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Team High School Newsletter March 2014

News Stories

Engage...this is your union!

We are finally in contract negotiations. As we work to negotiate the best contract for all of our members, we’d like to communicate the need for every member to play an active role in our union. Whether you are a first-year educator interested in learning more about tenure and licensing or a veteran educator who would like to reduce paperwork to make more room for real teaching and learning, know that the best way to ensure our collective well-being is when we all work together toward a common goal. Please contact us to discuss ways to get involved!

We are working hard to come to a fair contract before the end of this school year that honors the great work we all do. We see it as most vital that our benefits, working conditions and evaluation system are commensurate with the professionalism that educators like you bring to New York City’s 500-plus high schools every day.

In solidarity,

Janella Hinds, Vice President of Academic High Schools
Sterling Roberson, Vice President of Career and Technical Education High Schools

Utilize your union in evaluation

A UFT end-of-year guide to the teacher evaluation system has been shipped to schools starting today.

This is the first — and we hope the last — guide to ending a school year under this particular teacher evaluation system. As you know, the UFT is currently in talks with the city.

The guide, called Summing it up: an end-of-year guide to the new teacher evaluation & development system, includes a timeline and information on summative conferences, artifacts, professional records, ratings and how student assessment results will figure into evaluations.

You will also be able to find the guide and additional information on the evaluation system at

Contact your union if you want any assistance preparing for your summative conference, have specific questions or concerns regarding evaluation or would like a UFT staff member to visit your school to help ensure the evaluation system is implemented fairly.

SBO guidance

Spring is the time when your school’s chapter can submit proposed school-based options (SBOs), which allow UFT members at each school the flexibility to collaboratively change articles in our contract or to create positions that the contract does not automatically allow for. 

Remember that these are to be submitted by your chapter, not the school’s administration, to enact slight changes that will better serve your school, staff and students. You can find more information about SBOs on the UFT website here. Possible SBOs include allowing for block scheduling, using the 37.5 minutes for educator-led common planning and allowing for the early release of students one day a week to focus on educator-led planning and preparation.

Is your school Organized?

Does your school have a UFT delegate and UFT paraprofessional representative? Do you and fellow members at your school want to create compensatory time positions for nonteaching assignments? Contact your union to discuss the many ways to organize the UFT chapter at your school and learn the chapter election procedures for holding a vote.

Survey about the use of online grading programs

Thanks to the more than 1,500 of you who have responded to our survey about the use of online grading programs. If you haven’t completed this very brief survey yet, please do so now. Your responses will help to inform policy recommendations from the Team High Schools Online Grading Committee.

Sign up now for spring high school workshops!

Looking for ways to improve your pedagogy, sharpen your technological skills or learn more about the latest trends in education? The UFT offers a number of workshops to help you to improve your game. Workshops take place at 52 Broadway and are open to all UFT members. You must be logged into the UFT website to view courses and workshops.

High school questions or concerns?

Contact the UFT Team High School with questions or concerns or to request that Janella Hinds, Sterling Roberson or Anthony Klug visit your school to discuss questions, concerns or ideas you may have and to work together to further our profession and schools.

UFT Team High School citywide meetings

You are invited to meetings of the academic high school and career and technical high school committees. These meetings are designed to help members get information pertinent to our high schools. They are also a great opportunity to connect, converse and even debate with colleagues the myriad issues affecting our schools and students. Please attend and invite other members from your schools. Food and refreshments are always provided. You can find the dates, times and locations of our committee meetings here.

1st annual 5K family run

Join fellow UFT members as we jog, walk or run on Coney Island. All proceeds of this fundraiser will go to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund, which is used to help UFT members and for contributions to relief operations following natural disasters. The fund has contributed thousands of dollars following disasters in Haiti, Japan, the Philippines and our own area in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. You can run or walk as an individual or as part of a school or team. You or your school are also welcome to participate under Team High School. There will be complimentary water, snacks and giveaways for each race participant as well as raffle prizes. Register or find more information here.

Share your successes!

Is your school a positive, collaborative and trusting environment where educators and students are truly supported? Is there a harmonious relationship between educators and administration? Are there any successes your consultation committee has achieved? Is the new teacher evaluation system being used at your school to develop, not punish educators? Please share the successes of the UFT membership at your school, and we will select some successes each month in this newsletter and on the Team High School webpage on

Quote of the Month:

“I am not young enough to know everything.”

Oscar Wilde

What’s the SAT got to do with it?

Did you see this interesting op-ed in the New York Times asserting what many educators have long known, that the SAT is an imperfect measure of ability, learning or how a student will perform at college?

Making the case for necessary CTE funding

Vice President of Career and Technical High Schools Sterling Roberson (center) with CTE Educators Alexander Bell and Robert Martinez (right) and UFT Educational Liaison Jeffrey Bernstein and industry partner Kimberly Johnson of LearnKey speak to Veronica Duron, legislative assistant to Senator Charles Schumer, about the importance of securing increased funding for career and technical education in Washington D.C.

Spring Conference

Save the date! Join us for our Annual Spring Education Conference on April 26. Breakfast will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m. Featuring panels and workshops, exhibits, gala luncheon and the presentation of the John Dewey Award. Chancellor Carmen Fariña is the Town Hall featured speaker. Register online!

Answer and win UFT schwag!

Which NYC high school lists among its notable graduates U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) along with Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg? The first person to answer correctly to will win a prize.

Related Topics: CTE