TONIGHT- Haitian Educators Committee Meeting: February 15, 5:00PM
Please RSVP to Bianca Pierre.

TONIGHT- Restorative Justice, Empathy & Loving Engagement: February 15, 5:00-6:30PM
Come together with other BPS educators to learn more about the guiding principles of Black Lives Matter at School. We will spend the first part of this session learning about the theory, then hear how educators are putting the theory into practice in their own schools/classrooms. To enroll, search for “Black Lives Matter” on Vector/TeachPoint.

Student Debt Clinic: February 15, 4:30PM
AFT has counseled thousands of members at our student debt clinics, provided a free benefit to union members that will save them an estimated $500 million, taken student loan giants like Navient to court, and sued the Trump administration to protect borrowers. Follow the link and register for the next Debt Clinic today!

Community Forum on Contract Updates: February 16, 6:00-7:30PM
This month, find out why BPS rejected all of our proposals for racially and linguistically diverse staff and ethnic studies, and how you can help. Join us to fight for the schools our students deserve! Register and find multilingual flyers at Register by 2/11 for interpretation in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cantonese, Mandarin, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Somali, French, ASL, or any other language.

NEW- Lunar New Year Lantern Celebration: February 16 & 17
Come join us for a fun night of riddles, and learn more about the Chinese culture! Hosted by Francisca Hom from Quincy Elementary. Two sessions: Feb. 16 (Wed), 5-6 pm OR Feb. 17 (Thur), 7-8 p.m. Join one or join both! Zoom link HERE.

NEW- Reading for Fun Haitian-Creole Heritage Virtual Celebration: February 17, 6:00-7:30PM
Haitian-American author Maude Heurtelou will conduct a 90-minute interactive sessionwith students, parents, and teachers, to explore different approaches to make reading fun. We will discuss the benefit of reading in the native language and different ways to maximize opportunities to read for fun with or for the children. The session will be compartmented in three appropriate musical pauses and will end with questions and answers. Click here to join!

R+/TARP Legislative Action Committee Update: February 17, 7:00PM
A Zoom meeting link will be emailed to all those who have voluntarily provided their personal email address to the R+/TARP Legislative Action Committee. We have great news to share on the progress of our bill and a 5th call to action. Email questions, etc. to Don’t miss this informative and important session!

NEW- Connect & Share Session for New and New-ish Educators: March 3, 4:30-6:00PM
March can be a tough time for new educators: we feel tired and worn down, but there’s still so much work to do before June. Join us to connect with other new and new-ish educators and also hear from some expert colleagues about what’s working in their classrooms and schools. Our topics for this session will be: Supporting Diverse Learners, Finding Work/Life Balance, Building Professional Relationships, and Improving Student Engagement & Attendance.

Annual PSRP Conference: April 9
Save the date! The 2022 annual PSRP conference will be held on April 9. The theme is stress solutions, self-care, & solidarity. More info to come!

Tell BPS to Fix Pool Testing!
BPS is still accepting input on their decision about whether or not to accept the state’s new testing program. You can read the DESE memo about the policy here. FamCOSa is calling on BPS to work with the state and other partners to put in place a testing policy that actually works. Let BPS know how you feel about the state’s new testing program!

2022 AFT Massachusetts Convention: May 7
Planning for the 2022 AFT Massachusetts convention on May 7, 2022, is underway! The convention will be held at the IBEW Local 103 Hall located at 256 Freeport Street in Dorchester and every effort will be made to keep attendees safe. A COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan is being developed by the AFT Massachusetts Executive Board and the plan will be at least as preventative as the guidance as set by the AFT, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the City of Boston. More details to follow.

National Board Certification Supports
National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. There are several upcoming support sessions scheduled. For more info, email the National Board Leadership Team or visit the team website.

Fair Share Amendment Pledge
The Fair Share Amendment, also known as the Millionaires Tax, is a ballot question that is desperately needed to fund public transportation and our public schools and colleges. For people who make more than a million dollars a year in income, the Fair Share Amendment will enact a 4% tax on every dollar earned over a million. In the lead up to the ballot questions, Raise Up MA is collecting thousands of commitment  cards from residents across Massachusetts. AFT-MA has pledged to collect 5,000 cards and we need your help. Sign a pledge card now!

