Oct 5 - PD Newsletter

Tech Tool Tuesdays (every Tuesday at 5-6:30pm)

Please join the WTU Professional Development Instructors for Tech Tool Tuesdays. As we prepare for both the known and unknown of 2020-2021, get ahead of the curve with these workshops that explore best practices in online learning. Click here to explore the weekly topics and to register. You can join for one or multiple sessions.

 

To view last week’s PD Newsletter, click here.

 

AFT Needs Your Help.

The AFT is collecting instructional videos for teachers to help them improve their distance learning experience for themselves and their students, and we need your help.  

What: Have you recorded yourself doing a lesson, watched a tutorial on how to use a specific online tool or platform that you think was particularly helpful? Is there one you wish you could watch? We need any and all help to launch this new Community on Share My Lesson(SML).

Why: We are hearing from our members that they need short instructional videos to help them see how new tools are actually being used by colleagues in the field on different platforms to teach various subjects and grade levels. For example: Show us how you conduct a morning meeting using Zoom or how you taught a lesson using Jamboard or send us a think-a-loud or tips you think would be helpful for your fellow educators during this challenging time.

Where: Here is the link to the Google Form for submitting videos/ideas:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1V4qknA9Tsdm45VZZe-jPIPUQ6a83WqyNzULUDfxKwpY/edit

 

This will be an ongoing project, just like collecting lessons on SML, so please spread the word and ask your colleagues to jump in and help create this new exciting set of resources to help enhance you and your colleagues’ teaching. We can’t do it without you!

 

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Oct 1 - PD Newsletter

Professional Development News Letter

October 1, 2020

 

It is our absolute pleasure and honor to announce this year's esteemed group of WTU Teacher Leaders, facilitated by Rachel Thomas and Sarah Elwell.

  • Andreiss Bluitt, Eastern HS
  • Rebecca Bradshaw-Smith, Wilson HS
  • Dawn Brodus-Yougha, Anne Beers ES
  • Kristen Bryant, Ketcham ES
  • Brian Crumb, Sr., Payne ES
  • Kristian Ellingsen, Columbia Heights EC
  • LeeTosha Henry, H.D. Woodson HS & Coolidge HS
  • Ashley Kearney, Ron Brown College Preparatory HS
  • Nantambu Kohlbatz, McKinley Technology HS
  • Modestine Montgomery, River Terrace EC
  • Dominique Moore, Johnson MS
  • Gabriel Morden-Snipper, Bard Early College HS
  • Kip Plaisted, Stuart-Hobson MS
  • Carleather Ponder, Roosevelt HS
  • Shannon Robichaud, School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens
  • Jessica Salute, Stanton ES
  • Donald Thompson, Jr., Anacostia HS

SAVE THE DATE: WTU Teacher Leaders Research Symposium will be May 15, 2021!!! At this event, our teacher leaders will share their action research and policy recommendations.

 

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Washington DC Teachers, School Leaders, and Nurses Visit Schools

Washington DC Teachers, School Leaders, and Nurses Visit Schools

Release Statement on City’s Planning to Reopen Schools for In-Person Instruction

 

WASHINGTON — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis, Council of School Officers (CSO) President Richard Jackson, and DC Nurses Association (DCNA) Executive Director Edward J. Smith released the following statement on the city’s planning to reopen schools for in-person instruction.

“‘You can only move at the rate of trust.” These were the words of Chancellor Ferebee in the days leading up to his confirmation as DCPS Chancellor. During a global health pandemic, there is no greater truth. If our school leaders, teachers, nurses and students do not feel safe and heard during this trying time in our nation’s history, we cannot expect to have a successful return to in-person learning across the District of Columbia. Furthermore, the failure to follow the guidance of health professionals and ensure adequate protections for our school-based staff and students will result in the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community, likely with deadly consequences.

“We sympathize with the many teachers, nurses, school leaders, and, most importantly, families who long for a return to our school buildings; however, we have not seen significant progress in our buildings or detailed information from the Mayor’s office or DC Public Schools to believe that our schools can safely reopen for in-person learning without creating a substantial health risk for our community. Nor have we seen the detailed plans for the school openings announced today.

“The Washington Teachers’ Union, Council of School Officers and DCNA echo the concerns put forth by Councilmembers Robert White (At-Large), Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1), Mary Cheh (Ward 3), and Trayon White (Ward 8) to the Mayor last week: “a full transition to in-person education cannot happen until we take further steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.” The WTU, CSO and DCNA also echo the Councilmembers calls for clear standards and protocols to safeguard our students and staff when they enter our buildings and a full, transparent, analysis of building ventilation and safe and adequate nursing suites.

“With the Mayor’s announcement today of her plans to move forward with the reopening of select schools and plans to move forward with a full reopening in November, we call upon her administration and DC Public Schools officials to work with school leaders, teachers, nurses and the community to create a detailed plan for how they plan to safely reopen our schools, while ensuring that we are following national and local health department guidance.

