tenure is under attack in New York state and nationwide. In July 2014, two lawsuits were filed–Davids v. New York and Wright v. New York–that claim New York’s tenure laws deprive students of their right to a sound basic education. The lawsuits specifically attack the tenure process, the use of seniority in layoffs, and the three-year probationary period for new teachers, which they claim is too short. Former news anchor Campbell Brown, fronting for a shadowy group calling itself the Partnership for Educational Justice, is bankrolling the Wright case. Brown, who won’t disclose her financial backers, makes the unsupported claim that tenure is responsible for low student achievement.

The New York state lawsuits were filed after a lower-court ruling in the case of Vergara v. California gutted that state’s tenure laws. NYSUT attorneys believe the California ruling will be overturned on appeal–but meanwhile it has emboldened copycat suits across the country. Bankrolled by the wealthy elite and anti-union forces, these attacks represent an all-out assault on the fundamental labor rights of working people.

NYSUT is mounting an aggressive and vigorous defense of tenure both in the courts and the court of public opinion.

WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT

New York state is widely recognized for its exemplary teaching force and has earned high marks for its rigorous standards and credentialing requirements–typically ranking among the nation’s top ten. Tenure is just one of the safeguards New York state has put in place to ensure every student has an effective teacher. A teacher must earn tenure after three years or more of effective teaching, oversight and evaluation. A teacher then is entitled to a fair hearing before being fired–a basic due process right. Focusing on a due process right that is used by a very few is a distraction from what must be our main priority: ensuring every child has an effective teacher. We need to focus on what helps students the most: recruiting and retaining high quality teachers and providing the resources to help every child succeed.

THREE KEY POINTS ABOUT TENURE

New York state’s rigorous teaching standards provide many safeguards that ensure children have good teachers.  Tenure is one of them.

  • Tenure is a safeguard that ensures good teachers can speak up for what students need.
  • Tenure is a safeguard that protects good teachers from unfair firing–a basic due process right.
  • Tenure is working in New York state. The process has been reformed to be faster and more cost efficient, with most cases now resolved within five months

Meanwhile, New York state’s safeguards for teacher quality ensure that its teaching force is among the best credentialed, most effective in the nation.

-Information provided courtesy of NYSUT, A Union of Professionals

Uncle Sam Needs You to Vote this November, but Aunt Kiki Needs You this Friday

Kiki Gugel asked me to ask around the high school for two volunteers to work at the snack bar at the Pep Rally on Friday night, September 12.

Please don’t tell her that I didn’t because I forget things like that. Hopefully she won’t read this post and know that I’ve let her down because the 43 people who have registered for updates so far (YEAH, JETA!) will read this and turn out in force.

I worked it last year, and it was a blast. And I don’t just mean the fireworks.

She told me to beg. Unfortunately, at JETA.biz, we (will eventually) have such high standards that we prefer to ask nicely.

Meeting with NYSUT Officers

On Friday, September 12th, I will be attending a 5PM meeting with some of the newly elected NYSUT officers. If you would like me to address something specific with them, please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a quick email. The meeting will take place at NYSUT Regional Headquarters and will involve many other local area presidents. It’s a great opportunity for me to let leadership know how you feel and what they can do to make a difference in your everyday teaching lives.

JE Community Pep Rally

Don’t forget to sign up to volunteer at the concessions stand this Friday, September 12th.  The pep rally starts at 7PM at the high school stadium and is a great way to make connections with parents and students…and it’s a great way to see some fireworks!  We hope to see some of you there.

Email Kathleen Gugel at kgugel@jecsd.org to sign up, or if you would like further information or leave a comment below.

JETA is Back!

School has started, and JETA is back in action!

Enjoy some poorly framed and backlit pictures of a few of your friends who were somewhat willing to pose during 4th period on the second day of school!

Stay tuned–there are more shots coming, especially when I can recruit some photographers from Elbridge Elementary!

