HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
Please include the following to the December 2, 2010 Instructional Consultation agenda:
1. Effective Teachers Initiative
We have been getting considerable information from SDMC members that they are giving very general feedback in SDMC meetings regarding the new teacher evaluation system. In most cases the feedback is given in a brainstorming situation with members throwing out ideas on what might be included in a new system. We are now being told that “nearly all of the criteria categories that are a part of the proposed new system were recommended by an overwhelming majority of SDMCs.” We do not believe the SDMCs have recommended anything. Why doesn’t the district send the criteria categories back to the SDMCs for an up or down vote?
2. Benefit Coordinators
Benefit coordinators have had a massive job this year informing employees of the changes in the health care options. They have done this with very little training especially regarding the Discount Benefits + FSA Plan. This year they were directed on November 16th to call special meetings to explain this plan to the lowest paid employees, get signatures from those employees, and fax them to the Benefits Department. Why doesn’t the Benefits Department do a better job of communicating with these employees in advance instead of asking the coordinators, who by the way have their full-time paying jobs to attend to, call last minute emergency meetings. This communication appeared to have been a last minute afterthought. A better job must be done. Paying the coordinators for their time and effort would be a nice start.
3. Student Referrals
We received the following from a teacher who very much wants to remain anonymous:
“I mentioned that I was referring 6 very low students for intervention assistance (possibly spec. Ed), and was just told that the district is possibly going to use that against teachers if they have a high number of referrals. I have done everything I can in the class, and feel this is the next logical step. Why is the district making it so hard for teachers to get their struggling students the proper assistance? Please let me know if you have any input on this matter. Thank you in advance.”
Is this a school level problem or is there some truth to what this teacher was told?
4. Sharpstown Middle School
What is the future of Sharpstown MS. Does the district intend to change the entire program and reconstitute the school?
5. Mandatory Saturday workshops
The attached schedule was given to new teachers at Fondren Middle School. HISD teachers have a contract that specifies the number of workdays. They cannot be mandated to work days beyond this, and Saturday is not a work day. Apollo teachers have a (longer) defined workday, but it does not extend to 5:45. TEA has already ruled against school districts on this issue.
From: Thompson, Amy L
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:26 AM
To: Barrasa, Yaravi; Bordato, Julie E; Cahill, Caitlyn M; Chu, Selby; Ewing, Zachary C; Glenn, Michael; Haughton, Andre M; Kern, Britlyn C; Lim, Christopher W; McGruder, Brittany M; Ngo, Tracy T; Tricksey, Darryl R; Wilson, Emily C
Cc: Ogle, Karissa L; Foust, Charles; Brevard, Brandi S; Evans-Smith, Melanie E; Grossman, Lori L
Subject: APOLLO Beginning Teacher Forum and Learning Series - Fondren MS
Hello Fondren Beginning Teachers,
Professional Development looks forward to the opportunity to work with our beginning educators and share strategies to accelerate practices and effectiveness in the classroom. As we know classroom and behavior management are among the most identified areas that beginning teachers have challenges, our District wants to ensure we are providing guided support. ALL APOLLO new teachers are required to attend their campus forum and the APOLLO new teacher training sessions.
The new teacher forum is a critical component to the series and allows your voices to be captured. The forum is an informal session facilitated by the Mentoring and Induction staff to invite and allow reflection of teachers’ personal experiences, needs, challenges, joys, and successes over the past 2+ months. Although occurring at your school for location convenience, it is a closed session for new teachers only. We build norms to provide a safe environment to share. Information captured informs our planning for the upcoming learning sessions.
Below is a summary of the APOLLO New Teacher learning schedule. Refer to attachment for further details.
# Date^/ Time Learning session Location
1 October 15-22, 2010
4:30 pm – 5:45 pm
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm APOLLO New Teacher Forums
• Attucks MS (11) – Fri., Oct. 15
• Sharpstown HS (26) – Thur., Oct. 21
• Ryan MS (6) & Jones HS (21) –
Thurs., Oct. 21 (at Jones HS)
• Key MS (7) & Kashmere MS (8) –
Thur., Oct. 21 (at Kashmere)
• Dowling MS (31) – Fri., Oct. 22
• Fondren MS (13) – Fri., Oct. 22
• Lee HS (26) – Fri., Oct. 22
Designated APOLLO campus
Room assigned by camps
2 October 30, 2010
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
*Participants bring their brown bag brunch. Classroom Management session 1 HMW – Rooms TBD
3 November 13, 2010 *
9:00 am – 12 noon
*Participants bring their brown bag brunch. Classroom Management session 2 TBD
NOTE: TFA CM (ACE) session begins at 1:00 pm at another location*
4 January 8, 2011
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
*Participants bring their brown bag brunch. Classroom Management session 3 TBD
5 January 22, 2011
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
*Participants bring their brown bag brunch. Instructional Planning (session will focus on ways to engage students and manage instructional time through use of effective instructional strategies). TBD
6 February 5, 2011 Content Learning Community Collaborative TBD
* TFA Core Member Collaborative day
Please email Melanie Evans-Smith if you have any questions. We look forward to our learning partnership.
Amy Thompson, sent on behalf of Melanie Evans-Smith. firstname.lastname@example.org
7 hours ago