Published On: September 28, 2021

In case you missed it, we did send a Special Bulletin on Friday evening with  information on bus drivers, pool testing, and other important updates. The time-sensitive item was the deadline for uploading vaccination or testing status. Please be aware that currently the results of weekly testing need to uploaded every seven days if you are not vaccinated, not just proof of testing. We are still working with the City and district to streamline and improve the process both for uploading vaccination status as well as weekly testing results. We are also advocating for an extension due to the technical issues and confusion with the process. We hoped to have an update this morning, but will keep everyone posted if there are any changes and understand the frustration that many have faced. 

Over the weekend, we held our 8th annual Back to School Fair! Due to Covid, we once again scaled down the event and spread it out over three days, but we were still able to give away over 40,000 books to the thousands of students, families and educators who stopped by. We also had a successful vaccination clinic with over 60 participants! We will host a follow-up clinic in a few weeks for both those who need their second shot as well as those eligible for booster shots (which now includes educators who were fully vaccinated 6+ months ago from their second shot). In the meantime, you can still visit for the latest updates and opportunities for educators, students and families to get vaccinated.

We want to give a special thank you to everyone who pitched in to make the fair possible, including all of our retired educators, active educators, parents, community members and so many more. We also want to thank Boston Partners in Education who also donated backpacks and school supplies and also provided volunteers to help unpack and sort the books. Finally, we’d like to thank our staff committee, led by BTU Community Liaison Brenda Chaney as well as well Nichole Staude, Johnny McInnis, and Khalida Smalls for their months of planning!

On Sunday, Brenda Chaney also led a bus of BTU members to participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer! If you would like to donate to the BTU team’s efforts, please do so here.

On Friday evening, we met with BPS again to discuss continuity of learning, particularly how we continue to support students who are unable to be in-person. The conversations continued over the weekend and we meet again this Thursday to continue those discussions and negotiations.  

We also are in close communication with the district about addressing the challenges and issues regarding pool testing, contact tracing and notifications. We are setting up a meeting with the district and school nurses and have also created a Google Form for Reps to identify where the pool testing – organized by DESE – has fallen short for students and/or staff.

Reminder: some members have informed us that they are being directed to complete a mandatory two-hour training in de-escalation on their own time. While BPS may be required to provide this training to all educators, administrators should provide members with contractual time to complete the training. If you are being directed to complete this on your own time, please contact your field rep. 

Save the date for our Fall Leadership Conference – REGISTER BY OCT 1! Join us October 22 – 24 at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH. Our theme this year is “Be Water: Power, Unity, Flexibility & Strength”. Free and open to all BTU members! Register here. 

Finally, please remember to check your pay stub to ensure that you are being paid correctly.

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