Every year, AFT Massachusetts awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to eligible high school seniors who are dependents of AFT Massachusetts members. The awards, named in honor of former AFT leaders Kathy Kelley, Albert Shanker and Sandra Feldman, and for long-time AFT Massachusetts field representative Jay Porter, are awarded on the basis of a labor history exam administered by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. The application deadline is January 3, 2021.
Take the AFT National Survey
This AFT survey asks about a number of issues related to your work. Your answers to this survey are completely anonymous. With the information you provide, AFT hopes to tailor the types of services offered going forward and publicize the results to inform decision-makers in the states and districts about the specific supports you want and need. Special educators are also encouraged to take this survey on teacher burnout.
Teacher Climate Survey
The Teacher Climate Survey is now open. The survey has been emailed to all teachers. If you are a teacher and did not receive an email, please email the Office of Data and Accountability. The survey 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. Your responses will be used to help you and the district understand and improve remote learning.
NEW- Election Committee News
The Election Committee meets via Zoom at 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. BTU and RTC members are welcome to attend, and can obtain the link by emailing Denice Dwyer. 15 minutes is set aside at the beginning of each meeting for member questions and comments. Unlike past years (and due to the pandemic), candidates will primarily collect their nomination signatures electronically this year. The BTU tech team has been working on a secure system that will allow BTU and RTC members to nominate (“sign for”) candidates by logging into the BTU member portal. A paper option will still be available for those who prefer it. The nomination/signature collection process will run from January 13 to March 10. Details of the new procedures will be available in early January.
NEW- Interested in running for office?
Nominations will open after the January membership meeting for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary Treasurer, Political Director, Field Representative, Executive Board, Paraprofessional Council, and Delegate to All Affiliated Bodies. The committee will host a New Candidate Orientation Event via Zoom at 5 p.m. on January 19. Former BTU President Richard Stutman will moderate. A detailed candidate guide will be available in January. This timeline gives an overview of the important dates and deadlines for potential candidates.
Grassroots Campaign Virtual Training Event: January 30, 10AM-4PM
Join Mass Alliance, AFT Mass and BTU for a training event to introduce future campaign leaders, activists, and candidates to the theory and practice behind successful grassroots campaigning. Sessions will include field organizing, message development, working with the press, and other time-tested tactics for winning campaigns. Register here!
BLM at School Point Person Training: January 7
We have another session coming up for the Black Lives Matter at School point person training. RSVP here to receive a Zoom link. At this training, you will receive the resources and information you need to pull off a successful BLM at School Week of Action at your school in February. The remaining training date is Thursday, January 7 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sign up today!
Parent Support Group
Parenting while teaching is harder than ever. With the support of a grant from the AFT Innovation Fund, we are ready to restart our parent support group. Sign up to receive the Zoom link. See the flyer for dates and times.
Important Upcoming School Site Council Training
The School Site Council plays a critical role in hiring of staff, reviews and advises on the budget, and can waive the provision of the collective bargaining agreement or any School Committee rule regulation. To register, please contact Caren Carew or Cyntoria Grant.
Fund for Teachers
Applications are open for Fund for Teachers, though the program will be very different this year. Teachers can design their own professional learning experiences as usual, though travel opportunities are restricted to within the United States for this year. Applicants are encouraged to focus on topics and issues most directly facing our nation at this time, including but not limited to equity, diversity, inclusion, climate change and civic engagement, or specific challenges facing our local communities. Deadline to apply is January 21.
Dual Language Educators Meeting: January 11, 5:30PM
Join us for the next Dual Language Educators Meeting! RSVP with Lindsay for the link.
Whitewashing Black History Racial Justice Town Hall: January 18, 5:00-7:00PM
Join us for the next Racial Justice Town Hall on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, focusing on the whitewashing of Black history. Register today!
BTU Listening Tour for Upcoming Master Contract Negotiations
Over the next few months, the BTU will be engaging in listening tours with members with the goal of visioning for the upcoming negotiations because our contract expires in August 2021. Please fill out this form if you and the members of your school would like to schedule a listening tour session. We will follow up with you with available dates and times.
Telescope Network VPLCs
Connect and share with your same-role colleagues by joining a virtual professional learning community (VPLC)! It’s a chance to connect with colleagues across the district. It’s a space to share resources, ideas, questions, plan, and troubleshoot. Participate when and how you want. Find your group and join today!
NEW- Teacher Leadership Fund Mid-Year Grants
The Teacher Leadership Fund is happy to announce a new midyear grant opportunity for this year only. We know that now more than ever educators are innovating and creating to address the immense challenges that our students and schools are facing, especially those that have been created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Drop-in info and support sessions TODAY and January 12from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Telescope Trivia Fall 2020
We’re back this fall for our popular team trivia league. Last spring, we had more than 190 players join us for a fun-filled hour of trivia. These sessions will take place on Tuesday nights at 4:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. Join on your own, bring a team of colleagues, or bring your family/friends. It’s a chance to connect across BPS and have some fun. Register here!
Virtual Homework Helpers
Homework Helpers will be available for K-8 students Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m. Students can visit the webpage during these time frames and help will be waiting. Please make sure to circulate this information to your students. The Boston Public Library is also offering a similar program.
Resume and Hiring Process Supports
Hiring season is right around the corner. Members interested in seeking new positions should begin to prepare as soon as possible. The BPS office of Recruitment, Cultivation, and Diversity has supports with all aspects of the process available to all employees. Begin with this helpful resource guide. Events are ongoing and are open to current as well as prospective employees. Those interested in personalized supports with licensure or MTEL questions can email to schedule an appointment.