UPDATED- Election Committee Updates
All signatures are due tomorrow, March 8. The portal will close at 6 p.m. and no further action is necessary for electronic signatures. Paper signatures will be collected until 6 p.m. or the end of the union meeting, whichever is last. We will collect physical papers once from candidates, so please make sure all of your signatures are there at that time. You will receive a receipt confirming that we received your papers but you should retain a photo or copy of paper signatures, as well. Signature validation will happen on March 9 (and the 10th if necessary). We will communicate at that point to union leadership (and candidates) whether there will be a primary, and will communicate to membership in the March 14 bulletin. Newspaper statements and pictures are the next step in the process for candidates for full-time office, executive board, paraprofessional council, and the RTC. For verified candidates WITH a primary, newspaper statements are due on March 12. Candidates who do NOT have a priority must submit their statements by March 21. Statements are 300 words, except for full-time officer positions who have a total of 400 words. Candidates should include their name (as it will be seen on the ballot, chosen by the candidate) and the position they are running for within that word count. For more information, see the March edition of the newspaper. As always, the election committee is available at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. Our next meeting is on March 27 at 5 p.m. at the BTU if you have any questions or comments.
AFT MA is hiring a field representative. Please see the job description and details for applying here.
NEW- Civic Teacher Leader Cohort
Project Zero and the Democratic Knowledge Project (an initiative at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard), in coordination with DESE are looking for Massachusetts public school teachers interested in applying to serve as Civics Teacher Leaders. The Civics Teacher Leaders will play a central role in co-developing and co-facilitating professional development opportunities for teachers across Massachusetts. Civics Teacher Leaders will receive compensation and PDPs. The application deadline is March 27; information and application are also available at this link.
Teaching for Climate Justice Workshop for Educators: March 11, 10:00AM-1:30PM
What does it mean to teach for climate justice? How can educators help combat climate despair in their curricula and classrooms? In this participatory workshop hosted by the BTU Climate Justice Committee and facilitated by the Zinn Education Project, all participants will leave with free, classroom friendly materials and pedagogical strategies to experiment with in their own settings and classrooms. More information here. Register now! Contact Betsy Drinan for more information.
Duet Coaching Information Session: March 13, 6:30-7:00PM
Duet is a coaching nonprofit in Boston that partners closely with Southern New Hampshire University (SHNU) to provide a faster, more flexible, and more affordable way to get a college degree. Please register for the information session if you’d like to learn more.
NEW- Telescope Virtual Trivia Night: March 14, 8:00-9:15PM
What better way to celebrate Pi Day than with a few rounds of trivia? Come join for a virtual team trivia game. Come on your own or bring a team for some fun collaboration and light competition. RSVP now!
NEW– BTU BR Winter Workshop Series-How Negotiations Work: March 15, 5:00-6:30PM
You asked, we listened: join your field reps and organizers for a session on how negotiations work. We’ll be at Dorchester Brewing Company sharing our insights, our experiences, and our appetizers. Register to join!
College Access Workshop: March 15, 5:30-6:30PM
“Yes, You Can Go To College” is a workshop hosted by Unafraid Educators to provide information to undocumented students and the adults who work with them about their options for applying to and financing college. Please invite your students and join us to learn more about how to support undocumented students who want to go to college. Please register here to attend.
NEW- Green New Deal for BPS Members Listening Session
Please join for an upcoming listening session to share your experiences with BPS with the design team. The sessions will be held on March 16 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and March 21 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Your feedback will directly inform the educational foundation for new and renovated facilities as well as the criteria used for prioritizing capital projects. Register now!
NEW- Family2Family Conference: March 25, 10:00AM-3:30PM
We invite you to join us for the Family2Family Conference! (Formerly known as Parent2Parent). Our theme this year is Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools. As we’ve all adjusted to huge changes in our lives and schools, collaborating to support students is more important than ever. This is a conference for parents/caregivers AND educators to share and learn from each other, support family engagement, promote family advocacy, and strengthen family and educator collaboration. Register here to attend!
NEW- Educators of Color Night: March 29, 5:00-7:00PM
Join us for an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet other educators of color in the BPS. We’ll have resource tables, food and a DJ. This event is co-sponsored by the BTU and the Office of Recruitment, Cultivation & Diversity Programs.
Professional Development Series for Paraprofessionals
All sessions are offered as part of a joint BTU/BPS collaboration to provide professional development and professaional growth opportunities for all BPS paraprofessionals, CFCs and Family Liaisons. Please join us!
NEW- The Teacher Leadership Fund: What challenge do you want to solve?
