Published On: April 11, 2023

Massachusetts School Counselor of the Year Andrea Encarnacao Martin of Boston Latin School was recognized at the Massachusetts School Counselor’s Association (MASCA) conference last week. Congratulations, Andrea!

We hope y
ou all enjoyed this last weekend, whether you were celebrating Easter, Passover, Ramadan, or just the spring weather! We welcome the warmer temperatures and sunrays as we near the start of the much-deserved April break next week. 

We also wanted to take one more moment to honor beloved Boston legend Mel King, whose memorial service is today. His influence and impact on our students, educators and schools is enduring, and we are very glad that the McKinley Schools have been renamed in his honor. We look forward to the official renaming ceremony taking place later this month. 

Don’t forget, our April membership meeting is TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 12 beginning at 4:30 p.m. In addition to our usual updates and business items, we will also be hearing from the three candidates for Secretary-Treasurer, and have several special guests. See the full agenda. Please remember to bring your BTU card for admittance to our monthly meeting. As usual, we will have a problem-solving table for those who do not have their cards, but you must bring a photo ID or BPS pay stub. If you need childcare, please register here.

We’re also excited to host a Legislative Mini-Conference on Saturday, May 6! All BTU members are invited to attend a morning program to learn more about our legislative priorities and help determine how we will advocate for these in the current legislative session. Particularly, we will have an in-depth discussion about how we are supporting the Thrive Act (S.246), which would eliminate the state’s power to put school districts under receivership, and regarding a number of retirement issues affecting current and future retirees. We will also be joined by some of the legislators who have filed these bills. Join us as we come up with strategies to protect our members and our schools!

The BTU seeks up to 40 members to attend TEACH, our national union’s biannual professional development conference taking place in Washington, D.C. July 21-23.Join thousands of educators from across the country to learn about professional issues, policy challenges, and classroom strategies. Members of the BTU’s delegation receive conference registration, shared hotel room in Washington, D.C. and reimbursement for travel. Priority is given to members who have not attended in the past. For more information, see the conference websiteApply nowthe deadline is tomorrow (4/12)! 

Earth Day is only a short few weeks away. Several teachers unions across the country are organizing for a Earth Day Week of Action (April 16-22) demanding a just transition away from fossil fuels and towards a Green New Deal for our schools and communities. To support this effort, the Labor Network for Sustainability has created this toolkit with lots of valuable ideas for lifting up this issue in our schools and with our students. Check it out! We will have stickers available at the April membership meeting. To be added to the BTU Climate Justice google group, email Betsy Drinan.

From the Election Committee: Primary election ballots are mailed this week! There is only one race for this ballot, which is Secretary-Treasurer. Ballots are due Tuesday, May 2, so please be sure to send yours in before then. Again, please make sure your physical address is up-to-date on the BTU Member Portal and update it if it is not. There will be a question and answer session with our three candidates at our membership meeting tomorrow. There are also candidate statements available here or on the BTU website (click the blue banner on the homepage). Any questions can be directed to

Lastly, we are excited to introduce the newest members of the BTU staff with you all. We are welcoming Kendall Mosley (below left), our newest Administrative Assistant, and Katie DeLaRosa (below right), the new Inclusion Liaison. Kendall will be working with the Secretary-Treasurer to assist with our finances, and Katie is working with our whole team as our BPS liaison for all inclusion related issues. We have also welcomed back Daphne Soto, who is now the Executive Assistant to the President and Vice President. Please be sure to say hi and welcome them if you see them in the office!




BTU Events and Announcements

NEW- Haitian Educators Committee (HEC) Meeting: April 11, 5:30-6:30PM
Join us for our monthly meeting to discuss and plan a few upcoming events. We will also be discussing the next Reading With Joy project. We’re looking forward to collaborate and see all of you! Please contact Josette Teneus for the Zoom link.

Movement Break Training: April 11, 5:00-6:00PM
The Movement Break Training is a fun-filled hour where staff have an opportunity to experience firsthand the value and joy of incorporating movement into the school day. Staff will leave the training feeling more empowered to implement their own movement breaks to enhance student relationships and overall academic success. Register now!

Blood Drive: April 12
Join us for for a Blood Drive at the BTU. Use the registration link on the flyer to schedule your donation.

2023 BTU Scholarships: Deadline April 14
This year, there will be 16 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 awarded to high school seniors who are dependents of BTU members. Learn more here.

