Skip to main content
Full Menu

HES Consultation Committee Meeting Minutes: March 2016

Date: Wednesday, March 30

Time: 4–5 p.m.
Location: 400 First Ave., 5th floor, Manhattan

In attendance: Helen Kaufman, assistant superintendent; Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES chapter leader; Janet Palumbo Katz, Staten Island HES-related service teacher and UFT delegate; note taker Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES-related services teacher and delegate; and Noel Lehrer, Brooklyn East HES-related services teacher and UFT delegate.


Ms. Cortez asked for a copy of the current budget. Ms. Kaufman did not have the budget from this or last year, but said she’d bring it for the next consultation meeting.


Ms. Cortez noted that teachers are still waiting for their TRAC checks; some HES providers have not been paid for February. Ms. Kaufman said she needs to know which individuals have not received TRAC. Rosemarie Kolb of auditory/oral programs, who is involved in the process, was out for a week, which may have contributed to the delay.


Ms. Cortez asked Ms. Kaufman if HES can have a school-based option for TRAC so a teacher may be released and do TRAC work two days a week. Ms. Kaufman said she will ask the DOE if she can do that, and report back at the next consultation meeting. She also said that should this be approved, the position will be posted and will be open to everyone.


The NYC school system has seven self-contained classes for deaf/hard-of-hearing children throughout the city through the auditory/oral program. The teachers of these classes have complained that when they are absent, appropriate coverage is not assigned. The substitute registry does not include teachers of the deaf for self-contained classes.

The self-contained classroom teachers would like to have the same HES supervisor. Ms. Kaufman said this would be too difficult for one person to supervise teachers in five boroughs. She also said that the DOE plans to add more auditory/oral programs.

The self-contained classroom teachers also want a monthly meeting. Ms. Kaufman stated that as they are part of a community school, follow the same schedule as the schools and have the same number of parent-teacher conferences, these teachers should attend the monthly school meetings.

The Manhattan self-contained teachers requested that Ms. Kaufman visit them, and she agreed she would.

The teachers also would like some clarification of the relationship between HES supervisors and school supervisors. Ms. Kaufman said she will talk to the HES supervisors to ask them to clarify their roles and responsibilities. We generally agreed that better communication was needed.


Ms. Cortez noted that the HES Newsletter hasn’t been published in a long time. Ms. Kaufman suggested an SBO to have a teacher be responsible for our newsletter. At that point, Ms. Cortez suggested combining two items for an SBO: the TRAC assignment as well as the newsletter. Ms. Kaufman said she will talk to the HES supervisors.


Brooklyn/West and District 26 complained about new paperwork. Ms. Cortez stated that HES teachers should not have to fill out the new IEP tracking form because he same information is already on the case list. Ms. Kaufman will ask the appropriate HES supervisor for what the rationale is; however, she is not meeting with them until April 13. Therefore, Brooklyn West teachers must prepare this form for their meeting on April 8.


HES Supervisor Charmaine Brown will be in charge of Chapter 683. Contact her at if you have any concerns or questions. You may apply online as the site is open. Summer school runs from July 1 to Aug. 15.


We requested that the HES supervisors inform all HES teachers that the professional development day is June 9 at the Brooklyn UFT office, 335 Adams St. Brooklyn. Breakfast will be provided.

The next consultation committee meeting is April 20.

Related Topics: Chapter News