WTU News and Information 
MARCH 17, 2016
Regional Meetings 
Tues., March 22, 4:30 pm

Come and meet your field rep who will be on hand to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Deal -- Devin Nixon 
Moore -- Rejil Solis 
Simon -- Charles Moore 
Whittier -- Candi Peterson 
 
Share My Lesson just 
got a BIG upgrade
 
As a union of professionals, one of our most important roles is advocating for and providing support, resources and tools to help our members. That's what Share My Lesson is all about.
 
Share My Lesson is an online tool for educators to find and work with resources they need for their classrooms. This tool allows educators--pre-K through 12th grade--to upload their own lesson plans, download resources from other educators and content partners, find professional development, network and much more. And it's 100 percent free!

Go HERE to see the new and improved Share My Lesson!
Have You Seen Next Year's DCPS School Year Calendar?
 
WTU wants your input on
the proposed school year
calendar for 2016-2017. 
 

Not returning to DCPS for 
the 2016-17 school year?
This is VERY Important! 
DINR is due April 1
 
The 2016 Declaration of Intent to Not Return (DINR) Application is now available online. WTU members can access the application by visiting the DCPS Separations Database.
 
The 2007-2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the WTU and DCPS requires that members who do not intend to continue employment with DCPS the following year submit a DINR application no later than April 1. This requirement applies to members who are retiring as well as resigning from the school system. The 2016 DINR application closes at 5pm on Friday, April 1, 2016.
 
WTU members are encouraged to visit the 2016 DINR Website for important information and frequently asked questions.
 


WTU is N OW on Instagram!

Go HERE to follow us!

Support Our Shoe Drive!

The WTU and the Delta Gamma Kappa
 are collecting 100 bags with 25 pairs of used shoes in each. The shoes will be used to create micro businesses in under developed countries like Haiti, Ghana and others. The Chapter will receive $1000 to fund its national and international projects for its efforts. You can still help by collecting new and gently worn shoes and bringing them to the WTU office.

Stop by the WTU headquarters , 1239 Pennsylvania Ave. SE,
this Wednesday - Saturday, 
9 am - 4 pm to drop off shoes .
 
Interested in a teaching a new subject or grade assignment?

Per the WTU Contract, Article 23.14 (page 79-80), teachers interested in receiving a new teaching assignment must provide a written letter of request to their supervisor and/or principal. If you qualify and are interested in teaching a new subject or grade next year, we recommend that you send a written request as soon as possible and before this school year ends. Don't forget, if you do not receive your requested assignment, the contract requires that you are notified in writing with the reason stated.


Looking for a New School and Career Opportunity?
Start now, visit the WTU website to view the DCPS Vacancy Lists for 2015-2016

to View Shared Vision Conference Materials and Classroom Resources
 
  
  
    
Our website features important and informative WTU and DCPS forms/ documents.
 
Check them out!

L ooking for a Career Opportunity? 
to View the DCPS Vacancy List for 2015-16 

LIKE US!  
WTU FACEBOOK PAGE  

Your union and its leaders are  
working hard on your behalf. Stay abreast of the latest WTU events, activities an news at the new and improved WTU Facebook page.
 

GO HERE

to "Like Us" on Facebook


@WTUTeacher is growing!
Quick Links
President's Message
A contract that is good for 
children and fair to teachers 
Elizabeth A. Davis