“To move forward with plans to reopen our schools to in-person learning in the coming days or weeks without a detailed public plan and robust community engagement will set our schools and students up for failure.  We once again call for the Council to step in to ensure that our community can be safe should the Mayor decide to move forward with her plans to reopen our schools to in-person learning.”

# # #

 

You can download the statement here.
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Distance Learning in DC Public and Public Charter Schools

Good morning. I am Elizabeth Davis, President of the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The WTU represents over 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.

Teachers understand and sympathize with those who want to return to our classrooms. Virtual instruction cannot replace the experiences our students get in a classroom. We understand the social and developmental concerns facing our students in this virtual environment. However, we do believe that teachers are doing an exceptional job during this pandemic, reaching and engaging their students, despite many technical issues and concerns. In the words of one WTU teacher:

“Virtual learning is not ideal; however, I do feel as if it is improving each and every day as teachers and students and families settle into a new routine. I would prefer to continue on the virtual learning trajectory and continue to do our very best as opposed to renter our building for in person learning without preparations and without knowing the state of our building and whether or not precautions have been taken. There is absolutely no need to risk lives. We should stay the course and continue to improve until a vaccine is created and building are safe and secure.”

                                                                                    ~~ A WTU Teacher

The WTU understands that learning in our classrooms, both brick and mortar and digital, is impacted by many factors some out of the direct control of teachers. But, we can – and will – advocate for our students to receive the supports they need. The educational environment isn't confined to the classroom but, instead, extends into the home and the community and around the world. Information isn't bound primarily in books; it's available everywhere in bits and bytes.

 

You can read President Davis' full statement here.

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September 28 - News Links

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Updates - September 28, 2020

Don't Let Certification Sneak Up On You! 

For those who received an extension until March 2021 to recertify, the deadline will be here before you know it. The WTU is here to support you as you pursue recertification and/or an education promotion. Register now for quality, research-based, peer-to-peer professional development with the Washington Teachers' Union. 

When you recertify, please bear in mind that it may take 10-12 weeks to process so please make sure you submit materials for certification at least 3 months prior to your license expiration date. 

 

OSSE Educator Credentialing & Certification: https://osse.dc.gov/ed-credentials

 

Tech Tool Tuesdays (every Tuesday at 5-6:30pm)

Please join the WTU Professional Development Instructors for Tech Tool Tuesdays. As we prepare for both the known and unknown of 2020-2021, get ahead of the curve with these workshops that explore best practices in online learning. Click here to explore the weekly topics and to register. You can join for one or multiple sessions.

 

Sign up for the following Professional Development classes that are starting this week:

 

Center for Inspired Teaching: The Impact of Trauma on Mental Health”

Center for Inspired Teaching is excited to invite you to the next Speak Truth seminar! The topic of discussion on October 1st will be, "The Impact of Trauma on Mental Health," a relevant topic especially during the pandemic and the imposition of social distancing measures. This seminar's discussion will be on the topic of mental health and mental disorder of people in general, but especially frontline workers, through the lens of trauma.

Due to the health crisis, Speak Truth has gone online and is using Zoom Video Conferencing. For safety reasons, we will not be sending out the actual Zoom meeting link until the day of the session, so keep your eyes and ears peeled in your inbox/texts for that! In the meantime please spread the word to your students and any high school students that would be interested in our upcoming discussion.

Date: Thursday, October 1st
Time: 6:00 -7:30 pm EST
Link to register: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/170RsqHCyiA5IqZrsDj7cFqj9DELFFDtKzFJH9p9qzj4/edit?ts=5f69490b&gxids=7628

 

WTU Teacher Leaders

It is our absolute pleasure and honor to announce this year's esteemed group of WTU Teacher Leaders, facilitated by Rachel Thomas and Sarah Elwell.

  • Andreiss Bluitt, Eastern HS
  • Rebecca Bradshaw-Smith, Wilson HS
  • Dawn Brodus-Yougha, Anne Beers ES
  • Kristen Bryant, Ketcham ES
  • Brian Crumb, Sr., Payne ES
  • Kristian Ellingsen, Columbia Heights EC
  • LeeTosha Henry, H.D. Woodson HS & Coolidge HS
  • Ashley Kearney, Ron Brown College Preparatory HS
  • Nantambu Kohlbatz, McKinley Technology HS
  • Modestine Montgomery, River Terrace EC
  • Dominique Moore, Johnson MS
  • Gabriel Morden-Snipper, Bard Early College HS
  • Kip Plaisted, Stuart-Hobson MS
  • Carleather Ponder, Roosevelt HS
  • Shannon Robichaud, School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens
  • Jessica Salute, Stanton ES
  • Donald Thompson, Jr., Anacostia HS

SAVE THE DATE: WTU Teacher Leaders Research Symposium will be May 15, 2021!!! At this event, our teacher leaders will share their action research and policy recommendations.

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Public Hearing - Rent Control

Good morning. I am Elizabeth Davis, President of the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The WTU represents 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. Many of our WTU members live and pay taxes in the District and have kids or family members that attend DC schools. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.

