Wednesday, April 01, 2020

UFT Virtual Town Hall Report

By special guest blogger
 Mindy Rosier-Rayburn

For those of you who were unable to get on the UFT call on Wednesday afternoon, here's the skinny...

Cuomo made the executive decision to cancel spring break. We can't fight it. Cuomo has the final word. The UFT is not happy about this but we are working with the DOE in terms of compensation. Whether it's days back to us when we return to school, or getting extra pay, the Chancellor understands that we need some kind of compensation package. This is currently being negotiated. The UFT is also pushing for a different kind of week for the kids. Instead of lessons, maybe we'll be able to do more art, go on virtual tours, or something else. This is also being negotiated. Stay tuned....

Parents are saying that we are giving too much work and they want us to scale it back a bit. In response to this feedback, there are current conversations going on about this with the DOE.

Teachers have been voicing concerns regarding the safety of their school buildings. On the call, a teacher insisted that her school building was not disinfected before we returned for those three days. I'm sure her building was NOT alone. Mulgrew emphatically stated that they are going to make sure all procedures needed to make our buildings safe will be done by the time we go back, whenever that shall be. Everyone's keeping an eye on the coronavirus.  It'll probably get worse before it gets better and we need to be patient for a return date. 

Since we will probably be doing remote teaching longer than originally planned, conversations are starting to happen regarding student grading. Regents, labs, & graduation conversations are also taking place. Graduation celebrations are up in the air. Hopefully we'll be able to make it up to our students if graduation has to be canceled. 

The DOE wanted to skip tenure this year. UFT completely disagrees and we are taking it to the state. 

Student attendance guidance will be coming out in a few days. Mulgrew says the DOE should be involved in reaching out to families of children not  engaging. We are already doing so much. It's time for them to actually help out. For staff attendance, staff will receive an e-form on Fridays to check off their own attendance. 

Observations are currently up in the air. There are conversations ongoing about that too. 

All related services providers will be finally be receiving clear language guidance soon including clarification when it comes to live video sessions. 

For those of you concerned about meeting the requirements for your certification, the state has extended the deadlines. That information should be mailed out soon.

Mulgrew informed us that books will be sent to homeless children via a partnership. This is truly amazing and heartwarming! A D75 art teacher on the call, recommended art supplies to be sent to our students. Mulgrew thought this was a great idea and will look into it. Personally, I believe this is a fantastic idea as well. 

Summer vacation was NOT canceled. A false rumor going around. It is April Fools Day. 

Finally, it was acknowledged that we are doing more work now then when we were in school. Mulgrew continually praised us throughout this call and he feels the DOE needs to recognize all of this as well. We turned the largest school system into virtual teaching system without training in a matter of days!!! We will be remembered for stepping up like we did. 

Remember, self-care is key!!!

Everything is fluid, please be patient....
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