AM Brew - August 30, 2021

Here's What's Brewing Today

August 30, 2021


Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! I know you're excited to welcome your students to our schools and your classrooms. While this year will not be a "return to normal," we're excited to return to our classrooms after more than a year of virtual instruction.

While we're all excited for the start of the year, I know that you may also be nervous to be returning to in-person instruction. The WTU and DCPS signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) outlining health and safety protocols for schools and classrooms, details about possible simultaneous in-person and virtual instruction and how to handle leave for teachers contracting COVID-19. A FAQ is available hereAs part of the agreement to safely reopen schools, the WTU and DCPS agreed on a #ReopenStrong: School Building Readiness Checklist outlining the protections for student and staff health guaranteed by DCPS as we return to full in-person learning. If you have any health and safety concerns, please report them here http://bit.ly/WTUSafeOpenings or contact your Field Representative immediately.

Last week, OSSE and DCPS announced a change to testing protocols for students. Students will now be automatically enrolled in the testing program which supports asymptomatic testing, symptomatic testing and testing for close contacts. The test will be a non-invasive, saliva-based PCR test; DCPS plans to test 10% of students each week.

If you are having any issues or concerns regarding your Office Depot card, please contact [email protected]. Information regarding the COVID Emergency Leave Policy will be forthcoming from DCPS this week.

The WTU will also be hosting a meeting with Building Representatives on Thursday, Sept 2 to discuss the first week of school and answer any questions about the MOA. Building Representatives will receive an email with further information about the meeting and a link to join.

We hope you have a great first week of the 2021-22 school year. Please reach out if you have any concerns as we kick off the new year!

In solidarity,

Jacqueline Pogue Lyons, President

Washington Teachers' Union



Critical #MissingPerson

31-year-old Ian Solheim, a Wilson HS teacher, was last seen in the 1300 block of East Capitol Street, SE on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/ text 50411


CLOSES SOON – 2021-2022 Open Season for Maternity Leave and Sick Leave Banks

The WTU is adding an Open Season from August 1st through August 31st for the Maternity Leave and Sick Leave Banks. To join either bank you donate 8 hours (one day) of the total 96 hours (12 days) that is loaded to your leave balance on October 1, 2021 (to join both banks, you’d donate two days or 16 hours). After enrollment, there is a 3 month wait before you can access the banks (ie, you’ll be eligible on January 1, 2022). Once you join the bank you remain in the bank, until you opt-out. If you have any questions contact Charmaine Wilks at [email protected] or 202 517-1475.

DCPS will not accept individual requests to be removed from either the Sick Leave and/or the Maternity Leave Bank. Please contact Charmaine Wilks at [email protected] before the October 1, 2021 if you’d like to be removed from these banks.


AM Brew News and Notices will be archived at https://www.wtulocal6.net/AMBrew.

Professional Development

WTU Professional Learning - FALL 2021 Course Offerings

Sign up now for amazing, engaging, and informative virtual fall professional development with the WTU including these classes ($150 registration fee; 1 FREE class for new members):

Beginning Reading Instruction

English Language Learners 101: Planning for Success

CLASSIC: Foundations: Organizing the Classroom for Teaching & Learning

NEWLY REVISED: Instructional Strategies that Work for All Disciplines

BRAND NEW: Reclaiming Assessments: Using a Balanced Classroom Assessment System to Strengthen Student Learning

Social and Emotional Learning

Learn more and Register for all classes HERE.


Excel with ELL's

Working with ELL’s one-on-one or in small groups to accelerate learning? Then this workshop series is for you! (email [email protected] if you are interested!)

4-part workshop series (8 PLU's), Thursdays @ 5-6pm; 9/2, 9/9, 9/23, 9/30

9/2-“Understanding Text Complexity”

9/9-“Foundational Reading Skills”

9/23-“Academic Vocabulary”

9/30-"Building ELL Background Knowledge”

Based on research by Dr. Diane August, participants will learn research-based practices on how to support the literacy development of English Language Learners with digital learning resources and individualized instruction.

Dr. August and other researchers have found that remote individualized instruction and mentoring coupled with small-group instruction for children struggling in reading has been effective in improving educator capacity and student learning.

