A Message from WTU President
Good Morning WTU Members,
I’m excited to report on Wednesday, Oct. 18th, the representatives of the D.C. State Board of Education unanimously ratified Ward 3 Representative Eric Goulet’s resolution to urge DCPS to immediately prioritize negotiations with WTU to get a multi-year contract approved prior to January 1st & the FY2025 budget. Thank you to the WTU members who showed up to testify and/or support our goal of getting DCPS back to the bargaining table! (Click pic to view testimony or click here: https://youtu.be/sdX5X04u-fA)
As mentioned in my testimony before the DC State Board of Education, when DCPS stalls, they aren’t just stalling on negotiations, they are stalling on safety, stalling on mental health supports, stalling on supports for high-quality instruction, stalling on fair and equitable compensation to retain and recruit the best staff. They are stalling on real solutions for DCPS students and families.
Although gaining the D.C. State Board of Education’s full support of the resolution is a win to be celebrated, we need YOU to send a message to DCPS. Thus far, we only have 1,043 WTU and community members who have signed our Petition for Safe Schools. Show the District you won’t wait another three years for a contract. Sign WTU’s petition for Safe Schools and forward it to friends via your social media accounts. Each signature gets us closer to the goal of getting as many teachers, and community members to sign no later than November 1st.
As we continue to work toward our goal of a new contract, I want to encourage you to remain vigilant about taking care of your physical and mental health. A recent Washington Post article showed “weathering stress” happens more often in marginalized populations and causes premature aging, disease, and even early death. “It isn’t just living in an unequal society that makes people sick. It’s the day-in, day-out effort of trying to be equal that wears bodies down.” To learn more, please read the full article here.
Thank you for your support! I wish you a peaceful and stress-less week.
Jacqueline Pogue Lyons, President
Washington Teachers’ Union
In Memoriam – Pam Gardner
Pam Gardner, DCPS alumna and librarian with DCPS for over 30 years passed last week. Pam was a beloved librarian and colleague. Her library was just as warm and welcoming as she was. Students loved her poetry club and affectionately called her Momma G. Read more about Pam’s amazing life. It all began with Nancy Drew: the adventures of Pamela Lipscomb-Gardner – The Beacon (thejackson-reedbeacon.com)
Weekly Update - WTU’s Contract Action Team
- Sign up to testify DC Council Committee’s Public Safety Hearing - Violence Reduction in DC Monday, October 30th @10AM
- Pass out our Safe Schools Petition, Halloween treats, and one free book of choice to children at the Hill-O-Ween at Eastern Market @ Friday, October 27, 2023, 5-8PM
- Pass out our Safe Schools Petition, Halloween treats, and one free book of choice to children at the Ward 7th Trunk or Treat on Tuesday, October 31st, 6-8PM @ Benning Rd & Oklahoma Ave, NE RFK Lot 6, Enter on Oklahoma Ave NE
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
OSSE Early Literacy Education Task Force INFORMATION
Local Education Agencies (LEA) October 20, 2023 - DC School Report Card Engagement, Restorative Justice Professional Development and More! INFORMATION
Report Problems with Class Size
The WTU has heard that there are many problems with class size in the self-contained classrooms. We’re gathering data to see the extent of the problem. Please complete this survey so we can take corrective action. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JzcF8l2O-edjFdxxZjb7ZUnrk2-Ab7j-8irqbTFy8A8/edit
In the News
- 10/16/23 – The Washington Informer - Council Legislation to Embolden OSSE in Assisting Low-Performing Schools
- 10/18/23 – The Washington Post - A Magical Thing Happened When a D.C.Teen Interviewed Magic Johnson
- 10/19/23 – The Washington Post - Dying Early America’s Life Expectancy Crisis – Stress is Weathering our Bodies From the Inside Out
Events, Activities & Meetings
- October 24: Legislative Committee Meeting Online@4:30PM: INFORMATION
- October 25: DCPS & DC Retirement Board’s In-Person Retirement Session: INFORMATION
- October 27: Pass out Petitions - Hill-O-Ween at Eastern Market: INFORMATION
- October 28: DC Men in ECE: Moving up the Glass Escalator Conference: INFORMATION
- October 30: DC Council Public Safety Hearing – Violence Reduction Programs: INFORMATION
- October 30: OSSE Engagement Session about School Report Card: INFORMATION
- October 31: Trunk or Treat @ Benning Rd & Oklahoma Ave, NE RFK Lot 66-8PM: INFORMATION
- November 13: DC School Report Card: How to Display Summative Scores? online@6PM: INFORMATION
- November 14: DCPS Public Budget Hearing (School Yr. 24-25) online @6PM: INFORMATION
November 15: SAVE THE DATE – “The Right to Read” (Hybrid screening In-person & Virtual): INFORMATION
- November 18: SBOE Fall Engagement Session: Share your opinions on SBOE work!: INFORMATION
- November 20: DC Council School Improvement Amendment Act of 2023: INFORMATION
- November 28: DC Council - Oversight Hearing - Principal and Teacher Retention: INFORMATION
- December 4: SBOE: What visual elements should be on school report card?: INFORMATION
- December 15: SAVE THE DATE - WTU’s Holiday Party, MLK Library Rooftop Terrace
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