Published On: November 24, 2020
This week, we honor Native Americans who gather each year at Plymouth Rock for the annual Day of Mourning. On the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe are sharing the real history of the day and the struggles that the Wampanoag Nation continues to face. We hope that all are able to take the time to learn more about the present-day lives and realities of the Wampanoag and other Native Americans as we also take time to safely reconnect with family during this holiday.  
The spirit of the Thanksgiving season is also about taking time to name what we are grateful for and it feels even more important this year to truly extend our gratitude to the members that make up our Union as well. We want to take a moment to reflect and honor all of the incredible work you all have been doing over the last several months.
Each one of you have shown more commitment to your students and to this community than we ever could have imagined. We wish we could list out every member and everything, big or small, you have done for our community over the last 8 months of unprecedented and heartbreaking hardship. You are seen, you are appreciated, and you are loved by all of us in this BTU community. We wish you and your families a safe and well deserved Thanksgiving holiday.

We’ll be holding a space for Building Reps and CAT leaders to reflect on this most recent round of action-readiness assessments and learn from others about best practices to strengthen our school structures. This will also be an opportunity to learn how to build a CAT team if you don’t already have one. You can pick from one of two dates: today, Tuesday, November 24, or Thursday, December 3 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Register for the zoom link.

We would like to congratulate the following 2020-21 Para Facilitators/Mentors and Teachers/Coaches on being selected to be a part of this collaborative opportunity between BTU and BPS for Paraprofessionals: Kimvy Nguyen, Jessica Ellis, Bianca Pierre, Ingrid Burton, Deidre Deg Raffenreid, Richelle Villalona, Casstrana Mose, Anthony Marshall, Jonathan Long, Jerica Williams, A. Vanessa LaRocque, Eric Mckoy, Carla Johnson, Vladymir Dominique, and Klarens-Biens-Aime. The Para Facilitators will begin training on how to facilitate professional development for fellow paraprofessionals they coach by the teacher/coaches. Para Mentors will begin training in the para evaluation, as well as different forms of sensitive training to begin to aid their fellow paraprofessionals as mentors. Congratulations to all!

MassCOSH created this FAQ about BPS, COVID-19, and school reopening to better answer the many questions that BTU members have been asking. While we continue to work with the city and district to ensure safe facilities, MassCOSH’s intention is that this FAQ will be a living document that we can add more questions and answers to as plans develop. We continue to seek answers from the school district and Boston Public Health Commission as well.

School districts and the state have been less than transparent about Covid cases in our schools, so AFT-MA and MTA have partnered to track COVID cases. If you know of a confirmed positive case, please use this website to help us keep track. We may follow up with you if it is not already a confirmed case. 

As we reiterated last week, thank you all for your continued engagement in our union advocacy. Our work is not over! Please see our Political Action page for several post-election updates.  

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