Grants of up to $15,000 are available for teams of educators who want to learn about, create and/or share solutions to improve student learning and well-being. You will also have the benefit of working in community with other educators and with support throughout your project implementation. For complete information about the program including application and guidelines, see here. Application deadline is April 26.
Paraprofessionals, we want to make sure you are aware of the wonderful Para Mentors that we have to assist you. If you are struggling with your evaluation, or needing assistance with your role as a paraprofessional, the mentors can help. Please reach out to Colleen Hart at email@example.com if you are in need of a mentor or have any questions.
Para Pro Assessment Prep Classes
BPS is offering support in preparing candidates to take the ParaPro Assessment and start their journey to becoming paraprofessionals in our classrooms. Join to learn more about the test and how best to prepare! Five separate sessions of online test prep courses will be offered. Register now!
NEW- Red Sox Tickets!
Red Sox tickets are available for sale at the Union office for the Sunday, April 2 game against the Orioles. Payment is acceptable in cash or check. Tickets are $32 each and are e-tickets only. Once paid, you will receive your tickets by email within 48 hours.
Please see Michelle Frank at the office or email her for questions.
Rollins Griffith Memorial Classroom Library: Mini Grant Application
The goal is to keep the legacy of Rollins Griffith present in BPS and to promote Black authors that share the vision of antiracism, the culture of Black people through art and music. Thirty-one $250 mini grants are being offered to provisional teachers in the BPS. All Provisional teachers are encouraged to apply.
Unafraid Educators Meetings
Unafraid Educators, BTU’s immigrants’ rights committee, is meeting the second Monday of each month from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Zoom. Please join us!
Important Dates for Paras
Please see here for important dates for excessing, pools and assignments.
Paraprofessional Housing Survey
The Housing Justice Committee has put together a survey for paraprofessionals to help understand some of the housing challenges they are facing. Please fill out this quick survey so that the HJC can know better how to advocate for our members and build policy that will help paraprofessionals.
BTU/AFT Para/PSRP Conference: April 1, 8:30AM-2:30PM
Please join us for a day of collaboration and learning with fellow paraprofessionals from around the state. The deadline for registration is March 30. Register now!
NEW- Movement Break Training: April 11, 5:00-6:00PM
The Movement Break Training is a fun-filled hour where staff have an opportunity to experience first hand the value and joy of incorporating movement into the school day. Staff will leave the training feeling more empowered to implement their own movement breaks to enhance student relationships and overall academic success. Register now!
2023 BTU Scholarships: Deadline April 14
This year, there will be 16 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 awarded to high school seniors who are dependents of BTU members. Learn more here.
NEW- Tech Goes Home for Paras and Subs: April 24 – May 16
This is a program that delivers 15 hours of instruction focused on fundamental digital skills. You get a Chromebook of your own after you complete the 15 hours. This is a first come first serve basis. Click HERE to register!
SAVE THE DATE- AFT Massachusetts Convention: April 29
AFT Massachusetts convention delegates from across the state will celebrate our victories, discuss the battles we face, and be inspired to act. We’ll hear about important initiatives and further develop our collective strength as educators and organizers. It will be in-person at the IBEW Local 103 Union Hall located at 256 Freeport Street in Boston. We will email a registration link, etc. to all eligible delegates.
NEW- Attend the 2023 AFT TEACH Conference in Washington July 21-23
The BTU seeks up to 40 members to attend TEACH, our national union’s biannual professional development conference. Join thousands of educators from across the country to learn about professional issues, policy challenges, and classroom strategies. Members of the BTU’s delegation receive conference registration, shared hotel room in Washington, D.C. and reimbursement for travel. Priority is given to members who have not attended in the past. For more information, see the conference website. Apply Today!Deadline April 12.
BTU Housing Justice Committee Meetings
The BTU Housing Justice Committee has begun meeting every other Monday at 5 p.m. If you have any questions or would like to be added to the mailing list, please reach out to Emma or Shakeeda. You can access the Zoom via this link.
Building Rep Stipends
Building Reps receive a $1,000 stipend for attending (and signing in) to 75% of the monthly membership meetings. The stipend can be earned in other ways too. The BTU BRep app is going through redevelopment along with our website, so reps can complete the BTU BRep Tally Sheet and submit it at the end of the school year if 75% attendance (and sign in) is not possible. All BReps must submit a W-9 and will receive a 1099 at the end of the tax year.
REMINDER- Union Dues
We’ve received a few inquiries into union dues. In 2022, teachers paid $1,451.06; paraprofessionals paid $760.10; substitutes paid $760.10; and ABAs paid $943.02 in union dues. Remember – union dues are no longer tax deductible. Please direct any questions about dues to Secretary-Treasurer Michael McLaughlin.