Jennifer O'Malley, High School English

Jennifer O’Malley, High School English

Windsor Price, High School Social Studies

Windsor Price, High School Social Studies

Nancy Rodak, Fifth Grade

Nancy Rodak, Fifth Grade

Mary Hayes, Fifth Grade

Mary Hayes, Fifth Grade

Gail Craig, Fifth Grade with Shelly Westcott (Local 200)

Gail Craig, Fifth Grade with Shelly Westcott (Local 200)

Suzanne Petrick, Middle School Nurse

Suzanne Petrick, Middle School Nurse

Que pasa, Mrs. St. Germain?

Que pasa, Mrs. St. Germain?

Andrew Barno, 8th grade Math

Andrew Barno, 8th grade Math

Paul Farfaglia, running toward the light.

Paul Farfaglia, running toward the light.

The Sixth Grade Team: Nancy Fuller, Drew Deapo, Kelly Baker, Chris Palen, Dave Shafer, Andy Marinelli, and Aaron Stone.

The Sixth Grade Team: Nancy Fuller, Drew Deapo, Kelly Baker, Chris Palen, Dave Shafer, Andy Marinelli, and Aaron Stone.

Steve Dardani, School Psychologist (whose ninja skills prevent him from being accurately photographed)

Steve Dardani, School Psychologist (whose ninja skills prevent him from being accurately photographed)

Megan Fietta, 7th grade resource

Megan Fietta, 7th grade resource

Doug Hickman, Middle School Technology

Doug Hickman, Middle School Technology

High School Faculty Meeting, September '14

High School Faculty Meeting, September ’14

Loretta Johnson, High School Librarian

Loretta Johnson, High School Librarian

Rob McIntyre, High School Guidance Counsellor

Rob McIntyre, High School Guidance Counsellor

Happy McClurg (HS Math)'s legendary happiness overwhelms the iPhone lens.

Happy McClurg (HS Math)’s legendary happiness overwhelms the iPhone lens.

Travis Bruneau & Liz Woodford, High School Technology

Travis Bruneau & Liz Woodford, High School Technology

 

Jason Kufs, High School Social Studies

Jason Kufs, High School Social Studies

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Ben Alexander, High School English

Terry Bondgren, High School Art

Terry Bondgren, High School Art

Jennifer Weaver, HS Resource

Jennifer Weaver, HS Resource

January HS Newsletter

Pam Mead has started publishing a newsletter for the high school. Here’s the January issue. (It looks much nicer than the hyperlink below!)

January Newsletter

JETA in the Centerfold!

My copy of NYSUT United landed in the mail today. While I normally just read it for the articles, something made me flip to the centerfold–and whoa! There we were, wearing blue on December 9th along with a bunch of other teachers from all across New York “rising up to reclaim the promise of public education.”

NYSUT has been calling for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing for students and teacher evaluations because they have been so poorly written and implemented so far. Whether they heard us  then or not, they’ll hear us soon–that is one fine-looking centerfold!

If you’d like your own copy, you can download one from http://jeta.biz/?p=227. It’s not clear at this time if anyone will be available for autographs or not.

Sporting the Blue on December 9

 

State Education Commissioner John King has decided to repeal the Common Core Standards after seeing JETA members dress up in blue today. “That’s strange,” pointed out JETA co-president Ben Alexander. “All we wanted was a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing so that test results don’t hurt kids or teachers any more.”

Well, that actually didn’t happen, but it was fun to sport the blue. More pictures will follow as they are received at JETA.biz Central.

 DEC9JEMSAt the Middle School this morning.

Kiki Gugel (8th Grade Resource), Jim Sherman (MS Home & Careers), Paul Farfaglia (Data Co-ordinator), Angel Bevilaqua (8th Grade Science), Doug Hickman (MS Technology), Leo McCormick (7th Grade Science), Mark Donabella (8th Grade Math)

 

DEC9JETAEXECThe JETA Executive Committee members who made it to the end of the meeting at 6:00

Leo McCormick (Treasurer), Happy McClurg (Health & Safety), Kiki Gugel (MS Building Rep), Jennifer Weaver (Secretary), Paul Farfaglia & Ben Alexander (co-Presidents), Dave Sipley (Hiding in the Background), Pat Smart (Elbridge Building Rep).