Dear WTU member,
Negotiating a contract that is good for children and fair to teachers remains a top priority of your union. Recently, DCPS and the WTU agreed to negotiate two days a week in an effort to expedite negotiations. However, the union will continue to urge DCPS and the mediator to meet every day until we have reached a tentative agreement.
The mediator demanded that both DCPS and the WTU negotiations teams complete proposals for all contract articles by the close of business on February 24th. Now that all proposals have been completed, in an effort to speed up negotiations, we agreed to meet with DCPS without the teachers after the chancellor said providing release time for the teachers on our team was a deterrent to meeting five days a week.
DCPS's priorities for the new contract include an extended school year. These decisions, and other contract language proposed by DCPS, would stifle your voice and participation in local school decision making. Our contract team is determined not to let that happen.
The WTU team is working on language that would:
  • utilize the 7 1/2 hour day more effectively--not produce more of the same with longer working hours;
  • reduce the number of IMPACT grievances by making IMPACT a less subjective evaluation process;
  • expedite the grievance process;
  • provide across the board raises to all members;
  • revise or do away with mutual consent.
There will be a lot of stories spinning about contract negotiations by candidates for WTU office who are looking to build a campaign on spin in the absence of substance.
It would have been very easy to sign off on the contract proposals that were left in place by the former WTU administration. But to do so would have essentially sold teachers down the river without oars. Settling for a contract that would have given even more authority and management rights to principals would have made the current teaching conditions in our schools even worse.  
While this contract is taking longer to negotiate than you or I had imagined it would take, when it is finished and ratified by you, rest assured that it will indeed be good for children and fair to teachers.
If you have further questions about contract negotiations, please call me directly at (202) 957-3119 or email me at elizabeth.davis704@gmail.com .
It is vital that you know the truth about these negotiations and the entire process.  
In solidarity,
Elizabeth "Liz" Davis
Longtime DC labor leader Jos Williams
saluted at Evening with Labor Dinner
WTU receives organizing award for its membership growth
More than 40 WTU members attended the "Evening with Labor" dinner on March 12 where they joined in saluting Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO President Joslyn Williams, who is stepping down after over 30 years of leadership in the Metro DC labor movement. He was presented with the prestigious JC Turner Award for Outstanding Trade Unionist.

WATCH the video: Joslyn Williams: Standing Long, Standing Strong  
Also on hand to recognize Williams was D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler and the federation 's Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre , and several members of the D.C. Ci ty Council. During the dinner, the WTU received the Metro Was hington Council AFL-CIO's "Organizing Award" for its tremendous membership growth over the past two years. 
 
                  
Photos by Edward C. Jones 
The Nomination and Elections Process for Officer Elections and Delegates to the MD/DC AFL-CIO

The Washington Teachers' Union will soon conduct internal elections for several positions in accordance with the WTU Constitution and By-Laws. Visit the WTU website to view the Notice of Nominations and Elections, Nominating Petition and list of WTU officer positions open for this year's election.

Go HERE for Election Notices 

Members gets update on a range
of topics during well-attended meeting

The agenda included LEAP, political action,
the contract & more


Earlier this month, the WTU held a combined Representative Assembly & General Membership Meeting where a range of important topics were discussed, including contract negotiations, the union's efforts to get answers from DCPS on its extended school year proposal, and the work of the union's Committee on Political Education (COPE).

WTU President Davis reported that DCPS had recently agreed to meet twice a week for contract negotiations, which she hoped would speed up the process. She emphasized, however, that the union would prefer to negotiate full-time so that a
tentative agreement could be reached as soon as possible. The WTU president noted that there has been considerable progress in recent weeks. Thanks to the help of a mediator, both sides have put forth proposed language covering the contract's key articles.

Meanwhile, the union is working to counter DCPS' efforts to unilaterally impose changes in the length of the school year at some schools and IMPACT.

The WTU has filed a grievance charging DCPS with violating the union's contract by unilaterally extending the school year at some schools. The union has also been trying to get answers to members' questions about the proposal. "No one (at DCPS) seems to be able to answer your questions about the extended year," Davis said.

The same, she said, is true regarding LEAP and the changes the new DCPS initiative will make in the teacher evaluation system IMPACT. "I've asked DCPS to have an open meeting that all of you can attend to get answers your questions" about LEAP," Davis said.

Also discussed during the meeting was the work of the task force set up by union to collect data regarding members' experiences with IMPACT, especially its rubrics. John Dixon (Oyster-Adams EC) and Duanna Petrus (Noyes ES), who head up by the task force, shared some of the information gathered through a survey conducted by the task force. It clearly shows that most "members don't trust" the teacher evaluation system, they said.

WTU members were urged to fill out the survey.

