NEW- BTU Family Forum on Supporting Students with Special Needs: January 26, 7:00-8:30PM
This forum is looking to build educator/family partnerships to support students with disabilities and their families during the pandemic. Please register here. The format will include listening circles, Q & A with BTU Special Educators and Related Service Providers, and mini presentations by representatives from City Life/Vida Urbana and Community Labor United on their respective campaigns for housing and childcare justice and access. The flyers are in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Vietnamese and Chinese. Interpreters will be available at the Family Forum with registration in advance.
NEW- New Educators Committee Social: January 28, 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!
NEW- Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action: February 1 – 5
Join the BTU in recognizing the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, February 1 – 5. Learn more at https://btu.org/blackhistory/. If you would like to order a BLM at BTU t-shirt, please do so by Friday, Jan. 22!
NEW- EdCamp BLM @ School: January 28 & February 1
The Telescope Network and the BLM@School BTU Planning Committee are co-hosting two educator-led events on the topic of “Yes We CAN Talk About Race”. Learn more and register for these events here. EdCamps are a unique “unconference” form of PD where those in attendance lead learning for one another according to their interests. Join us Thursday, Jan. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with a question, idea, or project you are working on! Then join us on Monday, Feb. 1 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. to hear and hold discussions with educators across the district who are bringing important conversations and curriculum around race, identity, and social justice into their classrooms and schools.
NEW- A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door Book-Talk: February 10, 7:00PM
Join AFT members and allies for a webinar to learn about the origins of the war on public education, reflect on the last four years of fighting against the Trump-Devos agenda, and strategize about how to influence public education as a public good moving forward. The webinar will include a virtual book talk with education historian Jack Schneider and journalist Jennifer Berkshire, authors of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door. During the webinar, Neema Avashia from the Boston Teachers Union will facilitate a conversation with the authors and Beth Kontos, president of AFT Massachusetts; Jan Hochadel, president of AFT Connecticut; and Frank Flynn, president of AFT Rhode Island. Click here to register!
NEW- Apply to be a BTU Negotiator
We thank Melanie Allen of the Hernandez School for her many years of service on the six-member BTU Negotiating team! Members of the negotiating team are appointed by the President and work significant hours nights, mornings, weekends and as needed to negotiate our contracts. If you are interested in joining the negotiating team, please email Matt at email@example.com by January 26. Educators of color with experience teaching EL’s, who have a strong work ethic, are familiar with the contract and are detail-oriented are strongly encouraged to apply.
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.
UPDATED- BTU Election News
Candidate nominations are underway! Nominations are due on or before March 10. Here is a step-by-step guide to using the new electronic nominations. Please note that if you choose to use paper nomination forms, those must be mailed and received in the office by March 10. Printed copies are available in the BTU lobby or may be downloaded from the BTU website. For more details, please see the Election Procedures and Candidates’ Guide; the timeline of important dates; and the breakdown of the duties involved in each elected position. Always feel free to reach out with questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling or texting Ombudsperson Kimvy Nguyen at 617-396-7969.
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!
NEW- Attention NBCTs: “On Call” Readers Needed
Support BPS teachers currently working on National Board Certification by serving as an”On Call” reader. You will receive training and compensation to provide two one-hour reads and feedback to any interested candidate. Compensation is at the BTU hourly rate. NBCTs with PLF training are encouraged to apply and training will also be provided if needed. Apply by February 1, 2021. If you have any questions, please
NEW- Join our Parent/Caregiver Educator Support Group
This group is for BTU members seeking a supportive community to deal with the challenges of balancing work and parenting responsibilities in this unprecedented year. Join our Facebook group or email Lea Serena for more information.
Virtual Benefits Workshops for AFT Members
AFT Massachusetts will host a series of virtual benefits workshops to showcase the products and services available to AFT members through our member benefits program. During the one-hour workshop, presenters will explain benefits you are eligible for, with topics including AFT Plus Benefits, Auto and Home Insurance; Supplemental Insurance; Home Financing; Long Term Care; and Retirement Planning. You can register here.
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.
Sick Bank Donations
The BTU Sick Bank provides additional leave in the case of an unexpected or prolonged illness when all other options have been exhausted. You never know when you may need to use the sick bank yourself, and it may help you avoid a loss of compensation in the future. Those who have 3 or more consecutive years of service are eligible.
UPCOMING DEADLINE- 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.
Educator Supports Program (ESP)
The BTU and BPS collaborate on the Educator Supports Program, providing support for teachers who are having difficulty with their practice. If you or a colleague receive a rating of less than proficient on a formative assessment this month, please reach out to the ESP and sign up for an intake meeting to find out more and take advantage of these great supports from our Consulting Teachers.
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 sign up for a listening tour using this link.
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!
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 session January 12 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
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.