Last evening was the monthly JEA Legislative Council meeting. AR's were notified of a Death Benefit that will be withdrawn from your October paycheck. Craig Peterson, a teacher and JEA member at Jordan Hills, passed away in August. He was part of the JEA Death Benefit program. All teachers enrolled in the program at the time of his passing will have $4 deducted from their October paycheck. A check for almost $1700 was given to his widow and the deductions will replenish the account.
Several building concerns from elementary, particularly year round, schools were asked. During the 2009-2010 negotiations, the 9 hours of pay for track on days planning was rolled into salary. You are being paid, you just don't have to track your hours. You are expected to put in the 9 hours over the 3-4 track change days. Teachers who move rooms are still paid $100 when they track on. If this is not happening, talk to your school secretary.
Options for holding PLCs were discussed.
There is no policy on the placement of students needing special services. Some teachers have an overload of Resource, Speech, or ESL students. One way some principals even in year round schools have handled this is to place all of those students first and then place all other students, distributing evenly those with special needs.
Class sizes in a grade can begin the year up to 5 different, i.e. one class of 20 and one class of 25. Once school starts and students move in, they should go to the smaller class, but keeping siblings on the same track may mean that some classes have more than a 5 student differential.
Special service providers (Resource, Speech, Guidance, etc.) being part of duty rotations and committees was questioned. This is done on a school by school basis at the principal's discretion. One suggestion was that these faculty members take duty the first two and the last two weeks of the year when they are not servicing students.
The report cards for all grades have been finalized for this year. K-5 have new Language Arts standards tied to the Common Core. One AR pointed out that there is no Independent Reading. Another school is doing Independent Reading for the Ken Garff Road to Success Program. The "Language Components" should not be on the sixth grade report card, so the sixth grade teachers should mark N/A on all three terms for "Language Components". The sixth grade Math standards changed to match the Common Core. Other changes include more accurate descriptors of Social Studies and Science topics and Guided Reading Level benchmarks for each grading term.
We watched a video on the Early Years of NEA. It pointed out how NEA was inclusive of women and minorities in the late 1800's, but then later laws prohibited that inclusion.
We review Sick, Personal, Alternative, and Bereavement Leave. If you ever had a question about what qualifies, you can check the policy online or contact JEA. We can help you through any of these leave benefits.
AR's reflected on their membership goals and made new ones for October. Debbie Brown won the drawing for AR's who recruited the last 25 new members.
AR's were asked to set up a JEA e-mail list for members in their building and to provide me with contact information on one parent willing to serve on UEA's Parents for Neighborhood Schools.
I showed AR's the MyDeals app available for Android and iPhone. You need your membership number for it to work. If you cannot find your membership card, just let me know, and I will send it to you.
Thanks to all the AR's who attended the meeting.