Laura Fuchs, who co-chairs the WTU COPE committee, reported on the committee's preparation for the upcoming city council and state board of education elections. Fuchs urged WTU members to support COPE and participate in its programs and activities. "We want as many voices as possible involved in this process," she said.

The meeting also included a presentation on a petition that is aimed at ensuring that all D.C. schools are fully modernized by 2022 and an explanation of the timeline and nominating process for elections of WTU officers and board members.
WTU files grievance in response 
to extended school year plan
DCPS violated contract with unilateral decision,
direct negotiations with members
The WTU has filed a grievance charging DCPS with violating the union's contract by unilaterally extending the school year at some schools. The grievance asks, among other things, that DCPS "bargains first with the WTU before implementing any and all changes in the school year in all DCPS schools" and that the school system rescind its notices to bargaining unit members regarding actions they must take if they chose not to remain in a school where DCPS unilaterally extended the school year for SY 2016-17.
 
You can add your voice by signing this PETITION

Teachers in those schools that will be implementing an extended year program beginning in the 2016-2017 school year have been given until March 25 to accept DCPS's offer to transition from a 10-month employee to a 12-month position. Those teachers who do not accept the offer face being excessed.
 
For those teachers who are opposed to or reluctant to accept the DCPS offer, the WTU is recommending that they
write the following statement before signing the letter of intent: "I am signing this letter under duress and the threat of losing my job."  
 
Take this IMPACT survey... 
and take control of your future!
The WTU wants your feedback! By taking this survey and sharing your experiences, you can contribute to improving the IMPACT evaluation system. We're not asking for any personal information. All we want is your opinion on how the process respected you as a professional. 

The survey has 28 questions on TAS, CSC and Core Professionalism. Comments are optional. Without comments you should be able to complete the survey in less than 5 minutes.
 
Go  HERE  to the Our Issues page on the WTU website to take the survey.
Staff at Van Ness says school's leader is a "team builder"
 
Founding Staff Members of the Newly Reopened Van Ness Elementary School have nothing but praise for Head of School Cynthia Robinson-Rivers. Staff point to her leadership as the key element in the school's turnaround. Robinson-Rivers was recently recognized as "Principal of the Month."

Here are a couple of comments about Robinson-Rivers from staff members:
 
"Cynthia has created a school community that empowers each of us to meet her high expectations, while also providing us the support and guidance we need to succeed.  From the very first day, she was clear about her goal of creating a school that focuses on meeting the needs of the "whole child" and building a team that includes students, families and staff members. Cynthia leads by example--and I cannot think of a better example to follow."
-- Todd Bostick, Specialized Instruction/LEA Rep/WTU Building Rep
 
"Cynthia is an authentic individual who genuinely cares about her staff. When she says "How are you?" she truly wants to know. Being supported in this way only makes me strive to be a better teacher."
-- Courtney Daignault, PK-3 Teacher

First Row (left to right):  Alva Braxton, Mary-Lou Bruno, Courtney Daigneault, AC Edwards, Cynthia Robinson-Rivers, Head of School; Rachel Jones, Lisa Coale, Erika Braswell, Tamika Ferrier, Michelle Johnson. Back Row (left to right): James Oliver, Nicole Anderson, Linda Stanley, Scott Harding, Rachel Sarvis, Darlene Ferguson, Todd Bostick, WTU Building Rep; Tara Cheston, Maggie O'Connell, Paul Mullings.

15th Annual NOBLE  
Youth Leadership Conference
"My Future, My Choice"
 Washington Marriott Wardman Hotel
Washington, DC
July 17-20, 2016 
Since 1976, NOBLE has served as the "Conscience of Law Enforcement," addressing critical issues germane to improving both the law enforcement profession and its service to our community. The NOBLE Youth Leadership Conference is one component of NOBLE's community outreach efforts. Youth, 14-18 years old, are invited to participate in a leadership conference in conjunction with the 40th Annual NOBLE Training Conference and Exhibition.

Go HERE for the youth application

Go HERE for the NOBLE Youth Program 
Annual DC Data Summit set for July
Sponsors seek workshop topics and presenters

N ow in its 7 th  year, the DC Data Summit will be held on July 14, 2016 . The sponsors, FOCUS, OSSE, and MidAtlantic REL, are currently seeking proposals for workshops to be developed and delivered to Data Summit participants. 
 
