TONIGHT- City of Boston Vaccine Mandate Teach In: January 25, 6:00-8:00PM
Please join the Division of Equity, Strategy, and Opportunity Gaps for an information session and conversation regarding the City of Boston Vaccine Mandate. Hear from City and BPS officials and get your questions answered. This meeting is for BPS employees only. Attendance link here.
Connect & Share Sessions on “Equitable Literacy”: February 2
Join us on Zoom for grades K0-5 to hear from colleagues about what’s working in their classrooms and in their schools. Join the second session.
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!
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- BTU Winter Conference 2022: February 12, 9:00AM-1:00PM
The BTU Winter Conference theme will be “Cozy Up With The Contract” and the conference will focus on fighting burnout, prioritizing educator well-being, and ramping up the contract campaign. We are planning to be in person at the BTU hall with significant COVID precautions but will pivot to Zoom if need be. The first 100 people to register and attend will receive a swag bag! Register at https://btu.org/winter.
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!
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.
NEW- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Important Dates for Paras: Staffing 2022
Paras should read this document for important dates, deadlines, and information for the coming year.
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.
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!
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.