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HES Consultation Committee Meeting Minutes: May 2015

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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

In attendance: Helen Kaufman, Assistant Superintendent; Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES Chapter Leader, Janet Palumbo Katz, Staten Island related service provider; and Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES related services teacher.

Supervisor emails and requests

Ms. Cortez asked why Hearing Education Services supervisors are sending emails late at night and on weekends requesting that HES teachers respond immediately. Teachers have received requests about upcoming meetings, observations and lesson plans. It is not possible to be on the computer until late hours of the night. HES teachers have families to take care of, and such requests can't be met. Supervisors need to be mindful of what they are requesting. They have to give teachers time to respond to any and all requests. There are some HES teachers who are religious and can't answer emails at all during certain times. It should be taken into account that HES teachers work during the day and not during the night.

Ms. Kaufman said that HES teachers don’t have to respond to emails after the workday. Emails only have to be opened during the workday. HES teachers don't have to do work at home after work hours have ended. HES supervisors may send emails at night sometimes because they are in the field all day long, but HES teachers do not have to open those emails at night. They can open them during the school day.

Budget concerns

Ms. Cortez asked about the budget and whether there is any extra money for laptops for HES teachers to work with their students.

Ms. Kaufman said that there is no additional money. The budget has not come out yet. All that has been received is OTPS monies, which are to be used for salaries of teachers, supervisors and audiologists. That budget is almost $15 million, and that is all there is.

Consultation meetings

Ms. Cortez said that people are still asking about what actions have been taken as a result of the consultation meetings.

Ms. Kaufman said she has followed up on RSAs. Charter school students will not be RSA-ed anymore. All HES supervisors are also working on getting the RSA back to HES providers. If you know of any RSA students, please let your HES supervisor know. A new RSA list came out on April 15. HES providers can now go into nonsectarian private schools. If you want to put your name on the list to be an RSA provider, you must follow the application procedure to be considered.

A regional audiologist in Manhattan has still not been appointed. Ms. Kaufman is trying to get an audiologist there.

New HES supervisor

Ms. Cortez asked about getting a new HES supervisor now that Ms. Rose Kolb is retiring.

Ms. Kaufman said there will be a new HES supervisor appointed this September to replace Rosemary Kolb who is retiring in June.

This consultation meeting is the final one for this school year.

Thank you for all your help and support.

Related Topics: Chapter News