We hope you have had a restful, relaxing Memorial Day.
School Department Fiddles
While Decisions Await...Again
Hennigan/ELC West End-of-Year ScheduleA delayed start-up of school at the Hennigan/ELC West last fall has necessitated under state law that students are 'owed' 12 additional hours of school instruction before the end of this school year. But
Still Up in Air After 9 Months of Procrastination
PCB Scare Delays Start of School in Sept.
In the summer of 2011 the Hennigan/ELC West was slated to be painted, but as the toxic compound, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), was found in the existing paint, a decision was made to delay the repainting until the building could be cleared of the summer school program. This delay caused a further delay in the repainting and cleanup of the building, which houses more than 600 children between the two schools. Staff worked hundreds of hours in late August--many people worked multiple days--trying to get the school ready for a September opening, but this effort still wasn't enough, and the start of school had to be delayed for one week.
Staff Pitch in to Get School Ready for Delayed Opening
While many students missed 12 hours of instruction that first week, staff worked on- and off-site feverishly during that time and through the weekend to get the school ready. Just about all staff worked Saturday and many more worked Sunday of the next weekend to get both facilities ready for a delayed Monday start. School opened on September 12, 2011, and the department has had since that date to prepare for the possibility of June make-up time. And that brings us to yesterday afternoon's proposal.
When the Central Staff Procrastinates, Everyone Suffers
Somewhere between September 12 and April 27 the school department realized that the 12 hours' time lost to instruction had to be made up. Various scenarios to make up the time have been proposed by one or both of the school principals, and all parties had been waiting until yesterday for the Central Office's response.
So why do we bring the story of the Hennigan/ELC West up? Regrettably the department's inability to make a decision in a timely manner is a story too often reported. And it's a story with harmful consequences. What makes the issue at hand particularly infuriating is the loss of 12 hours' instructional time will be made up, one way or another, at the end of the school year after the close of the term and when summer recess is in the air. As someone appropriately said in an email to me, "students needed those hours months ago."
Déjà vu All Over Again
We have watched this same inability-to-make-a-decision play out in contract negotiations, in the SPED reorganization, and in the failure to provide adequate services to ELL students. Each of these three botched events has led to litigation from a variety of plaintiffs.
Now we see the same scenario playing out in deliberations on the student assignment process and the school closing/redeployment issue. One has to wonder: If the department cannot bring to conclusion a simple 12-hour schedule for two schools, then how on earth can it do justice to the larger picture? The answer: it probably cannot.
Meanwhile we await the outcome of the end-of-year drama at the Hennigan-ELC/West, and here's where we stand. The school department ought to send us a written proposal--even if nine months late--on what it hopes to do in this matter. Some matters can be delayed, but as a general rule, time doesn't stand still. June is coming up quickly whether the department is ready or not.
New Membership Applications Need to be Collected
Thank you for your responses so far. We are making good progress. Please keep the new applications coming in. Thank you again!
All Souls Author Draws Crowd
All Souls author, Michael Patrick MacDonald, spoke last week to a BTU audience of teachers and students. Abut 100 people heard Mr. MacDonald speak and answer questions about his books.To say he was terrific would be an understatement. People stayed well beyond an hour to get an autographed copy of All Souls, and Mr. MacDonald was most gracious with his time. It was terrific to see BPS students in the audience as participants.
We thank a few people for putting this together. Both Colum Whyte and Michael McLaughlin put this together, and we thank both very much for their help.
|BTU School Has Two Openings|
The BTU School has two 7-8 grade openings: one in science and one in social studies. The social studies position is a one-year only position. The BTU School is a school run and managed by teachers. The school is looking for excellent teachers who seek a leadership role in developing our school. Download this flier (PDF) for more information on the positions.
|Education in the News: SPED Teacher looking out for children becomes Inadvertent whistle blower--and pays price|
See the New York Times piece on a NYC SPED teacher-turned-whistle blower.
There was no particular moment when Harris Lirtzman decided to blow the whistle, and so close the door on his teaching career.
A former deputy state comptroller, he had decided to give public school teaching a midcareer whirl. In 2009, he landed a job as a special education math teacher at the Gautier Institute for Law and Public Policy, a Bronx high school.
|PD Activities for Teachers: Pathways, MTEL Prep|
The BPS is running Pathways & MTEL Prep sessions for teachers.
Click here (PDF) for more information.
Comedy Night at the BTU
June 9 is comedy night at the BTU to benefit the BTU school. More information to come. Purchase tickets here.
Sheltering Severance Pay Workshop ScheduledSave the date! There will be a meeting on Tuesday, June 12 at 4 PM for those interested in sheltering their severance pay. We have this meeting every year, and a letter has gone out (PDF) to each person who has taken the Early Retirement Incentive inviting him or her to the meeting. All, however, are welcome to attend.
Connecting Health and Academics: A Community Conversation and Health Fair on June 16
Boston school nurses will gather at the Mildred Avenue School in Mattapan in collaboration with BPS and the Boston Haiti Health Support Team to connect health services and academics in a joint effort on Saturday, June 16 from 10-2. The event is called "Nurses in Your Corner." See a flier here.
