AM Brew - September 13, 2021

Here's What's Brewing Today

Monday, September 13, 2021

 

Hello and welcome to Week 3 of the new school year. Congrats on making it through the first two weeks. I hope things have gone as smoothly as possible. If you are having any problems, reach out to your WTU building representative or the WTU field representative assigned to your school. They are listed on the back of the WTU Welcome Back newsletter.

We just passed a very sad and tragic 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. As many of you know, among the passengers on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon were three 11-year-old DCPS students and three DCPS teachers. The students had been chosen to participate in a trip to study ecology in California with National Geographic Society researchers. Less than 35 minutes into the flight, it was hijacked and slammed into the Pentagon. As we reflect on the tragedy and those who perished, it gives us an opportunity to remember that our schools are filled with outstanding students who are pursuing excellence and with educators who go the extra mile to help their students reach and exceed their potential. We will keep these six souls and their families in our thoughts.

DCPS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 19. DCPS continues to work out the details for employees to apply for vaccination exemptions through Peoplesoft. If you need an exemption from the vaccination mandate based on medical or religious reasons, email the ADA Team at [email protected].

Have a terrific week.

Jackie Pogue Lyons, President

Washington Teachers' Union

 

General Membership Meeting

All WTU members are invited to participate in the first General membership meeting for the 2021-22 school year on Tuesday, September 14 from 4:30 - 6:30 PM (Via Zoom). Please click here to register.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

Union Leadership Institute - Fall 2021

Friday, September 17 from 4:30 - 6:00pm

All Newly Elected 2021-2022 Building Leaders

Please register here 

 

Saturday, September 18 from 10:00am – 1:00pm.

All 2021-2022 Building Representatives, SCAC, Personnel Committee, LSAT members, and Delegates to Representative Assembly

Please register here 

 

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

 

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PD Highlights - Sept 12, 2021

Professional Development Highlights 

September 12, 2021

 

REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN---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 which start in September ($150 registration fee; 1 FREE class for new members):

FREE WTU Workshops starting in September:

 

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Join the WTU and Pulitzer Center for “Underreported Stories from Latin America” Series (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

 

WTU Professional Learning Abroad

There is still time to sign up for the WTU Professional Learning trip to Morocco in July 2022, based on travel guidance. 5% discount through the end of September!!! Check out the itinerary here: https://geeo.org/tour/wtumorocco/.

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AM Brew - September 7, 2021

Here's What's Brewing Today

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

 

Union Leadership Institute - Fall 2021

Calling all school -level elected officers.  Join us to learn more about how to ensure your voice and that of your members are heard!

Friday, September 17 from 4:30 - 6:00pm

All Newly Elected 2021-2022 Building Leaders, Please register here 

Saturday, September 18 from 10:00am – 1:00pm.

All 2021-2022 Building Representatives, SCAC, Personnel Committee, LSAT members, and Delegates to Representative Assembly, Please register here 

 

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

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PD Highlights - Sept 6, 2021

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 which start in September ($150 registration fee; 1 FREE class for new members):

FREE WTU Workshops starting in September:

Learn more and Register for all classes HERE.

 

FREE SERIES: 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! Register HERE if you are interested!). Thursdays @ 5-6pm; 9/9, 9/23, 9/30 (2 PLU’s possible per session)

  • 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. For more information, email [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.

  1. Visual storytelling with photojournalist Allison Shelley (September 8)
  2. Interview skills with Politico reporter Brittany Gibson (September 9)

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

 

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PD Highlights - August 30, 2021

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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.

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AM Brew -August 23, 2021

Here's What's Brewing Today

August 23, 2021

 

Welcome back! We hope everyone had a restful and productive summer with time to relax, reflect, and re-energize with family and friends. Thank you, again, for rising to the challenge of teaching online in 2020-21 while facing the uncertainty and anxiety of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We simply cannot thank you enough for showing resilience and modeling the characteristics of lifelong learning for our students and each other.

This year, we’ve listened carefully to your concerns about a safe return to in-person interactions with students. To this end, we spent countless hours working through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to protect the safety of our students and school-based staff. Please take a moment to read it carefully and do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can answer any questions.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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PD Highlights - August 23, 2021

Professional Development

Together We Can Heal Webinar (in partnership with Kaiser Permanente)

Thursday, August 26, 4pm – 5pm (1 PLU). Register here.

 

WTU Professional Learning - FALL 2021 Course Offerings

Sign up now for amazing, engaging, and informative virtual fall professional development with the WTU.

