Evaluation Deadline

June 8, 2012

We have an answer from Superintendent Miller regarding final evaluations. In an e-mail to me on June 8, Mr. Miller stated that no one should be asked to come in after June 14th to review or sign a final evaluation. Final evaluations are due to him (from building principals) before that date. He copied all administrators in his reply to my question.

Further, Mr. Miller says that if you wish to attach a response to your final evaluation (to clarify something in the evaluation that is inaccurate or misleading) you are welcome to do so. The summative form has a place for that type of comment. The formative does not, so you would want to create a new document to have placed with the evaluation in your personnel file.


PEA Endorsed Candidates

June 8, 2012

At a meeting on June 7, 2012, members of the PEA interviewed two candidates for the Parchment School District Board of Education. Elections for the board will not be held until November, but it was felt that the PEA should start early to encourage residents interested in serving. We have endorsed John Madaras and Doug Heaney. They both believe strongly that the primary focus of our district should be educating kids, and that all decisions made by the Board should have that as the prime factor. Look for opportunities this summer to help these two candidates and their campaign.

Year End News

June 8, 2012

As the 2011-2012 school year winds down, there are a number of things left for all of us to complete. Please do all you can to finish the year strong.

1. The bargaining team needs your opinion. Please take a couple of minutes to respond to the bargaining survey by clicking here. We will keep you updated on negotiations progress throughout the summer via home e-mail and this site.

2. I have sent a list of questions to the administration regarding evaluations. When the process was a part of our contract, both sides understood the requirements and timelines. Now that it is entirely in the hands of administration, there is much confusion. I am still waiting for a complete response, having only heard from one principal, who answered some of the questions, but was not able to answer them all. Here are the questions we are still waiting to hear answers to. If you have additional questions, let me know and I’ll send them on to those who should know.

*Is there a way for teachers who have received their final evaluation to attach an additional explanation for some of the things noted by the evaluator?
*If a teacher receives a final rating that he/she feels is inaccurate, is there any chance of being re-evaluated by another administrator?
*Will all of us receive copies of our final evaluations, have a final conference, and be able to sign the final form before June 14th?
*Is there any sort of “handbook” or “guidelines” document being prepared to clarify all the phases of the process for next fall?
*Is the process something administration would care to “dialogue — not negotiate” with teacher representatives?
*Has there been any discussion about the forms themselves? Do you have some ideas for simplifying things?
*Is there any discussion at your level for providing suggestions, guidance, data warehouses, etc. to make the data collection part of the process more uniform and (for many) more understandable?
*Is the IDP process the same as we discussed during negotiations? That is, are teachers who need support being placed on a limited-time plan (30 days – 90 days) and then re-evaluated at the end of the set time? Are these teachers also being assigned a mentor?

3. The 22 vs. 26 pay periods form you received this week is an important annual requirement from the IRS. Please remember to sign and return the form before you leave for summer. Also remember to make transfer requests, check your certification expiration dates, apply for schedule B positions, submit expense reimbursements, apply for tuition reimbursement (before the classes start), etc. before you leave.

4. The annual breakfast (7:30 a.m. on June 14) is required. Our contractual reporting time is altered that day — 7:30 to 3:15 p.m. At 3:15, our contractual obligations are completed. Any request by administration to report after that time is voluntary and/or should be paid. This includes being called in to sign evaluation forms. If you need more time to get your grades finished, classroom organized, etc. — those are your voluntary choices, not contractually required things. Let your building rep or any PEA officer know if you are asked to “work” after June 14th.

5. Have a great summer. Refresh your spirit. But keep informed on changes by the politicians. Consider how you can make teaching a little better by contacting legislators when appropriate. Keep in touch with your association so you can return in the fall fully recharged and ready to meet new challenges.

Doo-Dah Parade 2012

June 8, 2012

It was a beautiful, sunny, windy Saturday morning — the first sun we had seen in three days. Hundreds of oddly dressed individuals assembled in downtown Kalamazoo to celebrate silliness. The teachers among the crowd were there for another, slightly more serious reason — to show the people of Kalamazoo that educators care about kids.

Dressed in “red for ed” — six members of our PEA (along with spouses, dogs and a daughter) walked the parade route carrying “scrabble” letters to spell out “Public Schools Work”. While it was a tough sell to get people up early on a Saturday and give up half of this beautiful day, everyone who was there had a great time. Hearing the positive, encouraging words from the spectators along the route was an unexpected bonus. Teachers do care about kids, and there are people in our community who respect us for that.

The pictures below are a sampling of the event. Thanks to Nate and Keli Ekola (and Tucker), Liz and Christ Honeysett (and Artie), Amy Sue Manley, Rick and Evie Bagley, Amy Sue Manley, Carol Bouabdelloui, and Tim Searl for representing Parchment with pride (and red shirts).

Click thumbnails for full size.

PEA’s Teacher of the Year Honored at Dinner

June 8, 2012

Amy Triplett was among the Kalamazoo County honorees at a dinner held May 31st, recognizing the accomplishments of teachers selected by their peers for excellence in teaching and service to their local associations. Congratulations again to Amy. You have made us proud.

New Officers Elected

June 8, 2012

At the May 17th General Membership Meeting, the following people were elected as PEA officers.

President – Tim Searl

Vice-President – Liz Honeysett

Secretary – Nicole Berish

KCEA Rep – Tom Novak

MEA/NEA Rep – Judy Pressley

MABO Rep – Nicole Berish

Congratulations and thanks to all of these members who give of their time to serve our association.