See all upcoming events on the BTU website.
|Greater Boston Labor Council Plans Training|
Taking it to the Streets to Win! Building Mobilization Capacity in our Unions
Time: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Florian Hall
Address: 55 Hallet Street ~ Dorchester, MA
A FREE workshop workshop for all union members
Learn how to mobilize and create a mobilization structure in your union, gain quick transferable skills that you can use in your own local union, and build a network across union lines to help share existing resources.More info here.
|BTU Health and Welfare Announces Fun Run|
The BTU Health and Welfare Fund has announced that this year's fun run (either 2.8 or 5.8 miles) will take place on June 8. See this flyer (PDF) for more information.
|Math T-Shirts Have Arrived|
|The math t-shirts are in and teachers have begun to pick them up. Teachers who are in charge of your team, please come over and pick up the shirts you ordered. Team trophies are also in and are being picked up. (Please call first; because there were some teams that tied, we have a few team trophies on back order, soon to be delivered.)|
The individual trophies are on order and our intention is to hand them out to teachers and/or students at the June membership meeting. We expect to have the individual trophies in at the end of this week if you wish to pick them up sooner This is a proud event for all of us, and again, we appreciate everyone's interest and assistance in the event. The BTU is very pleased that we are part of an activity that promotes excellence in achievement. Our schools and staff have much to be proud of. Again, thank you to all who participated. And a hearty thank you to LauraLee Johnson who designed the t-shirt.
The BTU membership was pleased to be able to underwrite this event out of membership funds.
|Tremont Credit Union Seeks Members to Participate in Focus Group|
Tremont Credit Union is seeking members who wish to participate in a focus group designed to let Tremont know what it does well and what it could do better. Interested members please contact here.
Naomi Heard, Mike Ritz and Tiem Vo from South Boston High School)
Thursday, June 14th
Common Market in Quincy.
Email Trish Downs for more info.Pascual Madrid, Curley School June 15th at 4:30
Chris Gilman's House, 100 Meadowbrook Road, Dedham, Ma
Ticket Price: $65.00
Last day to purchase tickets is June 8th
Make checks payable to Curley Cares Fund, For information contact Kim Daly or Laurie Ciardi
Patty Lane, Madison Park
Thursday, June 7, 2012, 2:30 - 4:30 PM
Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, 2nd floor
Cost: $25.00 per person
Please mail with your check payable to Career & Technical Education by June 1. Mail check to:
Emily Lebo, Career & Technical Education Office, Madison Park Complex. 55 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury, MA 02120.
Call 617-635-8079 with questions.
Honoring Claudia Chaffee, Torylee Cigna, Sharon Clark, Ann Levis and Andrea McDermott, Horace Mann School for the DeafThursday, June 14, 2:30-5:30
Doubletree Guest Suites Boston at 400 Soldiers Field Road
$55.00 includes appetizers and gifts, cash bar
For more information please contact Lynda Sennott
Susan Leary, Charles SumnerWilliam Devin Golf Clubhouse
Friday, June 1 at 6 PM
$45.00 can be mailed to Donna Griffin at the Charles Sumner. Checks can be made out to the Charles Sumner Sunshine fund.
Marian Meadows, Michael J. Perkins Elementary School
Thursday, June 14
Phillip's Old Colony House, 780 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester
Time: 4 to 5 PM social hour, with dinner immediately following
Cost: $45 (covers dinner and gift). Make checks payable to Nancy O'Malley and mail to 196 Savin Hill Ave., Dorchester, MA 02125. Please RSVP by May 31. Call 617-834-9645 with questions or email here.
Delores Blake-Richardson, David Ellis School
Friday, June 15
Lombardo's, 6 Billings Street in Randolph
Time: 7 to 8 PM social hour, with dinner immediately following
Cost: $60 (covers dinner and gift). Make checks payable to Patricia Burton and mail to 41 Simmons Avenue, Brockton, MA 02301. Please RSVP by May 30. Call 508-269-0319 with questions.
Thursday, June 7, 6 until 11PM
Pauline Dodd, Joseph Lee School
Change in Location: Party will be held at Phillips Old Colony HouseCost per person: $50 (includes gift, meal, and DJ). Please make checks payable to "Joseph Lee Sunshine Fund" and mail to: Joseph Lee School, Attn: Sara Smith, 155 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124. Please RSVP by May 17. See flier here.
Kathy Giberti, O'Donnell SchoolFriday, June 15 at 4 PM
Winthrop Arms Hotel at 130 Grovers Avenue in Winthrop
$30 includes dinner & gift. Cash or check payable to the O'Donnell School. Please RSVP by June 1 to Barbara Grato at 617-635-8454.
Claire Dewey, Arlene LaSane, & Sandra McDowell, Henderson (O'Hearn) SchoolJune 9 at 1:30 PM
Maggiano's Little Italy, 4 Columbus Avenue in Boston
$60 per person includes appetizers, lunch, dessert and gifts for the retirees. Cash bar and discounted parking will be available.
Please make checks payable to "JoAnn Brown-Henderson Retirement" and submit to JoAnn Brown, Henderson School, 1669 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02125 no later than May 9.
Janet Amrock, Martin Luther King School
Thursday, June 7, 5:30 to 9:30 PM
The Common Market, 97-110 Willard Street in Quincy
$60 pp, inc. dinner and gift; $30, gift only. Please RSVP by May 31 and make checks payable to "King Sunshine Fund" c/o King School, 77 Lawrence Ave Dorchester, MA 02121. Contact Maria Harvey, Maryalice Jennings or Diane Thornton with questions at 617-635-8212.
Kevin Grogan, Zelda Chamoff, William Henderson, Judy Allenshaw and Brad Cohen
June 15 from 5-9 PM at Venezia
Please respond by June 1
Cost: $65 includes gift. Please make check payable to Adele Chiachio and mail to: Winship School, 54 Dighton Street, Brighton, MA 02135 or drop check off to Angie Robery at Campbell Resource Center upstairs Special Ed office.
|The BTU Online|
Boston Teachers Union