Special Bulletin 4/22/20: Schools Closed for Remainder of Year, Free E-Books, and more
Published On: April 22, 2020
We hope this email finds you well, and that you are able to take time during the April break to recharge, regroup and stay connected with your loved ones. While we don’t usually send out a regular bulletin during school breaks, we thought it was important to stay connected and share important updates.
Yesterday, Governor Baker announced that all Massachusetts schools will continue remote education throughout the rest of the academic year. We’re glad that Governor Baker has heeded the calls from educators, health care workers, parents, and municipal leaders by recognizing that a return to school in May is not feasible and that learning should continue remotely for the remainder of the academic year. You can read BTU’s full statement on the decision here.
As always, Special Covid Bulletins are available for review on the BTU website. Here are some of the most recent highlights and updates:
We have reached an agreement with BPS on expectations for remote learning through the end of the school closure period. While we know there are still many questions that we are working to answer and concerns to address, we do believe that this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides better parameters for expectations as well as more consistency for our students, our families, and our educators. Please see the joint press release. To help better understand the MOU, the BTU has created a FAQ summarizing the most important sections.
While not specifically named, Guidance Counselors fall under the Teacher Bargaining Unit and working conditions in the MOU. Any job title not specifically named falls within the section of their respective bargaining units. If you have any questions or concerns, please do reach out to your Field Rep.
We have heard the many concerns about data input, particularly the Google form, and also having to enter the same data in three different places. We agree this not a good use of time or reasonable. We have a call meeting tomorrow to address this and hope to have updates by the end of the week.
Thanks to efforts from our Community Liaison Brenda Chaney, the BTU was able to secure 7,000 free E-Book vouchers from FirstBook for BPS students! BTU members can use this form to request invididual access codes and pin numbers. Each student with an access code and pin number can select 10 e-books to download! This is available on a first come, first serve basis. If you haven’t done so already, please remember to register for FirstBook so that we can continue our partnership and so that you can take advantage of all of their resources.
Bilingual Education Deadline Extended: The Commissioner has approved the extension of the grandfather clause in the Bilingual Education Endorsement, which had a deadline of 6/30/20. The new deadline will depend on when the state of emergency ends. Please see the official announcement for more information.
Please consider contributing to the Boston Resiliency Fund, which is providing critical support to our healthcare workers, frontline workers and others in need.
Don’t forget to fill out the 2020 Census! It is critically important, especially now, that we are all counted in order for our communities to receive necessary resources.
Please continue to submit your Covid related questions or concerns on our Google Form.
Notice of Proposed ByLaws Change
At March’s Membership Meeting, a proposal to change the BTU Bylaws was adopted. The change by modifying Article IX, Section 1, paragraph 1 is as follows [proposed new sentence is underlined]:
“General membership meetings shall be held on the second Wednesday of the months September through June and at such other times as are necessary. Whenever the monthly general membership meeting falls on a day when school is not in session, the membership meeting will be held on the next Wednesday when school is in session. In other cases when the executive board deems it necessary, the executive board, with at least 60 days’ notice to the membership, may reschedule a membership meeting to the next Wednesday when school is in session.”
We will be debating and voting on this proposed by-laws change at the May Membership meeting, which will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 13.
Lastly, we know that many in the BTU Family have gotten sick; have had family members, school families, or colleagues get sick and many have also lost loved ones during this very difficult time. As always, we’re sending our love and appreciation to all of you as we navigate this scary, uncertain time together.
While the last few weeks have been difficult, and we have many weeks to go in this new reality, we are also blown away by the resilence, strength and love within the BTU family. We have seen immeasurable acts of kindness and generosity from this community over the past few weeks, and we are incredibly proud to bear witness to it all as we continue to support each other through this pandemic.