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.