As an educator, I am held responsible for much more than the academic progress of my students. Teachers understand that the essence of high-quality education is a close relationship between a knowledgeable, caring adult and a secure, motivated child. Educators grasp that their most important role is to get to know each student as an individual in order to comprehend his or her unique needs, learning style, social and cultural background. It is important for an education to understand and help address the challenges that students face – in and out of the classroom....

 

Read President Davis' full statement here.

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May 21 Updates

The WTU's Fall 2020 Professional Development Courses are Open for Registration.

All Fall 2020 Courses will be offered on-line.

Click here to see our Fall Line-Up and Register.

 

These are the WTU Professional Development courses that begin this month:

 

Don't Let Certification Sneak Up On You!

For those who received an extension until March 2021 to recertify, the deadline will be here before you know it. The WTU is here to support you as you pursue recertification and/or an education promotion. Register now for quality, research-based, peer-to-peer professional development with the Washington Teachers' Union. 

When you recertify, please bear in mind that it may take 10-12 weeks to process so please make sure you submit materials for certification at least 3 months prior to your license expiration date. 

OSSE Educator Credentialing & Certification: https://osse.dc.gov/ed-credentials

 

Tech Tool Tuesdays (every Tuesday at 5-6:30pm)

Please join the WTU Professional Development Instructors for Tech Tool Tuesdays. As we prepare for both the known and unknown of 2020-2021, get ahead of the curve with these workshops that explore best practices in online learning. Click here to explore the weekly topics and to register. You can join for one or multiple sessions.

 

Lessons on TV

The Washington Teachers' Union is pleased to announce that we will be continuing to provide Lessons on TV during the fall semester to help support students and families during this difficult time. Through our partnership with Fox 5, the WTU will air 30-minute lessons each weekday on Fox Plus, WDCA. We hope you'll volunteer to teach a lesson. Please click here to sign-up to receive additional information.

This fall, we plan to offer courses on a number of timely issues. In the coming weeks, we hope to emphasize lessons around Civic Engagement and Voting, Digital Citizenship and a number of other topics. Of course, we're open to your suggestions as well. Again, please click here to express interest in learning more and teaching a lesson. Please contact Sarah Elwell at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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Headlines - Mon, Sept 21

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2020 General Election Endorsements

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Technology Access

Technology Access

Opportunity gaps continue to plague our schools and many students, especially those from our poorest communities, continue to be left behind. The stark disparities in access to technology has long played a role in achievement gaps and the coronavirus pandemic has furthered the gap. It is time that DC Public School provides every student a computer or laptop and ensures access to the Internet.

We need volunteers to help us build our Technology Access Campaign. If you're interested in participating in this campaign, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/kEoTHBweLZbBAkh67

 

Take Action -- NOW

1. Sign-up to speak, spread the word to your parents, and organize your students to sign-up and testify at the Oct 2 DC Council Hearing on Distance Learning. It’s time our city leaders heard the truth about the challenges you and your

DC Council Hearing on Distance Learning in DC Public and Public Charter Schools

Fri. Oct. 2 at 9:00 A.M. (Live via Zoom): Register to Testify Here.

 

Here’s a template to help students write their testimony and an extension activity.

 

2. Encourage your families to take the Technology and Online Learning Survey for DCPS Families.

The Digital Equity in DC Education coalition is working to gather feedback on devices, learning platforms, Internet connectivity, and DCPS Tech Support in preparation for the Oct 2 hearing. This survey is for DCPS families only, as many questions are specific to DCPS and includes Spanish translation.

Click here to complete this survey: https://bit.ly/DigitalEquityParentSurvey

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Statement on Reopening Schools

 

Washington DC Teachers’ Release Statement on DC Public Schools’ Plans for a Virtual Start to the 2020-2021 School Year

 

WASHINGTON — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis released the following statement regarding today’s announcement that DC Public Schools will begin the year with 100% virtual learning.

“The District of Columbia’s educators and students are eager to return to our classrooms and schools. Educators miss their students, and students miss their teachers and friends. We all miss our school communities – they are so much more than places to learn. Schools provide vital nutrition, physical safety, mental health and critical developmental supports to tens of thousands of students across the District every day.

“I’d like to thank the Mayor and Chancellor for putting the health of our teachers, students and communities at the forefront and delaying the resumption of in-person learning to begin the 2020-2021 school year.

“Over the coming days, we’ll be working with DC Public Schools to better understand the proposed schedules for students as we begin the new school year. We’ll continue to work to protect the health of our communities and will work to ensure that all students will have a positive virtual learning experience during the coming term.

“We again call on DC Public Schools to ensure that all students receive a computer or tablet to ensure that they are able to access virtual learning this school year.”

# # #

 

The WTU represents more than 5,000 active and retired teachers. It is dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students in D.C. Public Schools.

In addition to health and safety recommendations, the WTU Reopen Report also makes recommendations about improvements to Distance Learning. The WTU report is available in its entirety at https://www.wtulocal6.net/reopen_dc_taskforce_report

 

The full statement is available to download here.

 

 

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