October 3, 2021
Information is Power
Inside this Newsette:

  • PGCEA Places 2nd
  • Free Ice Cream for Completing the Bargaining Survey
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Member Benefits
  • State Board of Education Actions
  • Early Career Educator Conference
  • Need PRAXIS Prep Support?
  • Parent Involvment
  • Mental Health Assistance
  • Big Year, Get Involved
  • Know your UniServ
  • Upcoming Events
  • MSEA Convention Workshops
  • Join a Committee
PGCEA Places 2nd for Best Float

Great big thank you to all that participated in the design and build of our Labor Day Parade float. We placed second for best float design. Next year will be bigger and better!
We Need Your Input
We are preparing to enter into negotiations with PGCPS about our next contract and we need your input. Take a moment to take the bargaining survey.

COVID-19 Policy Updates

Schools will provide written notification to staff or families following exposure to a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case. If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at a school or in a classroom, the infected individual will be required to quarantine at home for at least 10 days and be symptom-free before returning to a PGCPS building. Employees or students who were in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual must quarantine for at least 10 days if not fully vaccinated; fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine following exposure to a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19 but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

In the event a single positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed, PGCPS will close the exposed area of the facility. If multiple positive cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in one site within three days (minimum), PGCPS will close the entire facility to clean and sanitize all areas.
Get Valuable Educator Perks Just for Union Members
Whether you’ve joined your education association at the local, state or national level, you belong to the NEA and have access to educator perks through NEA Member Benefits. Watch this video to see how it works.
Why NEA Member Benefits Is Dedicated to Serving Educators
NEA members are at the core of everything we do – from negotiating on your behalf to offer valuable benefits with trusted partners, to supporting your personal needs in each stage of your life and career. Find out more about why you inspire us and how we can help you.

The Maryland State Board of Education held their monthly meeting this week and the agenda is linked here. The State Board was provided detailed information in a Reopening Logistics and Transmission Rates in Schools report. The data shared was as of September 22 and will be collected every Wednesday from local districts. They also received a Local School System Virtual Program Update that gives a more in-depth view of virtual school programs across the state, including class size data that is very high in many jurisdictions. There was a report on the history of the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB). We are pleased that MSEA members Chair Maleeta Kitchen (HoCEA) and Darren Hornbeck (FCTA) were invited to speak. Finally, Superintendent Choudhury presented two very interesting and in-depth reports- Economically Disadvantaged Students and a Blueprint Deep Dive: Neighborhood Indicators of Poverty. Local leaders and staff are encouraged to review these reports. It is also worth noting that MSEA member from Carroll County and the only teacher on the State Board, Rachel McCusker, did a great job of articulating the extreme workload issues teachers and others are facing. Rachel also emphasized the teacher and staffing shortages that President Bost spoke to during public comment. 
Contact: Cheryl Bost or Queen Nwafor 


For our new educators, these “unusual” times have been a large part of their career. That’s why this year’s ECE conference focuses on skills and relationship building for ANY normal with two tracks. Track one is for educators with three or fewer years of experience in the profession with an emphasis on helping transition their skills from the virtual/hybrid world they have inhabited to their in-person classroom. Track two is designed for educators four through six years of experience and will focus on higher level skills for challenges they may be facing around equitably engaging their students, lesson planning, and parent communication. That’s not all, during the keynote session we will hear the student perspective on racial justice from student scholars taking part in the Minority Scholars Program.
Audience: MSEA members with six years or less in the profession
Date: October 30, 2021      
Where: Virtually (link will be sent out)
Times: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Registration Closes: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Contact: Chelsea Akibo-Betts cakibo-betts@mseanea.org

Do You Know Any Parent Leaders at Your School? 
We have some great initiatives and sessions lined up for parents this year, but to be successful we need your support! 
Help PGCEA increase our parent engagement efforts this year by identifying people who are involved in Parent Teacher Associations and Organizations at your schools or individual parent leaders who are not affiliated with a formal organization. We greatly appreciate your support!
➡️Complete this brief form
For immediate mental health assistance:
PGCPS Employee Assistance Program:
By phone: 1-800-346-0110 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Username: PGCPS
    Password: PRINCE
Big Year and Lots of Ways to Get Involved!

As most of you know, this is a big year for PGCEA because we have the opportunity to renegotiate our contract with the county, while members of the school board and county council are up for re-election! Let’s demonstrate our power by winning big improvements in our contract on safety, workplace benefits, and pay scale while simultaneously putting people in public office who will work accountably with us on education policy and resource allocation. #TeachingConditionsAreLearningConditions

It’s time for us all to officially GET. IN. FORMATION. Throughout this fall, PGCEA members all have the opportunity to join one of our Contract Action Team (CAT) committees or our Political Action Go Team. To read more and sign up now for one of the CAT committees or the Go Team, click here. Once we have a critical mass of members signed up, we will follow up with upcoming committee meetings and action dates for this fall.

We will be offering a series of virtual information sessions about how open negotiations work, aka Bargaining for the Common Good (B4CG), where members will have the opportunity to dialogue directly and ask questions with experienced PGCEA organizers and contract negotiators. These information sessions are open and available both to PGCEA members who definitely know they want to join a CAT committee and to those who are curious and questioning the right role for them. Click on one of the following dates and time links to register for that virtual information and discussion session:

If you have questions about any of the trainings or committee sign up form, please email PGCEA Uniserv Director Nikki Cole at ncole@pgcea.org. Sign up today and tell a colleague to do the same. We are powerful when we come together.
Do you know your UniServ Director?

Our UniServ directors (UD's) are here to assist you with any of your school-based issues or contract compliance needs. To find out what UD is assigned to your school click the button to see their school assignments.
The Contract Enforcement Committee meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Our first meeting will be Wednesday, October 6th.
The committee provides training to PGCEA members related to their negotiated agreement, contract enforcement, and how to address workplace bullying by the administration.
We also develop and propose contract and/or policy language to close loopholes in contract language and strengthen PGCEA’s ability to successfully grieve member concerns.
If you are interested in joining the committee send your contact information to gbrennan@mseanea.org.
MSEA Convention ’21 Workshops are scheduled for Friday, October 15, from 9 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. Participants can engage in high-quality workshop offerings in the following strands:
·      Building an Instructional Toolkit
·      Racial and Social Justice in Our Schools
·      Self-Care and Trauma-Aware Classrooms
·      Personal Growth and Empowerment
·      National Board Certification Q&A
A schedule and descriptions of workshops can be found here: https://marylandeducators.org/convention-workshop-descriptions/
All workshops will be held virtually. More information on how to register and participate in workshops will be coming very soon
Other Upcoming Dates:

October 4th, 2021: New Teacher Orientation
October 4th, 2021: Restorative Practice and Social Justice Committee Meeting
October 6th, 2021: GR Committee Meeting
October 11th, 2021: Indigenous Peoples Day
Nominations Elections and Credentials Committee (NECC) upcoming election calendar for members to review in case you want to run for office.