Published On: May 9, 2023

First and foremost – Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and National Nurses Week!! We see the incredible work you all put in each and every day of the year, and we are always deeply appreciative of that dedication and commitment to our students. Thank you!

We hope you all enjoyed this beautiful weekend. We had a wonderful time learning and activating at our Legislative Mini-Conference on Saturday. Thanks to all who joined us, including our featured speakers: Councilor Julia Mejia, State Rep. Rob Consalvo, State Rep. Sam Montaño, and MEJA Executive Director Vatsady Sivongxay. Check out the full album of photos on Facebook and our live tweets from the event! 

Our May membership meeting is TOMORROW, Wednesday, May 10 beginning at 4:30 p.m. See the full agenda. There will be important updates on the roll out of special education inclusion amongst other important presentations. 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 in advance here.

From the Election CommitteeThank you to all the members who voted in our primary, whether by mail or in person. Trevour Smith and Karen Cross are moving on in the general election. Videos for all candidates are now available. Finally, please check your home address if you did not receive the primary election ballot so that you can receive the ballot for the general election in the coming days. The in-person election at the BTU is on Wednesday, June 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The beginning of May marked the beginning of Haitian Heritage Month! We’re excited to honor and highlight the diverse culture, heritage, and contributions of the Haitian community throughout history. We encourage our community to study, observe, and celebrate the Haitian community in our schools and beyond. Some ways to do this are to attend Haitian Heritage Month events in Boston and support the Haitian Americans United, Inc. Organization! We also invite all who are interested to join our BTU Haitian Educators Committee. Contact Bianca Pierre to get involved or join the next meeting May 16. See details below! 

May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! We’re proud to uplift many events this month, including a BTU AAPI Book Event where we will be distributing books with APIA authors and characters at our hall on May 20 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. thanks to a grant from AFT and in partnership with FirstBook. We are also happy to announce that we will be joined by two local AAPI authors: Vincent Yee and our very own Tracy Guan of the Quincy Elementary School who were recently on the Kelly Clarkson show along with two other AAPI authors.   

We’re also proud to celebrate Jewish-American Heritage Month! Jewish-Americans have a rich history in our country, especially right here in Boston. We encourage you to utilize these resources from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as we continue to fight rising antisemitism.  

We are asking our community to please sign this petition to demand that BPS, the Boston City Council, and the Boston School Committee release a statement protecting the rights of teachers to teach real history and engage students in a critical questioning of the world, particularly around issues of racial oppression. Boston Public Schools, in its most recent budget, includes anti-racist practices as one of the pillars of its plan to meet the needs of students. Part of this commitment must include clearly stating that BPS trusts educators to engage in this work with young people. At a time of a national teacher shortage and attacks on teachers, it is important that the city signals its trust in educators!


BTU Events and Announcements

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.

Double Deductions for Health Insurance for 10 month Paras and Subs
Health benefits team sent over the schedule for double deductions. The first check that will have extra deductions should have been Friday 4/28 and that will continue for the rest of the SY. This will affect 10 month paras and substitutes who are enrolled in health insurance.

NEW- Boston City Council Hearings: May 15, 10:00AM & 2:00PM
Take Political Action! Next Monday, City Council Committee on Ways and Means will have two meetings to review the FY24. At 10 a.m., topics including Weight Student Funding, Enrollment Projections, Schools with Declining Budgets, Opportunity Index, and Transformational Schools will be covered. At 2 p.m., topics including Opportunity and Achievement Gap, Curriculum, Code of Conduct, English Language Learners, Special Education & Inclusion, Literacy, Early Education/Universal Pre-K, Special Curricular Programs (AP, Credit Recovery, Age 22) Vocational Education, Graduation & Career Readiness, Libraries, MCAS, Office of Elementary Schools, and the Office of Secondary Schools will be covered.

NEW- Haitian Educators Committee Meeting: May 16, 5:00-6:30pm
The Haitian Educators are excited to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month this school year. Please join us for our monthly meeting to discuss the needs and concerns in our community and all the events happening. We will also be planning for our last meeting of the year. It will be a celebration! So stop by to share your ideas with us. We’re looking forward to seeing you! Please contact Bianca Pierre for the Zoom link.

Tech Goes Home for Paras and Subs: Through 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!

NEW- Education Policy Program Presentations: May 17, 5:00-7:00PM
Get a view of education policy as it really impacts students and teachers of color. Join our 2022-23 Policy Fellows as they share their research and recommendations into the issues that matter most in their classrooms and schools!

NEW- Para Informational Meeting: May 18, 4:30PM
Learn of important upcoming dates and ask any burning questions you have! Please register. See you there!