The goal of the Data Summit is to demonstrate performance management practices that improve instruction. Workshops should not only showcase best practices, but more importantly, teach participants how to implement these practices at their schools.

There will be two tracks: the Instructional/Leadership Staff Track and the Data Analyst Track. Past Data Summit workshop topics have included Turning Data into Action: Strategies for Re-Teaching, Prepare for PARCC: How to Create Authentic Literacy and Analyzing Student Math Models.
 
Workshops will be 90 minutes in length and should be interactive and allow participants to practice the approach being presented. Presentations and materials will be shared with participants both in hard copy and electronically. A small stipend will be awarded to presenters.
 
Proposals are due by Friday, March 25.
To submit a proposal, please complete the online form at www.dcdatasummit.org/rfp. Forms can also be emailed to Lindsay
Templeton - ltempleton@focusdc.org.  

For additional information go HERE 
WTU testifies on paid leave legislation
In February, WTU President Davis brought an educator's perspective to a D.C. City Council hearing on legislation that would provide paid leave for workers to recover from an illness, or care for a new baby or a family member.
"Throughout my teaching career, I have witnessed the devastation and stress brought upon parents and school workers when they cannot afford to take the time they need to care for a new baby, recover from an illness or help a family member struggling with health issues," Davis told council members. "In such instances, our families lose and our communities lose."
Teachers and other school workers see the stress that the lack of paid leave puts on the students and families they serve, Davis said. "Students that worry about sick parents going to work or that shoulder care-taking responsibilities because their family members cannot, are less able to excel in the classroom."
Davis urged the council to include teachers and other D.C. government employees under the new law. "The current proposals keep DC government workers out of this new program and leave them with worse benefits and without medical coverage. Why shouldn't they have the same benefits as everyone else?" she said. 
High School Students Needed for NBA Region XII
MLK Essay and Oratory Competition

Help identify high school students to participate in the National Bar Association (NBA) Region XII - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition." 

Essays are due by April 18, 2016 and the oral competition will take place on May 21, 2016 at Howard University Law School during the All-Day CLE sponsored by the Washington Bar and Region XII.  
 
Winner of the DC competition, plus a chaperone, receive an all expenses paid trip to St. Louis, MO in July 2016 to compete in the national competition for a chance to win up to $5000 for college!

For more information, email Kendra Perkins Norwood at: kperkinsnorwood@gmail.com or call: 202-719-7069.

Go HERE for MLK competition flyer

WTU mourns the loss of Retirees' Chapter 
vice president Dr. Carl Bennett
The WTU is saddened to learn of the death of our friend and brother Dr. Carl Bennett, vice president of the WTU Retirees' Chapter. Carl is a longtime supporter of the WTU--its members and its mission. Our condolences and prayers go out to Carl's wife, Barbara, also a retired teacher, and his family.
These are the details of Carl's Homegoing Services:
When:          Friday, March 18
Where:         Metropolitan AME Church 
                     518 M Street, N.W. 
Viewing:       10:00 a.m.
Service:        11:00 a.m.  
Burial:           Maryland Memorial National Veterans Cemetery, Laurel, MD                             
D.C. students interview White House
press secretary for their school's TV station
Students from Eliot-Hine Junior High School visited the White House earlier this month to interview White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for The Eliot Hine TV Network. The press secretary talked about his role models, the debate over President Obama's nomination of a Supreme Court justice, the lessons he has learned in his role as a press secretary and other topics.
 
Go HERE to watch the talented students from Eliot-Hine question the White House press secretary. 
Become a full member and gain voting rights
and access to WTU benefits and discounts
 
Members should check their membership status NOW to make sure they're full members and thus eligible to vote on the forthcoming contract, the upcoming WTU officers elections and local school elections. If you're an agency fee payer, you can become a full member for just over $5 more per pay period.

As a full member, you'll also have access to numerous WTU and AFT+ benefits and discount programs!
 
Click HERE to join become a full member TODAY!