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HES Consultation Committee Meeting Minutes: April 2015

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Time: 4-5 p.m.
Location: 400 First Avenue, 5th floor

In attendance: Helen Kaufman, Assistant Superintendent; Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES Chapter Leader; Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES related services teacher.

Tutoring

Ms. Cortez asked about tutoring at Truman High School. The Truman HS staff told Ms. Cortez that they did not receive the 25-hour job posting for Regents tutoring. 

Ms. Kaufman said the post was sent out as of April 22 to Van Buren HS, Truman HS and Bergtraum HS.  Everyone who wants to tutor has to apply online to get the job. The schools have to show that they need more tutoring hours through their recordkeeping and by demonstrating any work they have done with students. If they don't use the hours, they will lose them. The hours don't carry over.

Evaluation

Question about self-contained classes: Ms. Cortez asked how will the new evaluation system affect the HES teachers in self-contained classrooms. HES students perform poorly on tests. The new evaluation process is to include students’ test results. HES teachers in self-contained classes are worried about how they will be evaluated because of poor class performance on standardized testing.

 Ms. Kaufman responded that the primary evaluator for HES classroom teachers is the HES supervisor – not the school principal. Sixty percent of each teacher’s evaluation is based on teacher performance.  HES supervisors are aware of HES students’ limitations. 

Tenure

Ms. Cortez asked about new teachers who are concerned about how the use of student test results in teachers’ evaluations will affect their chances for tenure. Once again, it was noted that 60 percent of the teacher's rating is from class performance or observation, not tests.

Ms. Kaufman answered that she will meet with all related service teachers for the purpose of reviewing their portfolios. Teachers must have three years of artifacts. Ms. Kaufman is looking for quality not quantity. Teachers need to show their impact on student learning. They need to demonstrate their work by having a "representative sample."  She said she doesn't want heavy portfolios. She wants good samples. Teachers in self-contained classrooms do not have to complete portfolios. Their tenure criteria are based on observation and class performance.

Professional Development

Ms. Cortez asked about transportation to the PD in June. HES teachers in Staten Island teachers are concerned about the traveling time required to get to this PD that will take place at 25 Halsey Street in the Bronx on Thursday, June 4. They think it is really a hardship. It will take them over two hours and a half to travel to the Bronx. They will have to leave very early from Staten Island.  Many teachers have young children. Schools are not open at 5 a.m. They are seeking alternative professional development options such as live streaming and staying in their schools.

Ms. Kaufman answered that the meeting is once a year. She will address this issue with the supervisor from Staten Island. There are 18 to 20 teachers currently working for HES in Staten Island. She said they have to come.

SBOs (School-Based Options)

It is time to vote for out of the classroom positions.

Ms. Cortez verified with Ms. Kaufman that HES is requesting three unit coordinators and one transition coordinator. The vote on this option will take place at the same time as the election for UFT chapter leader. Elections will be done via mail. Every HES teacher has to vote on this issue.

DOE video

There was discussion of the news report about a vision program supplying eyeglasses to students. The report was posted on 7online.com. In the context of this report, we discussed how the DOE could be made aware of issues of students with hearing problems as well. Some HES teachers are concerned that the DOE is unaware of students with hearing loss and HES programs. We want to make the DOE aware of our HES students' needs.

Ms. Kaufman said that there are more deaf and hard of hearing students than those with vision problems. There are approximately 800 blind or low-vision students and 2,300 students with deafness or hearing loss. Ms. Kaufman feels that the DOE is aware of our services.

Ms. Cortez will send Ms. Kaufman the video because the video was difficult to open at the meeting. 

The next consultation meeting is Wednesday, May 27.

Related Topics: Chapter News