TONIGHT- Haitian Educators Committee Meeting: February 23, 5:00PM
Please email Bianca Pierre for more information and to receive the Zoom link.

Google Docs for Organizing Training: February 23, 4:30-6:30PM
The focus of the training is using Google tools to offer some tips and best practices for communication, organization, and mobilization. It is best suited for folks in initial stages of understanding of how to use these tools and their role in committee work. To register, please click here.

NEW- Member Benefits Workshop for AFT Members: February 23, 25 & 27
AFT Massachusetts is hosting a series of virtual benefits workshops to showcase the products and services available to AFT members through our members benefits program. Whether you’re looking to purchase insurance, buy or refinance a home, or plan for retirement, you can find experienced and dedicated professionals who will work with you every step of the way to fulfill your goals. Register here!

NEW- Connect & Share Panel Discussions: February 25, 4:30-6:00PM
Join us for a panel discussion on the topic of “Student Engagement.” Hear from your colleagues about what’s working in their own classrooms and schools. Connect with peers from across BPS, get new ideas, and earn PD hours as well. Other sessions are coming in March and April.

Being Bilingual in BPS: February 25, 6:00-7:00PM
The Dual Language Educators Committee and the Teacher Leadership Fund are excited to announce that we will be hosting our first event for La Cadena 2.0 where we will hear directly from BPS high school students about what it’s like to be bilingual in school and why this is important to them. Please share the flyers in English and Spanish. Register here!

THIS THURSDAY! BTU Social Event: Magic Show for Adult BTU Members, February 25, 5:30-6:30PM
BTU is happy to announce our first Virtual Social Event during the pandemic. This year has been very difficult! Kick back and enjoy some fun with fellow BTU members: Please join us for a virtual Adult Magic Show with magician (and BTU member) Jim Munsey! To join, please register here. Bring 4 Aces and any other 16 random cards from a playing card deck so you can learn a magic trick of your own that’s interactive!

NEW- New Teacher Trivia Night: March 4, 7:30-8:45PM
Join us on for 4 rounds of trivia fun! We’ll have questions on pop culture, geography, and other fun topics. Make a team, or come and join a team. There will be small prizes for the winners and bonus points for any team that includes a 1st year teacher or a new teacher (year 2 or 3).

NEW- Paraprofessional Virtual Break Room: March 16, 5:00-6:00PM
Join your fellow colleagues in a Virtual Break Room – Saint Patrick’s Day edition! Come in to say hello and have a casual social conversation and check-in. Remember, no work/union talk allowed! Click here to register. A link will be sent to you in the days prior. Be sure to wear something festive!

NEW- Annual Paraprofessional Conference: April 10, 9:00AM-12:00PM
This year’s VIRTUAL conference will include a plenary emphasizing the important role you play in both your union and community, as well as a series of workshops to support both you and your students during the COVID pandemic. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity for professional development and to build connections with other fellow paraprofessionals throughout the Commonwealth. Click here to register.

BTU Election News
The nomination process for the upcoming election continues through March 10. You can access election-related information and documents on the Election Committee page of the BTU website. To help members navigate the electronic nomination process, the committee will publish a list of candidates seeking nominations on the member portal. Those candidates who wish to be listed must opt-in using this form. All candidates are reminded to review the committee’s policies on campaigning and the BPS Acceptable Use Policy to ensure that they are in compliance with laws and rules that govern the use of BPS and BTU work time, email, equipment, and supplies for campaigning purposes. Finally, a reminder that you can only nominate the number of candidates that hold an office (i.e. one for President, 12 for Executive Board)

NEW- Union Dues
In 2020, teachers paid $1,433.77 in union dues; paraprofessionals and substitutes paid $716.85 in union dues; and ABAs paid $931.81 in union dues. Please direct any questions about dues to Secretary-Treasurer Betsy Drinan.

UPCOMING DEADLINE- Teacher Leadership Fund Mid-Year Grants: Open Until 2/26 
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 until February 26. Email with questions.

NEW- Spring Pathway Programs
The Spring Pathway Programs offer professional development and licensure preparation in three areas – English as a Second Language, Severe Disabilities, and Moderate Disabilities. The programs should be of particular interest to teachers with emergency licenses or waivers in these areas, as well current and prospective inclusion and ESL teachers, as well as grade and content teachers in SEI program schools. The deadline for submission of applications is March 1. Click here for program information and application. For questions, please email Pathway Programs.

NEW- Ward 4 Scholarship: Deadline March 31
A new scholarship is being given out by Ward 4. 9th and 10th grade students who live in or go to school in Ward 4 can apply. Ward 4 Democrats will honor two students with awards of $250 each at our summer community event in August. Students will submit short written responses to two essay questions in the language of their choice; the essays will be judged for depth and originality. Encourage students to apply here!

NEW- Union Plus Free College Benefit
Union Plus has updated their Free College Benefit Program to now include a Bachelor’s opportunity. See here for more info!

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.