Earth Day Week of Action: April 16-22
Several teachers unions across the country are organizing for a Earth Day Week of Action (April 16-22) demanding a just transition away from fossil fuels and towards a Green New Deal for our schools and communities. To support this effort, the Labor Network for Sustainability has created this toolkit with lots of valuable ideas for lifting up this issue in our schools and with our students. Check it out! We will have stickers available at the April membership meeting. To be added to the BTU Climate Justice google group, email Betsy Drinan.

NEW- Bruins Playoff Tickets Round 1 Game 2
We have a limited number of Bruins playoff seats in Rafters Studio (level 9) Suite 5, food package and private bathroom included. *Please keep in mind at this time the game is without a specific date, it is anticipated the game will be Wednesday, April 19. Each seat is $350. If interested, reach out to Michelle Frank at the union office or by email.

Secrets of a Successful Organizer Workshop: April 22, 9:30AM-5:00PM
We are happy to partner with Labor Notes to bring this workshop to the BTU! Learn how to identify the issues in your workplace, bring your coworkers together, and make a plan to solve them. Register now!

Inclusion Done Right Open Meeting: April 24, 6:00-7:30PM
The time is now for us to listen AND act! The Inclusion Done Right Committee invites all to attend an Open Meeting. Here you can share concerns, ask questions regarding your school, share action ideas and collaborate with others! Reach out to Kafunda Banks and Chantei Alves with any questions.

Tech Goes Home for Paras and Subs: April 24 – May 16
This is a program that delivers 15 hours of instruction focused on fundamental digital skills. You get a Chromebook of your own after you complete the 15 hours. This is a first come first serve basis. Click HERE to register!

UPDATED- BTU Retirement Seminar: May 4, 4:30PM
BTU will host a retirement seminar in Hall 2. Please RSVP to Kendall Mosley to reserve your seat.

Professional Development Series for Paraprofessionals
All sessions are offered as part of a joint BTU/BPS collaboration to provide professional development and professional growth opportunities for all BPS paraprofessionals, CFCs and Family Liaisons. Please join us!

NEW- BRep Stipend Information
Complete the direct deposit form linked to facilitate easier and faster payment of your yearly BRep stipend. Complete the direct deposit form linked and email to Kendall Mosley.

Changes in Pay Frequency for Paras and CFCs
Applicants who wish to change their pay frequency from 10 months to 12 months or 12 months to 10 months must notify Payroll by submitting the Para Pay Frequency application or completing the Google form prior to the June 1 deadline to be effective September of the next school year.

City of Boston Expands Chiropractic Benefits
Effective July 1, 2023, a Chiropractic benefit will be added to BCBS HMO and Mass
General Brigham HMO plan (there is already coverage under the BCBS PPO plan).

Take the Teacher Climate Survey!
The Spring 2023 Teacher Climate Survey opens on Monday, April 10! All classroom teachers will receive an email with a link to a short survey administered by Panorama. It is completely anonymous. BPS will not be able to see your email address nor be able to link your responses to your email address or employee ID. If you have any questions about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Data and Accountabilitywith questions.

The Teacher Leadership Fund: What challenge do you want to solve?
Grants of up to $15,000 are available for teams of educators who want to learn about, create and/or share solutions to improve student learning and well-being. You will also have the benefit of working in community with other educators and with support throughout your project implementation. For complete information about the program including application and guidelines, see here. Application deadline is April 26.

NEW- BTU Merchandise
You can purchase your BTU apparel using this link. We have hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts and our newest item: BTU polo-style shirts! Get them while they last!

Paraprofessional Mentors
Paraprofessionals, we want to make sure you are aware of the wonderful Para Mentors that we have to assist you. If you are struggling with your evaluation, or needing assistance with your role as a paraprofessional, the mentors can help. Please reach out to Colleen Hart at if you are in need of a mentor or have any questions.

Para Pro Assessment Prep Classes
BPS is offering support in preparing candidates to take the ParaPro Assessment and start their journey to becoming paraprofessionals in our classrooms. Join to learn more about the test and how best to prepare! Five separate sessions of online test prep courses will be offered. Register now!

City of Boston Open Enrollment for Health Care
The annual Open Enrollment for City of Boston employees is May 1-19 for coverage effective July 1, 2023.

Rollins Griffith Memorial Classroom Library: Mini Grant Application
The goal is to keep the legacy of Rollins Griffith present in BPS and to promote Black authors that share the vision of antiracism, the culture of Black people through art and music. Thirty $250 mini grants are being offered to teachers in the BPS. The Mini-Awards are open to ALL BPS teachers. All teachers are encouraged to apply.

Unafraid Educators Meetings
Unafraid Educators, BTU’s immigrants’ rights committee, is meeting the second Monday of each month from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Zoom. Please join us!

