Dear Seattle Education Association members,
Welcome back, and welcome to the 2017-18 school year! We hope you have had a restful break!
We begin the school year with the State legislature increasing money to the education budget in the 2017-18 school year, and with our collective bargaining rights intact. With a new salary allocation structure from the State starting in 18-19, our upcoming contract negotiations with
Seattle Public Schools will be critical. There are also problematic aspects to the state funding of large districts like Seattle, which we will try to address in the upcoming legislative session.
The State Supreme Court has not officially determined the legislature has fully funded basic education for public schools in accordance with the McCleary decision. We believe the court will find the state legislature once again did not meet its paramount duty.
SEA contracts end on August 31, 2018, we will be negotiating our collective bargaining agreement over this next school year. Please attend your monthly SEA building meetings for updates and actions supporting the negotiations.
Have a great school year!
Phyllis Campano Michael Tamayo
SEA President SEA Vice President
New schedule for the new year, including weekly early releases
The new school year includes a new schedule, and an early release every Wednesday. Our historic 2015 contract agreement includes a longer student day, as well as a weekly early release (every Wednesday except the first day of school).
- The length of the staff work day is unchanged, for both certs and classified. The student day lengthens within that time. For example, if you were a 7 hour instructional assistant last year, your day is still 7 hours. For certs, it's still 7.5 hours.
- Certificated staff will determine how to use the early release time within broad categories. See the FAQ for details.
- Classified staff will use the early releases in a variety of ways, from doing your regular work, to following up with teachers, parents and other colleagues about kids, to participating in professional development, and taking part both in and out of building collaborations. See the FAQ on classified staff for details.
- All staff will receive the 4.5% raise we bargained for this year (on your hourly rate for classified, and for certificated staff in the way we have always bargained: as a percent of your base salary, paid as TRI) and a 2.3% raise from the state applied to base and hourly pay. Secondary certificated staff will also receive an additional hour of pay per week (2.7%) that previously only elementary certificated staff received.
Pilot launches for certificated evaluation review
One of our contract agreements following our strike in 2015 was to work together with the District to develop new approaches to professional development and to improve fairness in the evaluation.
We have reached agreement to develop two new foundational courses, one that all new teachers would take (and any interested classified staff), and one that all evaluators and career ladder teachers would take.
The first course will take Skillful Teacher as its jumping off point. Montgomery County has created a course based on the text, and teachers there report that is has helped create a shared language and understanding of what makes for good teaching.
The second course is "Observing and Analyzing Teaching," or OAT. The goal is to promote stronger calibration among evaluators and to enhance mentoring skills of both administrators and teacher leaders.
To create more fairness in evaluations, teachers whose principal has raised concerns will have the option to have their evaluation reviewed by a joint panel of teachers and principals. At the teacher's request, the panel will hear a review of their progress from both their evaluator and from a consulting teacher (CT) who has been assigned to work with them in the months leading up to the Panel review. Currently teachers are offered a CT, but there is no avenue for the CT to share a competing opinion.
"We're piloting a Seattle version of a system used around the country," said
Phyllis Campano, SEA President. "It's better for everyone if there is more accountability and oversight of evaluations. The system will be perceived as more fair, and individual teachers will have access to second opinions and a balanced review that includes peers."
The review system will be piloted on a limited basis in 2017-18, with no commitment beyond this year unless we reach an agreement in our new contract next year.
BLT/PLT trainings for the '17-18 school year: strengthening collaboration
Our Building Leadership Teams, alongside a number of Program Leadership Teams, give frontline educators in Seattle a significant voice in how we run our schools.
While school reforms come and go, site based decision making has taken root in Seattle since it was established in the 1990s. "It's hard to imagine working in a school where you have no say over budgets, professional development, and school initiatives," said Michael Tamayo, SEA Vice President.
And it's not just certificated and classified staff who see BLTs and PLTs as fundamental: district administrators along with SEA leaders jointly named re-investing in leadership team training as a priority following our 2015 strike.
Last spring, SEA and SPS developed and piloted a new BLT/PLT training for members and their administrators to attend together. One of the primary goals of this training is for SEA and SPS to come together to hold accountable the roles of administrators and educators in accordance to our collective bargaining agreement and to "reset" a shared understanding of the processes and vision that govern BLT work as the governing administrative body of a school/program.
After three pilot sessions, we are ready to make the training available to all teams - especially now that we have trained more than a dozen members to help lead the trainings.
Sabrina Adikes, Van Asselt Elementary
Emily Veling, Cedar Park, Elementary
Jeff Callahan, Jane Adams Middle School
Tom Brown, Laurelhurst Elementary
Micheal Melonson, SEA Paraprofessional President, Madrona Elementary
Usana Jordan, Olympic View Elementary
Vallerie Fisher, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Celina Austin, McGilvra Elementary
Teresa Alsept, Eckstein Middle School
Gwendolyn Jimerson, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Bill Butler, Seattle World School
Training dates are set and principals have been sent notices to register. Remind your administrator to register ASAP. BLT/PLT Training Dates (teams must commit to both days of training):
September 26 & 28
October 24 & 26
November 28 & December 30
January 23 & 25
April 24 & 26
f. May 29 & 31
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SICK LEAVE REQUESTS
Beth (Elizabeth) Eustaquio, a SAEOP/SpEd had rotator cuff surgery after a bad fall and is short on sick leave for the recovery period. Any amount you can donate will be greatly appreciated.
Nancy Krecker-Scott, Occupational Therapist is needing extra sick leave to help with her teenage daughter's recovery after an accident. She'll need intermittent leave (as needed) through July 2018, so the need is great, so Nancy can get her daughter to the many doctor/rehab appointments that are required for a good recovery. Nancy is VERY grateful that this process is available and there are so many generous educators in our district willing to help.
Thank you all for your generous donations in this challenging time for the above members.
Members can access the shared leave form by clicking
. Forms can be submitted to
or FAXED to 206-252-0021 or mailed to Seattle Public Schools, MS 33-380, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165.