Chapter news

Speech Chapter Newsbrief, Nov. 2011

Dear Speech Chapter Members,

I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the holidays. Our chapter has been very active and has held monthly general membership and new teacher meetings. This has been a challenging year and I want you to know that I will continue to advocate on your behalf. Please make an effort to come to our monthly meetings or become a volunteer liaison and share our information with other speech providers in your network. Feel free to reach out to your executive board members or current liaison to get support and information.

The online training on Medicaid compliance is now available for all relevant related service providers. As speech teachers, you are required to complete the training. If you haven’t already done so, you should talk to your principal about this training and ask for computer access and time to complete it. You work under either (a) a teacher of speech and handicapped certificate (TSHH) or (b) a teacher of students with speech and language disabilities certificate (TSSLD). Unless you are directed otherwise, you may use your teaching certificate when you complete this training even if you also hold a professional license in speech language pathology (SLP).

If you have been directed to provide the number of your professional license for the training or if you have computer access or other issues related to this training, we urge you to contact the UFT Speech Chapter hotline at 212-598-7774.

At our general membership meeting on Nov. 14, UFT Secretary Michael Mendel addressed our chapter about SESIS. We continue to meet with the DOE regarding SESIS, Medicaid issues, encounter attendance and computer issues. I have also been representing our chapter at those meetings. As a reminder please make sure that you contact your principal about any SESIS related issues. You should also keep track of any time before or after the school day related to attendance and SESIS. Send an email to to let us know of outstanding concerns.

Mr. Mendel also spoke to the chapter about evaluations. Members will be rated as satisfactory or unsatisfactory at the end of the year. He discussed the Charlotte Danielson model which is being piloted in 33 struggling schools and explained that the Danielson model is a teacher evaluation system that is aligned with the state’s new teacher evaluation law. It is based on a four-category rating system of highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective. Mr. Mendel informed the speech chapter that the Danielson model is for classroom teachers only and not for speech teachers. Many members at the meeting said that principals are not aware that the Danielson model is limited to classroom teachers. While principals may observe you while performing therapy as part of the general evaluation process, our chapter encourages you to contact your speech supervisor so that he/she can provide you with “discipline-specific observations.” These will also be part of your file and used towards end-of-year ratings.

If you are informed that you will be observed using the Danielson model, please contact our hotline or email We will need to know your school, district and contact information to correct the issue.

The chapter encourages you to ask all administrators for a pre-observation conference so that you and your principal or speech supervisor understand your goals for students based on their individual IEPs. Members who are probationary should be observed multiple times during their probationary period to ensure that they are on track to receive tenure.

Our chapter has scheduled workshops entitled “The Road to Tenure and Portfolios” in Queens on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 4–6 p.m. and in Manhattan, on Monday, Dec. 5 from 4–6 p.m. Other boroughs will follow after the holidays. Please email if you want to register for the tenure workshops. Registration is mandatory so we have enough materials and space. Our chapter will not mail out material from the workshops. You must attend them to receive chapter information and other materials related to tenure.

Please check the chapter’s page on the UFT website often for current events, workshops and alerts. Make sure that we have your personal email; sign up on the UFT website today if you haven’t already. That way you receive all of our updates on SESIS/Medicaid negotiations, our PERB case on Speech Standards of Practice and any staff development workshops next year. If you are a new employee, make sure that you complete a UFT membership card online because we cannot add you to our list unless you are a member.

Thanks so much.


Mindy Karten Bornemann
20-Year UFT Chapter Leader
Speech Improvement Chapter

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