October 7, 2016
National Day of Action: Fund Our Schools!

Thousands of SEA members wore red yesterday, and nearly 100 members packed Roosevelt High School's library to meet with state legislators after school. Educators brought poster boards with long lists of school supplies paid for out of our own pockets - one school's staff stapled all their receipts to the board!
Some state legislators would like to believe that the state has made great progress toward meeting their constitutional duty to fund our schools, but we made the point that they have fallen far short. More than 2000 schools participated in actions to support their schools nationwide. 


Survey on bell times and early dismissal for next school year: take the survey!

As part of our new contract, the student day will be lengthened by 20 minutes next year, and students will also be released from school for one hour each week for staff to have collaboration time within the work day. Which day should it be? Morning or afternoon? Should the 20 minutes be added so that school starts earlier, or ends later? Take the survey and let us know!

Important changes to certificated focused evaluations

We reached agreement in our contract last year that SEA and SPS would ask OSPI to change the rules on focused evaluations to encourage teachers to focus on areas of growth without having to worry about receiving a poor score. OSPI, as it turns out, was already considering that change, and has now adopted it, along with other changes:
  1. If you are on focused, your final score will be the same as your last comprehensive score, unless your focused score is higher. That means if you were Proficient on your last comprehensive, you will be at least Proficient on any subsequent Focused evaluations.
  2. "Observations' can now be more than classroom visits; they can also be work samples, or conversations that allow for the gathering of evidence of the performance of assigned duties. Educators found that evidence in some criteria could not be observed directly during a classroom observation.
  3. OSPI also changed the last date by which a certificated staff member can be moved to a comprehensive evaluation cycle: December 15. (This overrides our contractual deadline of February 15).
FAQ on school hours

How do we determine the length of the student day and the certificated work day?

The length of the student day is determined in contract bargaining. It's six hours at the elementary level (or six hours and ten minutes to accommodate bus schedules), and it is six and one-half hours at secondary. Starting in 2017-18, K-8s and elementary schools will be on the same student and staff schedules. The student day will lengthen by twenty minutes in 2017-18 as well.
The staff day in all schools is 7.5 hours. It will remain at 7.5 hours in 2017-18, even though the student day lengthens. Stanford Center and certain other certificated employees have an eight hour day.

Our school day is longer than the contract says. The principal says we agreed to make an exception. Are exceptions possible?

Principals can't make agreements with their staff that differ from the contract without going through the official SEA waiver process, even if the building's union reps (Association Reps or ARs) agree to it, or if the BLT agrees to it, or even if the staff votes for it. That's known as "direct dealing", and it's illegal under state labor law. Our contract is negotiated collectively by all of us, and changes to it must be approved by our SEA Board (through the waiver process), which is a union-wide elected body.

As of October 2016, only one school has an approved waiver for a longer student day: Rainier Beach. RB staff are being paid for this additional time by a grant.

Can we shift the time when staff have to report to work and when they leave?

Principals have discretion to grant flexibility to an individual's start and end time to accommodate personal or family needs (see Article IX.A.10). Changes to start and end times which cover multiple staff not related to personal or family needs are subject to the SEA waiver process.

Our school has a rule that students get into their seats five minutes before the first bell. Is that rule okay?

Individual teachers can make their own decision about opening their classroom early. By our contract, the time before the bell is time for teachers and other staff to prepare for the day, so rules like that which place requirements on teachers during that time period cannot be adopted or enforced by a school.

Tips you can use!

Educator Tip: have some fun!

Mary Whisenhunt, Teacher,  Social Studies/Language Arts,  McClure Middle School

  1. Do what you can to make your school day fun, for your students and you. This is middle school, not the military.
  2. Take some time off on the weekend, regardless of how big your to do list is.
  3. Talk about books with kids; it's a great way to bond.
  4. Start a club! The relationships you build will pay dividends in the classroom.

Do you have a tip for certificated or classified staff? Send them to SEA@washingtonea.org.
 > > > QUICK NOTES < < <

Need some TPEP training? There are Goal Setting trainings set for the next few weeks, with other topics to follow. See the full list here.

Equity Team applications due October 14. We are adding ten more school Equity Teams this year. Teams will receive several trainings and a stipend. Application is here. 

SEA's Institute for Equity off and running with focus groups. 35 educators have joined focus groups led by our project leader, Marquita Prinzing, with 33 more educators joining her for one on one meetings. The Institute for Equity is a new project of SEA focused on supporting educators to lead the work on making education equitable for our students. The focus groups and interviews will help inform the work of the Institute's Planning and Design team, which kicks off its work this weekend.



Carrie (Catherine) Clogston, a former special education instructional assistant at Thurgood Marshall and current Capital Programs Project Assistant is currently undergoing intense treatment for head and neck cancer that metastasized to her lymph nodes. She had surgery in July and has been undergoing chemo and radiation weekly since August.  Carrie is seeking sick leave donations so that she can finish her treatments and recover without the loss of pay or risk of losing her insurance.

Members can access the shared leave form on the District website ( www.seattleschools.org).  Go to the Human Resources section to access  "Current Employees" and "Leaves of Absence" to find the form. Forms can be submitted to Monica Menchaca, 206.252.0614 / Momenchaca@seattleschools.org, leave department analyst.

Seattle Education Association
5501 4th Ave S, Ste 101
Seattle, WA 98108
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