BEAM Scholarship Application
The Black Educators’ Alliance of Massachusetts (BEAM) is pleased to offer scholarships. Eligible applicants are encouraged to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, school and/or community involvement, and commitment to complete a post-secondary course of study. This scholarship honors the memory of George B. Cox. The application is linked here. Email with questions.

Tutor Position Available
The Home & Hospital Instruction Program is seeking new after school tutors for students. We’re inviting all BPS teachers and licensed educators to apply. This is a part-time stipend position. Apply now and contact Socorro Holland with questions.

Calling All Arts Educators
We ask you to join in our contract fight in order to provide a well-rounded culturally diverse arts program for our students. We ask you to read and share our demands in order to create and expand on the district’s arts programs. These programs are more crucial than ever due to the pandemic because they serve as natural forms of medicine and therapy for our students and school community. This is vital for their social and emotional learning, in order to serve the needs of all learners. If there are no arts, learning is hindered because we will not be able to teach the WHOLE CHILD! Fill out the survey and let us know what your school needs in connection with our contract proposal. See the demands here.

Attention Upward Bound Student and Staff Alumni: 1966-1969
If you were a student or staff member in the UMass Boston or MIT Upward Bound Program during the late 1960s (or early 1970s) and are willing to participate in a research study by conducting an oral history interview, please contact Gail Stubbs at or 617-962-3924. Gail is a UMass Boston doctoral student doing a study called “Communities in Action: The Early Years of the Upward Bound Program.” She is interested in hearing about your experiences and memories of being part of the program during that time period.

Important Dates for Paras: Staffing 2022
Paras should read this document for important dates, deadlines, and information for the coming year.

Survey on Ventilation in BPS Cafeterias
FamCOSa is taking some action on the specific issue of ventilation in cafeterias. Please complete this survey to shed light on your school’s cafeteria situation!

Union Dues
In 2021, teachers paid $1,451.06 in union dues and paraprofessionals, substitutes and ABAs paid $725.47 in union dues. Please direct any questions about dues to Secretary-Treasurer Michael McLaughlin.

ACCESS Testing Window Extension
DESE announced that the ACCESS testing window has been extended through March 4, 2022. This will allow for more testing days and make-up testing time with many student absences. Please reach out to OEL via email for support.

Opening on Teacher Leadership Fund Committee
The Teacher Leadership Fund committee has an opening for 1 or 2 current Teacher bargaining unit members to serve. This is an opportunity to make a positive impact on students district-wide, by allocating up to $300,000 per year to support educator-led projects. The work includes roughly 3 hours of work monthly throughout the year with a significant increase in the workload in April and May (roughly 15-20 hours reading and scoring applications, lengthy meetings to deliberate and award proposals, etc.). Stipend of $3000 per year. Apply to join the committee, or contact Paul for more information. Link is only available from non-BPS emails. Deadline to apply is February 18.

2022 Unafraid Scholarship
Hundreds of immigrants from all over the world graduate from the Boston Public Schools each year, but many face a huge obstacle: if they’re undocumented, they don’t qualify for federal financial aid. The 2022 Unafraid Scholarship is now open to BPS undocumented seniors. Please share the application with your communities! Since its inception in 2017, the Unafraid Scholarship has awarded more than $280,000 to 105 deserving BPS graduates.

Build a Contract Action Team!
We’re getting organized at school sites to take action for our Contract Campaign! Build a Contract Action Team (CAT) at your school to enable rapid two-way communication of union actions. A CAT is like a phone tree and allows you to quickly reach every member at your school. See here for a step-by-step guide on how to get started, and let us knowwho your CAT leader is!

Early Childhood Mid-Year Assessment Window Supports
As a result of concerns and feedback raised by educators in administering assessments this fall, BPS has organized resources and supports for the second window this winter including limited availability of in-person support for testing administration. (Link accessible through BPS log-in only) Please share these with your early childhood colleagues and school administrators.

DEADLINE EXTENDED- Fund for Teachers
You now have until February 24 to complete your application. Those interested in feedback and support, should contact Paul as soon as possible. Through Fund for Teachers, you can design your own (often travel-based) passion-driven professional learning experience for Summer ’22. Individuals may be awarded grants of up to $5000 and teams up to $10,000. Learn more and apply today!