WTU News and Information 
NOVEMBER 13, 2015

GET FREE NEW BOOKS TOMORROW!




WTU will join with AFT, DC Library, DCPS, First Book and other partners to give new free books to students and educators.

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 14 
 9 am - 3 pm 
WHERE: SE Tennis and Learning Center 
701 Mississippi Ave. SE     
  40,000 books will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. School staff will be able to select up to 50 books--and parents and guardians may choose up to 10 books per child.

BRING YOUR OWN BOXES, BASKETS OR BAGS

All school staff must be registered with First Book. On-site registration will be available, but pre-registered staff will be admitted first. 

It's not too late to register!
 
WINTER FOOD 
BANK DRIVE

The WTU is collecting canned goods and non-perishable as a winter service project for DCPS students and families in need.

If you would like to make a contribution e-mail 

You may also bring your contributions and canned goods to the WTU office at any time during our office hours on Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm. 


MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The holiday season is upon us and you won't want to miss the
WTU FREE
HOLIDAY PARTY
 
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
6 pm to 12 am
St. Francis Hall
1340 Quincy St. NE
 
Great Food, Fun, Networking, and Dancing

Got Talent to Share? 
Email dialogue@wtulocal6.net by November 30 if you are interested in sharing your talents and gifts on the stage during our holiday program and talent show!

 
  
  
Unable to make it to 
WTU meetings? 
Go HERE to find the agenda and meeting materials 
 
 
Our website also has documents outlining
your rights as a D.C. Public School educator, as well as an ever-growing list of
 
Check it out!

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
Pres. Davis meets with chancellor on contract negotiations 
 

A contract agreement between the WTU and DCPS is in everyone's best interest, and WTU President Elizabeth Davis and DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson have committed to do everything they can to reach a settlement. The two leaders met this week to discuss negotiations and to put in motion a plan to speed up contact talks. Additional information on next steps for the Davis/Henderson contract plan will be shared with union representatives at the Contract Action and Member Feedback Event on November 19.
 
Next week, the WTU will hold a Contract Action and Member Feedback Event where building representatives and other local school union leaders will discuss key contract proposals and provide feedback on them using hand-held devices linked to audience response technology. The event will cover contract proposals in areas such as student discipline, planning periods, transfer policy, personnel files, teacher evaluation, extra duty, supplies, technology, and compensation.
 
The Contract Action and Member Feedback Event will take place on Thursday, November 19, 5-7 pm at the Kellogg Conference on the campus of Gallaudet University. Space is limited to elected local school union officials. Each school is asked to send one representative (i.e. Building Representative, SCAC member) to this highly vital and premiere WTU member engagement event. Free parking is available, along with free shuttle service from the NOMA metro station. At this event, union leaders will enjoy free dinner and drinks and powerful peer-to-peer networking! 
 
Union Leaders: RSVP HERE right now. Seating is limited! 

All Members: Send this link to your building representative and SCAC to ensure your school and voice will be counted and represented!
Contract proposals, IMPACT rubrics among
top issues at monthly rep assembly meeting
 
WTU members gathered at McKinley Technology High School on Nov. 10 for the union's monthly representativ e assembly meeting where the top agenda items included contract negotiations, community schools and IMPACT rubrics.

Go HERE to see the materials from the meeting 
 
President Elizabeth Davis assured those gathered in the school's cafeteria that both the WTU and DCPS are committe d to speeding up the pace of contract negotiations. She applauded the union's bargaining team for its hard work and urged those in attendance to raise any questions they had regarding negotiations. Later, members met in small groups to discuss and report on their
experiences with contract-related issues such as Morning Block Time and extended day and school year.
 
President Davis invited members to attend the Celeb ration of DC Community Schools on November 17  (see details in article below). The union is a primary sponsor of the community schools event and several WTU members will be among the panelists.
 
"WTU advocates for community schools b ecause we see them as a better option than charter schools," said Da vis, who pointed out that community schools o ffer wraparound services that help address the social and mental, as well as academic, needs of low-income students and communities.
Local school union teams from community schools such as J.O. Wilson, Cardozo, Roosevelt, Stanton, Bancroft, Jefferson and Amidon-Bowen are particularly urged to the attend the Celebration of DC Community Schools.
 
During the meeting, John Dixon (Oyster Adams EC) and Duanna Petrus (Noyes ES), co-chairs of the union's TAS/CSC/CP Task Force, provided an update on the early work of the task force. Petrus drew attention to the National Research Council's (NRC) evaluation of the Teacher-Assess ed Student Achievement Schools (TAS), Commitment to School Community (CSC) and Core Professionalism (CP) aspects of the school district's IMPACT evaluation system. The independent evaluators, she noted, raised many of the same concerns about the rubrics that D.C.P.S. teachers have complained about, including the inconsistency of how the rubrics are developed and implemented from school-to-school.
 
Here's an example of what the program's evaluators said: " Our review o f the (CSC) guideline documents revealed no evidence of efforts to control the quality of scores on the commitment measure, either through administrator training or implementation." The NRC report contained similar c riticisms of TAS and CP.
 
"We need your collective voice on these and other issues," Davis said following the presentation on the task force. She urged members to turnout for the citywide oversight hearings being planned by City Council member David Grosso, who  chairs the council's Committee on Education.

"It is imperative that our members show up and talk about the strategies that are needed to really reform our schools," the WTU president said.
WTU members enjoy a Thanksgiving-style meal at the Representative Assembly meeting. 
 
