Archive for Dave Sipley

The December Meeting

The Executive Committee met on December 15th and got quite a lot accomplished:

–Decided on a form for building reps to use to report problems and concerns to both the Executive Committee and school administration when necessary.

–Decided that to increase turnout at Board Meetings, the High School would represent JETA at the meetings in January & April, Elbridge would represent at February and May, and the Middle School would represent at April and June. See your Building Rep to show the JETA colors!

–Decided to urge members to go to the NYSUT MAC (Member Action Center) to urge the Governor not to make Regents Field Testing mandatory.

–Decided to empower our Social Chair Jessica Paquette to set up a NIGHT OF JETA BOWLING AT DESTINYUSA IN FEBRUARY!!!! Stay tuned for more details!

Some Teacher Love from the Gov

I was having a great day teaching today.

Then I read this article about how the governor is saying that the APPR standards aren’t tough enough and he is going to look to make changes.

And another one saying that he won’t sign the bill that he introduced and negotiated making things easier for teachers who were hurt by the not-so-smooth rollout of the Common Core. The links are in the article:  It’s About to Get Real

That made me a little bitter, but it turned out just to be an appetizer when sent me this one.

In it, the Director of State Operations writes to the Chair of the Regents and Commissioner of Education how the governor “does not want to demonize teachers” and then proceeds to ask twelve questions that would seem to do just that, asks for suggestions on how to do it better, and insinuates he will use his budget to do so: Governor’s Letter. This letter will show the direction the governor is going as we head into 2015 and is worth a read.
No matter what they say, no matter what they think, for whatever it is worth, I believe that we do a fantastic job making our students the most important people in our district!

New Coaches and Advisors, Listen Up!

This past week, Ben resolved an issue with the district that involves only first year coaches and first-year club advisers who are paid under Schedule A-3.

If you fall into one of those categories, please check with your building representative to be sure that you are being paid what you should be for your time.

Thanks for all you do for our kids.

Congratulations, Paul!

This past October, Paul Farfaglia was re-elected to the New York State Teacher Retirement System Board of Trustees.

There are only ten people who sit on the board, and only three active teachers.

Paul’s work for teachers goes way beyond Jordan Elbridge. Check out the page for the Board at https://www.nystrs.org/main/about/board.htm

Thank you and congratulations, Paul!

Brace Yourselves!

A common objection I hear from people who don’t like to donate to VOTE/COPE is that “NYSUT always endorses Democrats.”

To be honest, it’s not that simple. In the past election cycle, NYSUT refused to endorse Andrew Cuomo, and even worked to block his endorsement from the AFL-CIO, of which NYSUT is a part. Failing to win a union endorsement from the most heavily-unionized state in America essentially torpedoed his hopes of securing the Democratic nomination.

This article from the New York Post shows why I believe it is a good idea that NYSUT did not endorse the governor. We believe that charter schools are bad for students; he sees them as appropriate political payback. He supports using test scores to evaluate teachers; we know how unjust such a system is.

http://nypost.com/2014/11/06/gov-ready-to-teach-unions-how-to-deal-with-change/

As you can see if you read this article, it is going to be an interesting four years.

No matter what happens, JETA members will continue to do what is best for our school and our students!

Vote on Tuesday and Some Other Things

I wish I could take credit for writing this, but it was written by Maggie Estlinbaum, one of the high school building representatives in a letter to the high school faculty that was too good not to reprint here:
************************************************************************************************************************

 

Hello Everyone,

 

Tuesday November 4th is Election day.  It is of the utmost importance that we all take the time to vote and make our voices heard.  It was mentioned at our last faculty meeting that only 43% of NYSUT members voted in the last election.  As I am sure you are aware, if we do not vote, it is difficult to convince our elected officials that the issues that we value like a great education system is important.  So please, take the time to vote, and make sure that you vote for all of the contested offices.  It is almost more important that you vote for your local officials as  your voice is more powerful at a local level.

 

To help you in forming your decisions below are links to the Onondaga County Board of Elections and the Cayuga County Board of Elections.  On both of these websites you can find a sample ballot for each of the contested races so that you can do your research before heading to the polls on Tuesday November 4th.

 

http://www.cayugacounty.us/CountyGovernment/BoardofElections.aspx

 

http://www.ongov.net/elections/pollingPlacesTowns.html

 

Here is also a link to the NYSUT endorsed candidates in case you are interested.

 

https://mac.nysut.org/endorsed-candidates

 

Finally, there are two things that I need to request from you:

  1. We are looking for members to attend Board meetings and take notes at them.  As Mindy mentioned following our last faculty meeting we have done this in the past and it holds the Board more accountable for what they say about teachers in a public forum.  There is a sign-up sheet in the staff lunch room and I will likely walk around and try to sign folks up in the next week or two.
  2. We are looking for members who would like to join the APPR committee.  This committee will be in charge of looking at our APPR agreement and discussing any developing any potential changes.  I have already heard from Marlena Nivison, Pam Mead, and Jason Kufs that they are interested in being on this committee.

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.

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.