TONIGHT- BTU Family Forum for All Families: February 9, 7:00-8:30PM
Please join us for the next BTU Forum for ALL BPS families. We want to hear your needs, concerns and ideas, and we will share an update on school reopening in BPS and what families should expect. We have flyers in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creöle, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese. Please register here and share these flyers widely with families at your school and in your community networks. The 2/9 Forum program will include listening to families’ needs and concerns, identifying issues to advocate for together, and  getting an update on school reopening. For more information, please contact Ilene Carver

NEW- COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar: February 9, 10:00-11:00AM 
BPHC will be presenting this webinar to provide City of Boston employees with information regarding COVID-19, the different vaccines and their effectiveness and safety, and other prevention strategies. The webinar will also include information on the State’s roll out phases and Boston’s distribution strategy. BPHC staff will be available to answer any questions you may have about the vaccine during the webinar.

Virtual Paraprofessional Break Room: February 9, 5:00-6:00PM
Due to the snowstorm and early dismissal, the Virtual Paraprofessional Break Room originally scheduled for February 2 is now being held February 9. Come in to say hello and have a casual social conversation and check-in. No work/union talk allowed! Please register here.

Engaging Students in Remote/Hybrid Learning in ELA: February 10
BPS ELA Dept. and the BPS/BTU Telescope Network are co-hosting a series of “Connect and Share Spotlight Sessions.” During these 1-hour sessions, you can hear from a panel of “humble expert” colleagues about what’s working for them and bring good ideas back to your own classes. Workshop sessions will be at 8:30, 10:30, and 1 p.m. The full schedule of presenters is still being finalized. School leaders are asked to work with educators interested in attending if at all possible. RSVP here to register. See the calendar of events here.

NEW- New Educators Committee Social: February 11, 6:00-7:30PM
Are you a new (or new-ish!) teacher, substitute, para, RSP, librarian, nurse, ABA, or psychologist in BPS? Would you like to meet other educators in their first three years in BPS and find out that it’s not just you? Would you like to learn more about your union, the BTU, and how it works? Would you like to connect with other people who know what it’s like to teach online and celebrate that 2020 is over? Join the BTU New Educators  Committee for a virtual kickback! You deserve it. Register here!

AFT Black Caucus Coffee & Tea: February 13, 10:00-11:00AM
The AFT Black Caucus Boston Chapter invites you to refresh with coffee & tea! Click here to join.

NEW- Town Hall on COVID-19 Vaccines and Workers Safety: February 17, 6:00-7:30PM
A year into the pandemic, the vaccines are a light at the end of the tunnel for at-risk workers hit hard for COVID-19. But a slow rollout, racial inequalities, and misinformation have created a lot of problems and questions. Find out more about the vaccines and what they mean for safety on the job. Register here!

NEW- Join the Assessment Task Force!
We are seeking teachers representing all grade levels and school types to join the Assessment Task Force, as referenced in the 11/3 Superintendent’s Memo, to work with School Leaders and Central Office in order to design and recommend a comprehensive and balanced assessment system that will meet the needs of students, families, teachers and leaders across BPS. The time commitment will be two hours a month, with meetings on the third Thursday afternoon of each month through the end of June. Please indicate interest by completing this form by 2/18. Questions? Email Sarah Jay.

NEW- MCAS Advocacy Discussion: February 22, 4:30-5:30PM
Join us for a brainstorm conversation around what actions we can take to push back against the MCAS and the high-stakes testing accountability system. We will go over different bills filed with the Legislature and how we might be able to support their passage and raise awareness about this issue. We will send the Zoom link a few days before the event.

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- 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!

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!

UPDATED- 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)

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. 

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.