WTU First Book blitz ensures the
distribution of 40,000 free books on tomorrow
 
Hundreds of WTU members and other educators and school staff stepped up on October 30 to help ensure that D.C.P.S. students, classrooms, libraries and schools receive the 40,000 new free books being made available through the union's partner First Book.
 
The First Book blitz surpassed its registration goal and, as a result, tens of thousands of free books will be given away to teachers, parents and others tomorrow,  November 14 at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.
 
A special shout-out goes to the members, principals and school staff at  Brightwood, Cardozo, Columbia Heights (CHEC), Coolidge, Dunbar, Eastern, Garrison, Noyes, Roosevelt, Whittier, and Woodson

The top three schools with the most registrants: CHEC, Dunbar and Eastern will be presented $500 in WTU First Book market buck s  during the next representative assembly meeting on December 8 to purchase additional books of choice. Congratulations to these three schools!

Members, your tremendous support for First Book is appreciated!
Regional meetings provide opportunity
to meet field reps and discuss timely issues
 
The WTU held its first regional meetings of the school year on Oct. 24 at Deal MS, Dunbar HS, Simon ES and Whittier EC. The meetings gave members an opportunity to meet their school's WTU field representative and to discuss such timely and important issues as the WTU contract, CSC Rubrics, the school district's corporal punishment policy and the IMPACT teacher evaluation system.
 
In addition, building reps had a chance to learn more about the new WTU incentive program that gives them an opportunity to earn back 50% of their union dues.
 
The next regional meetings are scheduled for Tues., Nov. 24. Those meetings will be held at Deal MS (Devin Nixon), Moore HS (Rejil Solis), Simon ES (Charles Moore) and Whittier EC (Candi Peterson). All members are invited to attend any of the meeting locations. 
A Celebration of Community Schools
Join us on Nov. 17 for this Special Event

"An Evening to Celebrate DC Community Schools"
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6-8 pm
Latin American Youth Center
1419 Columbia Rd. NW
Washington, DC
Community schools are growing across DC and the WTU, which has long advocated for the expansion of community schools, wants to invite you to a special event celebrating these schools.
We know that the integrated approach of community schools, which brings together academics, health and social services, and community engagement, leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. We also know that partnerships between schools and the community bring much-needed resources to our schools.
At this event, you'll learn what makes a school a community school and how you can get involved in supporting community schools. You'll also hear from parents, teachers, students, and community members on why they love their community school.

Those WTU members who work in community schools are particularly urged to attend: 
J.O. Wilson, Cardozo, Roosevelt, Stanton, Bancroft, Jefferson and Amidon-Bowen. 
Light refreshments will be served and childcare will be available.
To RSVP for the event, just register HERE .
Go HERE to visit our Facebook page
 
See a FLYER about the event

Union activist and education advocate
Charles Mercer passes away
Homegoing services on November 17

CHARLES MERCER , a dedicated District of Columbia Public Schools educator and the former Director of Professional Development for the Washington Teachers' Union, passed away on November 8.
Mercer's distinguished career spanned more than 20 years and included being named D.C. Teacher of the Year in 1999 when he taught sixth grade at Burrville Elementary School. He received numerous other awards as well during his teaching career, including a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholarship to Brazil; the National Science Teachers Association's Alice Moses Scholarship; and an appointment as a Carnegie fellow and mentor teacher with the Carnegie Institute of Washington.
An active member of the WTU throughout his career, Mercer selflessly and generously devoted many volunteer hours to his students and his profession, and personally provided material support for countless vulnerable children, youth and families.
He shared his teaching philosophy in a May 1999 article in the Washington Post: "I believe all children can learn, no matter what," he said. "I tell people not to live off excuses, put your best foot forward and be respectful. No matter what the circumstance, you are able to learn and do your best."
Homegoing services for Mercer will be held on Tuesday, November 17 at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 2221 Emmett Drive, Alexandria, VA. Viewing: 10 am - 11 am; Service: 11 am - 12 pm.
The WTU will present a resolution recognizing Mercer's contributions to D.C. public schools and the union during the services. 
Click here to read the WTU Resolution for Charles Mercer which will be presented by President Davis on Tuesday during Mercer's memorial service. 
READ an article about Mercer being named "D.C. Teacher of the Year. 
 
Participate in the Exemplary Local School Union Leadership Program
--and get back 50% of your dues
 
Building Representatives are invited to participate in the Washington Teachers' Union's new Exemplary Local 
School Union Leadership program. 

Elected Building Representatives who are full dues paying union members and exhibit highly effective union leadership skills as evidenced through a portfolio submission will be selected to receive back 50% of the dues paid to the Washington Teachers' Union during the 2015-2016 school year.
 
HERE is the program guidelines and application.
 
Deadline extended to November 30, 2015.

WTU backs shoe drive by education sorority 
 
The Alpha Chapter of  Delta Kappa Gamma is sponsoring a shoe drive from November 2015 to February 2016. The shoes will be sent to needy individuals in places such as Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa.
 
In addition, if the chapter collects enough shoes it will be rewarded $1,000 to support its local and international projects.  All new and gently worn women, men and children shoes are welcomed, including boots, sandals, heels, flats, sneakers, etc.
 
To donate shoes contact: Donna Paulus, donna@funds2orgs.com  or call 407-930-2979.