Important Dates for Paras
Please see here for important dates for excessing, pools and assignments.

SY23-24 BPS Teaching Fellowship Program
Are you currently working under an emergency or provisional license? We are currently accepting applications for the BPS Teaching Fellowship (BPSTF) for SY23-24. BPSTF is designed to support teachers through DESE’s CAP Cycle and to ensure they secure initial licensure in Elementary, Moderate Disabilities, or ESL, while also providing teachers with on-the-job mentorship throughout the year. Teachers with an emergency or provisional license who need to enter an approved educator preparation program for initial licensure should apply on TalentEd. Deadline to apply is May 31, 2023, but we encourage candidates to apply ASAP. Please contact: with any questions.

Application Open for 2023-24 BPS Bilingual Education Accelerated Community to Teacher Program (BE/ACTT) Cohort
Do you have staff members, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, or career changers who need provisional licensure in teaching and SEI endorsement by June 2024? Send them this flyer to check out BE/ACTT from Boston Public Schools. The BE/ACTT Program prepares racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse educators to become teachers with a provisional license in Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; or Middle/High School Math, Science, or English/Humanities and/or with a Bilingual Education endorsement. Deadline to apply is April 7th, 2023.


Professional Learning & Development Updates

Each week, we have many new and exciting Professional Learning & Development opportunities to share with you.

You can find a full description of each listing on our Professional Learning & Development Updates Page.

  • AFT Member Benefit Virtual Workshops
  • Bringing the Campus of Boston into Your Classroom: Teaching with Historic Places
  • Creative Coding in the Classroom
  • Place-Based Boston Summer Institute
  • National Parks of Boston Two-Day Teacher Workshops
  • Tech: Past, Present, and Future
  • Critical Disciplinary Professional Development
  • Mental Wellness Workshops
  • Integrating SEL into Academics
  • Tiered Literacy Instruction in Gr. 1 Classrooms
  • HGSE Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) Program
  • Positive Math Identity Learning Site
  • Expeditionary Learning Planning Cohort (Grade 3 – 6)
  • 2023 Carolyn A. Lynch Summer Teacher Fellowship: Teaching Boston Community History
  • Lifting as We Climb: Black Women Activists in Boston
  • Bilingual Education Certificate Cohort 5 at Boston College
  • Virtual Edcamp for Alternative Schools
  • STEAM Institute
Community News & Events

Greater Boston LCLAA Chapter Meeting: April 13
Join Boston area Latinx union workers and worker center members in how to organize and support Latinx workers campaigns and communities. Folks will continue planning for chapter work in 2023.

NEW- Boston Partners In Education Gala: May 5
Save the date for the Big Cheese Class Reunion: a special 20th Anniversary Gala celebrating two decades of connecting BPS students with corporate and community leaders. Join us on May 5, 2023 as we toast to all the Big Cheese leaders who have joined students in Boston classrooms over the years.

Building Student Power: Sign-up for Student-led Workshops on BPS Issues!
Is your school building old and run-down? Do you wish your school had more academic and extra-curricular resources? Do want to engage your students further about these issues? Teens Lead @ Work (TL@W) is a paid youth program located in Fields Corner, Dorchester, and we are looking to build power with BPS students and organize the student voice! If you think your students would be interested/benefit from a youth-led workshop about educational justice issues in BPS, please fill out the form to get involved!

NEW- Educational Ethics, A Field-Launching Conference: May 4-6
The goal of this conference from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is to build a global field of educational ethics, modeled in some ways after bioethics, that is philosophically rigorous, disciplinarily and experientially inclusive, and both relevant to and informed by educational policy and practice.

Help Send Students to Costa Rica – June 2023
After a Covid hiatus, we finally have the amazing opportunity again to take 14 students from the BCLA-McCormack School in Dorchester on a science-based expedition to COSTA RICA in June 2023. For 10 days, we will live and learn in the jungles on the Osa Peninsula, surrounded by the Golfo Dulce Rainforest. This is surely to be a life-changing experience for our students from grades 7-10! Please share our fundraising flyer with your vast networks to help us solicit donations to this program. Cash, checks, PayPal, CashApp and Venmo accepted!

Pathways to Good Jobs: May 6
Join MassCOSH for a teen job fair featuring career opportunities, union trade representatives, and young worker rights info.

Workers’ Memorial Day: April 28
Join MassCOSH and more organizations for the annual Workers’ Memorial Day Commemoration, a day for remembering, healing, and action.

Thank You for Reading

Please send your comments and questions to us at, or call the BTU at 617-288-2000.

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