RSVP by emailing [email protected]


SEL & Journalism Series (5:30-6:30pm)

Please join Washington Teachers Union (WTU) and Pulitzer Center for a series of webinars with award-winning journalists on journalism skills that students can apply to tell underreported stories from their communities. The sessions will also explore how journalism skills can support students' social-emotional learning.

Visual storytelling with photojournalist Allison Shelley (September 8)

Interview skills with Politico reporter Brittany Gibson (September 9)

RSVP HERE: https://forms.gle/k7MPqir2WJxW2cu99


Underreported Stories from Latin America (5:30-6:30pm)

Please join Washington Teachers Union (WTU) and Pulitzer Center for a series of webinars featuring journalists who have extensive experience reporting on underreported issues facing communities throughout Latin America. The journalists are fluent in English and Spanish, and plan to utilize both languages for the presentations. The reporting they will feature is also available in both English and Spanish.

Underreported Stories from Latin America

Thursday, September 16 (Perla Trevizo- The role of poverty and intergenerational trauma in fueling migration from Guatemala)

Thursday, September 23 (Ana Maria Arevalo- Exploring the criminal justice system in El Salvador and the impact of the system on women)

Thursday, September 30 (Pablo Albarenga- Elevating the stories of Indigenous rainforest defenders in the Amazon)

RSVP HERE: https://forms.gle/ma9rNQwZWubQqBNAA


Math Teacher Advisory Council

Are you looking to connect policy to practice, elevate teacher voice and grow your leadership at the state level this SY? In partnership with @OSSEDC, DCCTM is launching the inaugural cohort of the Math Teacher Advisory Council. Apply HERE by Sept 10th!


Announcing the WTU Teacher Leader Program SY2021-22 (Deadline: 9/3/21)

Apply Here: https://forms.gle/Lfkxm5ZH1Lc3Emtt8

The Washington Teachers' Union invites you to participate in the Teacher Leaders program for school year 2021-2022. Educators from the District of Columbia Public Schools who are union members with full-time responsibilities will be selected to join a nationwide teacher leaders' network. We are seeking teachers who would like to take an active role in influencing policy.

Dates: September 18, October 23, November 13, December 11, January 22, February 12, March 19, April 9, 2022

WTU Teacher Leader Symposium: May 14, 2022

Upon successful completion of the program, cohort members will be awarded a $1500 stipend and PLU’s.


Planet Word’s Night for Educators

Planet Word’s special evening event just for educators will be 9/30 @ 5:30pm. You can read more about the event here: https://planetwordmuseum.org/events/planet-word-loves-teachers/


Additional Professional Development opportunities are also posted regularly to the PD Blog at https://www.wtulocal6.net/pdblog.


Upcoming Events

  • August 30 – First Day of School (K-12)
  • September 2 - Building Representative Meeting.  Building Reps will be sent a link to join the meeting.


Save the Date - Pick up your WTU Swag -- 3:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Thursday, September 2nd @ WTU Office (1239 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE)


Partner events and other upcoming events of interest are also posted to the AMBrew Blog.




Attention School Counselors

As we move towards solidifying language specific to school counselors during contract negotiations the WTU would like you to review some language DCPS has proposed. Specifically, DCPS is proposing that principals and Local School Advisory Teams (LSAT) have the option to transition 10-month school counselors to 11-month school counselors; and 11-month school counselors to 12-month school counselors. Please complete the following brief survey to let the WTU know your desire regarding the proposed language. Click here to compete the survey.


2021-2022 Vacancies

Open positions for the 2021-2022 School Year are posted here.


ICYMI: DC Educator Wellness Center

In partnership with EVERFI, a social impact educational technology company, the WTU is pleased to share with you the DC Educator Wellness Center. The funding for the DC Educator Wellness Center is provided by Johnson & Johnson. In the DC Educator Wellness Center you will find access to a prevention-forward, self-guided, digital microlearning experience designed to provide you with on-demand content related to mental health. The growing list of topics includes Mental Health Basics, Managing Mental Health Challenges, Developing Resilience, Supporting Loved Ones With Mental Health Challenges, and Mindful Living. You can read more here.


We’re continuing to update our database.

Please help us ensure we have your current personal contact information on file. Click here or email [email protected] to provide us with updated information.



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