Aspire & Inspire Educator Symposium: May 18, 4:30-7:30PM
Celebrate this school year with the Office of Educator Development and Leadership! Connect with educators who are leaders both in & outside of the classroom. There will be a menu of opportunities for you to engage with educators who have done powerful work in their classrooms and in leadership roles to impact student learning, their school communities, and BPS at large. Food and beverages will be served.

Thrive Act Advocacy Day: May 24, 9:30AM-2:00PM
Last year we took action against receivership – and we won! This year we take our fight to the next level: the Thrive Act will END the existing state takeover system and replace it with a true support and improvement system that empowers local voices and focuses on giving students and educators the tools they need to succeed. Can you join us for Thrive Act Advocacy Day at the State House on May 24th? RSVP here and spread the word.

Join the BTU at Boston’s Pride Parade: June 10, 10:30AM-12:30PM
The Pride Parade is returning to Boston this summer, and the BTU wants you to be a part of it! The parade exists to commemorate the brave LGBTQ+ people who risked their safety to advocate for the lives and humanity of LGBTQ+ people, to celebrate the richness and complexity of LGBTQ+ community, and to continue to advocate for equity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ people, especially those who face intersecting forms of oppression. We hope to bring a group of 75 members to march in the Boston Pride for the People (BP4TP) Parade to show our support and solidarity to our students and educators and to promote the empowerment of LGBTQ+ communities within our schools. Register here to join.

End of the Year and Leadership Cruise: June 10, 7:00PM
Please join us for our end of the year party! This year, our end of the year party is combining with our leadership cruise. Join us as we ride out the waves and celebrate the end of another year and celebrate all the BTU leaders who have helped it happen! Reserve your ticket at this link and by sending in a check to the BTU, or reaching out to Lea to pay in another way. All BTU members will receive their payments back after attending the cruise. All non-BTU members mudy pay $50 to attend.

Summer Organizing Institute: June 26-27, 9:00AM-3:00PM
Join AFT MA and BTU for two days of skill-building for union leaders, building reps and member activists. Register at

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!

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 Action: Retirement Legislation
AFT Massachusetts is supporting a number of legislative proposals supporting a dignified retirement for our retirees. Among them are: Increasing COLAs, A Second Chance at Retirement Plus and repealing the WEP GPO.

DEADLINE APPROACHING- Take the Teacher Climate Survey! Due May 19
The Spring 2023 Teacher Climate Survey is open! 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 Accountability with questions.

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!

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.

Reoccurring Monthly Meetings
Next Membership Meeting (second Wednesday of every month)
Next Meeting: May 10, 2023, 4:30 p.m.

Next Executive Board Meeting (usually the 4th Wednesday of every month)
Next Meeting: May 24, 2023, 4:00 p.m.


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
  • Tech: Past, Present, and Future
  • Mental Wellness Workshops
  • Integrating SEL into Academics
  • Tiered Literacy Instruction in Gr. 1 Classrooms
  • 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
  • STEAM Institute
  • Educational Ethics Field-Launching Conference
  • STEAM PD Quilting & Math
  • TOMORROW- Black Ancestral Legacies – Educator Workshop
  • EL in Action! Telescope Network Learning Site at Conley Elementary
  • Learn with BPSTechnology in Summer 2023

Community News & Events

NEW- STEAMfest: June 10
Join our community of BPS families, K0-12 students, partners, and educators for free workshops, career insights, & BPS Innovation Challenge. All members of the BPS community are welcome to attend STEAMfest 2023!

Retirement of Kathy O’Connor & Meredith Lawlor
Join to celebrate the tretirement of two longtime educators on Friday, June 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. See flyer for more info.

NEW- What in the World is ChatGPT? May 16
Are you curious about the role of AI in education? Have you heard about ChatGPT and are wondering what it is? Join BPS staff for a discussion to learn more about the app and its future in education.

NAEP is Hiring!
Become an in-school data collector with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Enter your contact information at to be notified once applications are available.

NEW- Fundraiser for Sumner Parent, Staff Member, and Roslindale Resident
A staff member, parent of the Charles Sumner Elementary, and Roslindale resident is undergoing cancer treatment for the next two months. The family has experienced so much loss in the past few years, with the passing of family members due to Covid. Please help out, if you can, with a meal for the family and/or a donation of any kind. All proceeds will go directly to the family and will support medical care, transportation to and from the hospital, child care for the students, food, etc.

NEW- YouthCAN Summit on Climate and Sustainability: May 20
This annual summit will focus on both the positive and negative impacts of the internet, and more specifically social media, on climate organizing. This event is completely free to attend, and will provide breakfast, lunch, raffles, musical performances, inspirational speakers, and much more. Register now!

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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