Early Bird Discount available until 8/27!!! Learn more and Register HERE.

 

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!

 

WTU Teacher Leader Program SY2021-22

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.

Virtual Info Session this Wednesday, 8/25 @5-6pm.

RSVP here: https://forms.gle/EUZa5T5zve383THb8 

We will provide teachers with opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to influence policy locally, statewide, and nationally. This will include framing practical policy positions that relate to improved student achievement; conducting research in classrooms and schools; engaging the public and elected officials in community conversations about education; participating on advisory boards, panels, and task forces; developing policy recommendations based on research conducted; and publishing and disseminating findings and recommendations nationwide.

Apply by 9/3/21. Click for additional information, including mandatory workshop dates and to Apply.

 

Days of Action: Educators Pledge to Teach the Truth

From August 27 - 29, educators and allies will pledge to teach the truth in actions across the country. In the face of right-wing attacks on the teaching of history and antiracism, we are coming together to say we won’t lie to children and we will teach the truth. Learn more.

Day of Action for Washington, D.C. Malcolm X Park. Friday, Aug. 27, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm EDT.

 

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

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PD Highlights - August 16, 2021

Professional Development

WTU Professional Learning - FALL 2021 Course Offerings

Sign up now for amazing, engaging, and informative virtual fall professional development with the WTU.

Early Bird Discount available until 8/27!!! Learn more and Register HERE.

 

WTU Teacher Leader Program SY2021-22

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.

We will provide teachers with opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to influence policy locally, statewide, and nationally. This will include framing practical policy positions that relate to improved student achievement; conducting research in classrooms and schools; engaging the public and elected officials in community conversations about education; participating on advisory boards, panels, and task forces; developing policy recommendations based on research conducted; and publishing and disseminating findings and recommendations nationwide. ·

Apply by 9/3/21. Click for additional information, including mandatory workshop dates and to Apply.

 

Next Generation Personal Finance Back to the Classroom PD Conference 8/21

Next Generation Personal Finance is hosting their annual back-to-school conference on Saturday, August 21, 2021, from 10AM - 4:30PM EST. The event will be held virtually and is free for all educators to attend. Learn more and register HERE

 

Think Local, Crank Global: Go-Go Workshop for Educators 

Through this 2 1/2 hour virtual workshop, educators will learn how to:

- Use instruments we shake, scrape, and strike to enhance curriculum and teach the art of go-go music

- Make music from items within their environment using the JunkYard Band as an example

- Make something out of nothing; go-go through body percussion, tables, and more!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 (10:00 AM  12:30 PM). Learn more and register here

 

Math Alliance Announcements

In Class with Carr and Hunter, episode 73, on YouTube - to view their discussion of Bob Moses, scroll forward to 1 hour, 6 minutes and 10 seconds into this episode: https://youtu.be/xY8xPkabX0I

Caste in the Classroom - a documentary film by the Data for Better Schools group with the Young People’s Project - has been selected for the Bronze Lens Film Festival August 17th -22nd, 2021 (in Atlanta)! To register for the 2021 Bronze Lens Film Festival, please visit: https://bronzelens.com/registration/. To see Caste in the Classroom and related resources, visit: https://www.typp.org/dbs. This is recognized as a leading film festival for especially African-American film-makers.

NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition - empowering the voice of teachers - from critical conversations to intentional actions, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 22-25, 2021. See: https://www.nctm.org/atlanta2021/

 

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

 

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AM Brew - August 16, 2021

Here's What's Brewing Today

Monday, August 16, 2021

 

ICYMI - IMPACT Review

On Friday, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee emailed you a document titled, “IMPACT Review Update: Initial Set of Evolutions to Impact and Preliminary Findings.” The WTU wants you to know that we do not consider this anything close to what is necessary to improve the flawed, ineffective IMPACT evaluation system.

AU’s summary of findings found: “Overall perceptions of IMPACT were more negative than positive, but with a great deal of variation in perspectives across teachers as well as school leaders.” “Many teachers and school leaders perceived that IMPACT created an unhealthy environment of distrust, fear and competitiveness in schools that trickles down into the classroom.” “Subjectivity, bias and gaming the system were all cited as threats to validity in teacher interviews, in school leader focus groups, and in the school leader survey.” And it found that “teachers perceived that the high-stakes and anxiety-producing environment may cause them (or others) to leave DCPS.”

Nowhere does DCPS adequately address these issues. We encourage you to read the full AU report.

 

ICYMI – MOA and Vaccination Policy

The WTU worked through the weekend to move towards finalizing a memorandum of agreement with DCPS on health and safety issues. We hope to reach an agreement soon.

