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).

Join JETA in Wearing Blue on December 9th!

Why wear blue on Monday?

If nothing else, it is a show of unity.  If you have been following the news with regards to the Regents’ Reform Agenda and the series of forums that have been held across the state you should understand.  One such forum was held in Fayetteville on Tuesday, December 3rd.  What the commissioner, the Regents and our area legislators are hearing is a consistent message over and over.  That the rushed implementation of the common core standards has been ill-advised and has wreaked havoc among our students and educators.  The standards were rolled out with little or no resources provided by the state until after the first set of assessments reflecting the standards appeared last April.  The message has been clear and consistent from NYSUT in asking for SED to slow down and provide some mid-course corrections to our current path.  Essential in that request is the enactment of a 3 year moratorium on the use of assessments for high stakes consequences for students and teachers.  Let’s take the time to do something right for a change instead of doing it to say we “got it done”!

It was apparent from Tuesday’s forum that these calls continue to fall upon deaf ears.  The commissioner and our area Regent have been consistent in their message that they are committed to the current course of actions.  We will continue to meet and press the commissioner, the Regents and our legislators with regards to this agenda.

Can you wear blue on Monday, December 9th as a show of support?  This is a day of action nationally supported by the AFT, the NEA and our state organization, NYSUT.  We hope to take some pictures and post them on our website to show our support for what is our cause!

Thank you!

Thanksgiving Greetings

Sitting here in Texas with the family, I think it’s only right to wish y’all a Happy Thanksgiving.

While mushy stuff will be kept to a minimum on this website as long as I’m writing posts, thank you for working for the kids, for fighting against the odds, for waging daily war against ignorance, ambivalence, and poverty. Thank you for working around all the barriers that get placed in our way. Thank you for joining in a common cause to make the world a better place than we found it. Thanks for being friends. Thanks for belonging and making it worthwhile to belong to JETA.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

December 9th–Wear Blue & Help NYSUT Call for a Moratorium on Testing

New York State United Teachers is participating in a national day of action on December 9, 2013.  We are asking all members to wear the color blue on this day as a show of unity in a call to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education.  In New York our campaign if focused on a call for a 3 year moratorium on high stakes consequences with testing and fair funding for public education.

Wear blue on December 9 and show that you support what’s best for students and teachers. The press release from NYSUT president Dick Iannuzzi follows below.

Parents are invited to join us and show their support for a 3-year moratorium on high-stakes tests.

M E M O R A N D U M

 

TO:              NYSUT Board of Directors

FROM:        Dick Iannuzzi

DATE:         November 15, 2013

RE:              December 9 – National Day of Action

December 9, 2013 is a National Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education—an opportunity to raise our voices in unison in New York and to connect our campaign for fair funding and a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences with campaigns to support public education across the country.  In order for this to be successful, we need your help to mobilize every NYSUT local in every corner of the state.

The National Day of Action connects what we have been fighting for in New York with a national movement. It reinforces our work over the past year and will increase our momentum exponentially.  NYSUT will be participating in this national day of action with a broad coalition of union and community partners, including the AFT, NEA, AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action.

We plan to maximize the impact of this nationally coordinated action by demonstrating solidarity and holding actions in as many places as possible on the same day. Actions are designed to engage all of our education members including early childhood staff, teachers, SRPs and higher education members.  We are asking:

 

  • All members to wear the color blue to show support for public education.
  • Our locals to explain why the state’s bad policies — insufficient funding, tax cap, obsession with testing, lack of support for teaching and learning, insufficient staffing, lack of access to affordable higher education, to name a few — make them blue and offer solutions for making it right.
  • Parents to join us so that there is a sea of blue for public education across the state.
  • Locals to send us pictures of members and reasons why they are wearing blue and we will post he photos and a running list of the reasons why members are blue on our website.

In addition, NYSUT will hold joint press conferences with AQE, Citizen Action and other allies in several locations on December 9 to promote our shared legislative agenda and the message that the state should focus on teaching and learning, not testing.  NYSUT and community leaders will meet with their respective Regents and urge them to support a three-year moratorium on high stakes consequences, accelerate support to our schools and make the course corrections that are needed to get it right.

With your support, the Day of Action will amplify our voices and help us achieve our goals.