Message from the President
Over the past month we have been working with teachers and parents at Mamie D. Lee and Sharpe Health to make sure their voices are heard in DCPS. The school system's proposal to combine both schools into the now shuttered River Terrace Elementary is cause for concern for educators who are preparing our most vulnerable students for a rich future with practical skills training that must happen in the community. The site of River Terrace forces these children, many in wheel chairs and on walkers, to cross the traffic heavy Benning Road Bridge to access Metro and retail establishments. We had planned a Walk for Safe Smart Schools on March 29, but we have decided to postpone the action for very good reason.
Unlike DCPS, WTU is mindful of the necessity to hear the voices of all stakeholders who are affected by major decisions from the Chancellor's office. We are partnering with the River Terrace community and others to push DCPS to re-open River Terrace Elementary as a community school, with a STEM focus, which will serve the children of the River Terrace in Ward 7 and possibly serve a wider boundary.
Our participation in the debate of school focus, standing alongside parents, teachers and community leadership, strengthens the civic infrastructure needed to make positive and empowering changes within DCPS.
We are in touch with the Chancellor's office and we are still planning a public action to make our demands clear. WTU will keep you posted over the next few weeks on the response from OSSE and the plans to gather to let our voices heard.
For more information call the David Street at, 202-293-8600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also follow WTU on Twitter for more information at wtuteacher
Elizabeth A. Davis,
Thurs., April 3
Community School Conversation
(see full article to the right)
Tuesday April 8
Rep Assembly Meeting
Luke C. Moore HS
1001 Monroe St NE, Washington, DC 20017
|Committee for Political Education|
The WTU Committee on Political Education (COPE) presented its finding to the Representative Assembly on March 11. The committee recommended that the union withhold endorsement of any candidate in the 2014 Democratic Primary while reserving the right to reconsider in an emergency session or in the general election.
The recommendation was made by COPE after an intensive endorsement process that began with a carefully crafted questionnaire presented to the mayoral primary contenders, one-on-one interviews with 5 of the candidates, followed by COPE meetings where each candidate was ranked according to their positions on key issues. After the results of the ranking process, the COPE committee engaged in a discussion about the pros and cons of endorsing of one of the two top contenders who scored in the top percentile. After a final vote, the majority of the COPE members voted to recommend withholding endorsement for the time being. The COPE recommendation was brought to the WTU Executive Board who approved it unanimously. The recommendation not to endorse was placed before the Representative Assembly, which confirmed the E-Board decision by a vote of 31-2.
COPE meets every Wednesday, 5pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street, S.E. All WTU members are welcome to attend the meetings and join the committee. Applications can be obtained here.
DCPS Hiring Events
DCPS is hosting a series of hiring events open to all current WTU members beginning Tuesday May 20, 2014. This year, DCPS also hosted a networking event on Wednesday March 26, for all those interested in learning about the new initiatives in DCPS' Targeted 40 and Middle Grades schools. Only those schools were represented, but all WTU members were welcome. The event featured two concurrent panels on these topics, and an open networking event. The event was held at Kelley Miller Middle School, from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
Starting May 20, 2014 DCPS will start hosting hiring events for all DCPS vacancies open to current DCPS employees. See the WTU website calendar for dates each month through July. For more information contact: email@example.com
|Community School Conversation|
April 3, Luke C. Moore High School
Community Schools are very important to the richness of the DCPS experience. WTU is hosting a conversation to further enhance Community Schools on Thursday, April 3 from 4:30pm-6:30pm at Luke C. Moore High School.
The focus of the evening will be to broaden our understanding of how the community school initiative is progressing and what challenges still exists. We will also explore the important role teachers have played in the progress and how our community partners have engaged. Our special guest is Shital Shah, Assistant Director of AFT's educational issues department. Shital experienced in the community school movement.
Come for the stimulating discussion and debate. Light refreshments will be served.
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 4:30pm-6:30pm
Luke C Moore High School
1001 Monroe St N.E.
Advice from Member Services
What is OSSE State Licensure Guidance?
This benefit is a new function for WTU. Member Services Unit will provide guidance to full WTU members, via email only, on the following:
Obtaining licensure renewal guidance for all Regular II licenses (full certification).
Obtaining an Initial (first) Regular II DC state license from OSSE in your subject area.
Obtaining additional endorsement licenses in other subject areas for those members who hold a Regular II license from OSSE.
Enrolling in a DC state approved teacher preparation program towards qualifying for a 2-year Regular I license (provisional certification) with OSSE.
Please email your questions and/or scan your documents for review to Angie Skinner for more information firstname.lastname@example.org Sorry, we cannot provide telephone consultation for licensure at this time.
|WTU Retiree Workshop Report Back
More than 50 WTU retirees participated in a retirement workshop hosted by The Washington Teachers' Union on March 22. Attendees received information on the Teachers Retirement Plan and how to receive all of their entitlements from DCPS.
Mary Collins, a Trustee on the DC Retirement Board, served as moderator and instructor. The program included Mr. Robert Watson, Sr. of Plan Member Securities who spoke about how to plan for a worry free retirement. The morning also included WTU General Vice President, Candi Peterson, who addressed issues related to the National Labor Relations Act and concerns about the extended school day survey that is being distributed to teachers by DCPS, which violates the collective bargaining agreement.
For more information contact Mary Collins at email@example.com or 202-330-3663
|Education Summit To Reduce Suspensions Report Back|
WTU continues its commitment to connecting its Members to the education initiative we launched in December 2013 entitled, The Principles That Unite Us. This nationwide campaign is designed to empower teachers, parents and the community. To that end, WTU joined with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22 at the Educator's Summit on School Discipline. The WTU was well represented at the event by President Elizabeth Davis, the WTU Field Services staff, and more than two dozen WTU members. A variety of public education stakeholders from across the nation participated as panelists and presenters, including AFT President Randi Weingarten.
As a result of this informative summit, the WTU is organizing a task force on restorative practices. If you are interested in learning more about the task force, restorative practices, or student discipline, contact Field Services Specialists Taylor Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Donielle Powe at email@example.com.
WTU, Pi Phi Beta and First Book
Having books to read - at home and in the classroom - is the number one predictor of reading success. But for many children in DC books are an unaffordable luxury. This spring, First Book-DC, a partner of WTU, is teaming up with Pi Phi Beta Sorority to bring 40,000 brand new books to DC children during a Books on Wheels event in April. WTU wants to make sure that our students get these books. We need your help in registering 150 new classrooms, which include teachers, staff, and community partners, with First Book. To register or to invite a colleague to join, please forward this link http://register.firstbook.org/?rgst=firstbookdc
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact FirstBook DC Advisory
Board member, Kaily Yee, at firstname.lastname@example.org