The WTU supports the get-vaccinated-or-be-tested requirement for all DCPS educators and other school staff announced last week. Getting vaccinated, or getting tested regularly, and wearing face masks is essential now that we’ll be back in school buildings, five days a week—with the goal of having a full complement of healthy school staff. We strongly urge everyone who is eligible—including our students who are 12 years and older—to be fully vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated, testing will be available at your workplace or can be done elsewhere during work hours at the city’s expense, with no penalty for taking time off from work. The mandate does include exemptions, for medical and religious reasons. If you have any questions about the vaccination policy, please contact the WTU at 202-517-1477.

 

OSSE Educator Credentialing Information System - Technical Support Sessions

The OSSE Educator Licensure Technical Support Team hosts monthly virtual office hours for all individuals who require technical support (TS) to access and/or use the ECIS V2.0 online system to apply for a DC educator credential. Click here to learn more.

 

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.

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WTU Responds to ‘Inadequate’ DCPS Evaluation System Fixes

 

For Immediate Release
Aug. 13, 2021

 

 

WTU Responds to ‘Inadequate’ DCPS Evaluation System Fixes


WASHINGTON—The Washington Teachers’ Union today called the District of Columbia Public School’s solutions to fix the IMPACT evaluation system ‘monumentally weak’ and unresponsive to the numerous flaws raised by teachers and an American University report on the system.

DCPS sent a letter directly to educators that outlined its analysis of surveys of teachers and school leaders and the AU report on the IMPACT system.

In the union’s response to members, WTU President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons said: “We believe that the DCPS document distorts the data collected from teachers and school leaders and glosses over what the American University research actually found—that IMPACT is not working, is stressing teachers out and is punitive rather than helpful to improve performance.” She also called out DCPS’s “evolutions,” which apparently are solutions, saying they are “monumentally weak and do not adequately respond to the finding.”
Pogue Lyons said: “It’s stunning that DCPS clings to a fatally flawed, unfair evaluation system when there are so many effective models that we could adapt that actually help teachers and students and aren’t punitive or cause anxiety.”

AU’s summary of findings included:

  • “Overall perceptions of IMPACT were more negative than positive, but with a great deal of variation in perspectives across teachers as well as school leaders.”
  • “Many teachers and school leaders perceived that IMPACT created an unhealthy environment of distrust, fear and competitiveness in schools that trickles down into the classroom.”
  • “Subjectivity, bias and gaming the system were all cited as threats to validity in teacher interviews, in school leader focus groups, and in the school leader survey.”
  • And it found that “teachers perceived that the high-stakes and anxiety-producing environment may cause them (or others) to leave DCPS.”

Pogue Lyons said DCPS does not adequately address these issues.

WTU has been fighting for years to either comprehensively revise IMPACT or throw it out and start from scratch, with WTU as a full partner in the creation of a new teacher development and evaluation system.

“We need a dynamic teacher development and evaluation system that focuses on continuous improvement of instruction and learning in all classrooms, not a small portion,” Pogue Lyon’s letter to members said. “We need a system that provides ongoing supports dedicated not only to improving academics and instruction but also to lifting up each student.”

# # #

 

You can download the statement here.

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WTU President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons on DCPS Teacher Vaccine Mandate

WASHINGTON—Statement by Jacqueline Pogue Lyons, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union, on the new mandate requiring District of Columbia Public School teachers and other school staff to be vaccinated or be regularly tested at the city’s expense and with no penalty for taking time off to be tested:


“The get-vaccinated-or-be-tested mandate is the right protocol for DCPS educators and school staff, though most already have been vaccinated. Now that we’ll be back in school buildings, it’s important for educators to be healthy so they can provide in-person instruction to students five days a week. We also strongly urge all children 12 years and older and their families to get vaccinated. The Delta variant has thrown us a curveball, and we need to do everything we can to keep our school community protected.

“The vaccine policy, as we understand it, will ensure that no employee is subject to discipline as long as they either are fully vaccinated or submit weekly test results. Testing will be available in the workplace or can be done during work hours for employees who need it.

“While we support this policy, the WTU has a right to bargain with the school district over vaccination policies and how they will be implemented, now and in the future. We disagree with the city’s claim that this policy is not subject to bargaining, and we will not hesitate to enforce our bargaining rights if DCPS takes action that is not in the best interest of educators, students and the community.

“It’s been a long year and a half, and we can’t wait to see students and do everything we can to help them thrive in the new school year.”

# # #

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