New Teacher Development PD: January 18 – 20
The NTD January PD will be held on Tuesday the 18th, Wednesday the 19th and Thursday the 20th. NTDs should select which day and time to attend. The Zoom link can be found on the NTD Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and in the January Newsletter. Please contact Kaitlin Torossian with any questions.

Connect & Share Sessions on “Equitable Literacy”: Jan. 20 & Feb. 2
Join us on Zoom on January 20 (for grade 6-12) and February 2 (for grades K0-5) to hear from colleagues about what’s working in their classrooms and in their schools. Joinfor one or both sessions.

NEW- Retirement Planning Workshop: January 26, 6:00PM
The financial professionals of Teacher Retirement Solutions (TRS) have partnered with AFT Massachusetts for a comprehensive workshop for prospective retirees. The Massachusetts’ public employee retirement formula, Social Security and living in retirement will be among the topics discussed. Sign up now!

NEW- Political Campaigns and Public Employees Workshop: February 8, 4:00PM
We know that when our members and others run on a platform of working people’s values and receive unified support from the labor movement, our communities win. AFT Massachusetts will host a virtual discussion for members highlighting best practices of a local’s Committee On Political Education, public employee participation in local elections and social media. Follow the link and register today!

NEW- 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!

NEW- 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.

BTU Administrative Assistant Position Open
The primary responsibilities of this role are providing administrative support to the BTU staff specifically the Political Director and Field Representatives as well as Executive Board and Committee members, anticipating needs and being self directed in an environment that can be fast paced and deadline driven. Full job description is available here.

Call to Action for R+/TARP
We are keeping the momentum going towards re-opening R+/TARP. Our newest call to action is both timely and important – timely because the legislative session is returning soon from the holiday break, important because it focuses on members of the Joint Committee on Public Service. JCPS is the committee that currently has HB4111 and held a hearing with public comment months ago. The JCPS is important and must be contacted because we need them to “report out HB4111 favorably.” Here’s a link to SENATE MEMBERS. Here’s a link to STATE REPRESENTATIVESAttached is a list of all members of the JCPS. Use the links in this email to find their contact info and forward the R+ 1-Pager with a brief text from you about how important this is and to report HB4111 out favorably.

NEW- 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.

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

NEW- Survey for 2nd Grade Classrooms
BPS Early Childhood would love to hear from you! They are going to purchase a limited number of series books for each 2nd grade classroom in the district. These books will not be tied to curriculum. Instead, they are for supplemental use as you build a community of engaged readers. This is a survey to ensure that the titles we choose reflect the expertise and interests of second grade teachers in the district.

Circles of Support for BTU Members
Due to the strong response to our Veterans Day listening circles, the BTU is considering offering monthly support circles for members to help each other navigate the pandemic and the school year. Please complete this three-question survey if you would be interested in participating.

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.

NEW- 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. 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! 

SSC/Governing Board Trainings
Empower your school community: SSC/Governing Board trainings are currently scheduled from November – January of this school year jointly run by the BTU & the BPS Office of Family & Community Advancement. To register or for more info, contact Caren Carew. Workshops are open to all elected SSC members including parents, BTU members, high school students & school administrators all of whom are encouraged to attend.

Fair Share Amendment Pledge Cards
Building reps: We’re asking you to activate your CAT team to collect Fair Share Amendment pledge cards from every member at your school. You should expect a call from a Member Organizer to bring you cards and support you in getting your school organized!