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Team High School Newsletter - May 2015

News Stories

Earlier this month, the UFT leadership team attended a learning summit on teacher evaluation in Albany. We met with members of the New York State Board of Regents, state education officials and lawmakers to voice your concerns and work toward getting an evaluation system that is fair and supports and nurtures our work as public school educators. 

Amid the daily challenges we each face and meet in our high schools, we also work collectively to address broad challenges facing our student populations, our schools and our profession. 

Together, we are pushing back against many of Gov. Cuomo’s destructive proposals that are aimed to quash public education. Although our fight is far from over, we should take a moment to reflect on our success so far. We must continue to ask what more we can do to protect our profession, strengthen our voices and improve our schools. We encourage you to come to chapter meetings and your union hall where we continually find strength in harmony.

It is an honor and privilege to stand with you, our colleagues.

Thanks for the crucial work you do as part of our Team High School.

In solidarity,

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

High school stars shining bright

UFT Academic High School Awards

President Michael Mulgrew and Academic High Schools Vice President Janella Hinds with the honorees from the 2015 Academic High School Awards Reception.


UFT Academic High School Awards

UFT members at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Astoria accept the Team High School Award celebrating their chapter’s organization, collaboration and development of a positive school culture and voice.

Bronx HS activists lobby!

Bronx High School chapter leaders lobby

Bronx High School chapter leaders were among those UFT members who met in Albany with members of the New York State Senate and the Assembly to lobby against Gov. Cuomo’s ruinous proposals for public education and for increased funding and support for New York City public schools.

Now is the time to enact school-based options (SBOs)

Spring is the time when your school’s chapter can propose school-based options (SBOs), which give schools the flexibility to collaboratively modify articles in our contract or to create new compensatory time positions not automatically allowed for in the contract.

Popular SBOs at high schools include: repurposing time within the school day (including for professional development, parent engagement and professional work); restructuring instructional time through early release of students for multi-session high schools, block scheduling and the creation of compensatory time positions; rearranging parent-teacher conferences and additional nonattendance days for PD; and adding professional activities not on a school’s current menu of options.

Remember that SBOs are to be submitted by your chapter, not your school’s administration, to enact modifications that will better serve your school, staff and students. You can find more information about SBOs on the UFT website.

Student surveys will be piloted in schools in May and June

Under the terms of the contract we ratified last June, all schools will pilot the Tripod Student Survey this year in May and June except those that participated in a smaller survey pilot earlier in the year. Students in grades 3-12 will take part with different versions of the survey for grades 3-5 and grades 6-12. We have reached out to the DOE about the loss of instructional time and look forward to their response. Your school should have designated survey coordinators who have been trained in survey administration. Materials about the surveys are posted on the DOE Advance intranet page. If you have questions about student surveys, contact Michael Sill at

Schoolwide actions a success

William E. Grady High School rally

UFT members at William E. Grady High School in Brooklyn were among thousands who rallied at hundreds of schools on March 12 to protect their school and all public schools.

Program preference sheets, professional activities and compensatory time positions

All teachers in your school must receive preference sheets. It is vital to ensure through consultation meetings and budget conversations that the preference sheets reflect your school’s offerings in the fall. Use the consultation meeting to determine the type and number of circular 6 or professional activities that will be offered. As always contact your union with questions, concerns or assistance in navigating this process.

UFT officers protecting public education

Sterling Roberson

UFT Vice President for Career and Technical Education Sterling Roberson spoke at a press conference with City Council members and community and parent advocates on the need to protect public education.

Team High School is on Twitter

Follow @UFTTeamHS on Twitter.

Summer Opportunity for Your Students: Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy

The Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy is a two-week summer leadership academy held at Princeton University for minority girls entering grades 10, 11 or 12. Students selected for the academy participate in activities which aim to enhance leadership skills, increase academic achievement and motivation; build confidence; teach how to navigate important exams; and improve skills in essay writing and critical reading.

For more information on the program and the application process, visit the At the Well Conferences website or call 1-646-592-1488.

Success Via Apprenticeship celebrates 30 years

The UFT this year celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the Success Via Apprenticeship program, which serves to increase the number of certified teachers of career and technical education and technology education. Please contact Team High School with any questions regarding this program or if you want to know more about how to become CTE-certified or how to establish or bolster CTE programs in your school.

Play soccer with fellow UFTers

Join your fellow educators in “the beautiful game” during the co-ed winter league at Pier 40 in Manhattan. Our ability to form a team is contingent upon interest, so please consider joining and encourage your colleagues! Please contact Team High School at or 1-212-598-9217 if you are interested or would like more information.

Register now for the Spring Conference

Every spring, the UFT holds its Spring Education Conference to celebrate, nurture and inspire our work as public school educators. This year's conference on Saturday, May 30 will feature great workshops, informative exhibits and the opportunity for you to network with colleagues. We hope you will join us.

When: Saturday, May 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: New York Hilton Midtown at 1335 Avenue of the Americas. Directions »

Register using this coupon »

Showcase your CTE Program at the Spring Education Conference

Showcase your school’s CTE programs during this year’s spring conference on May 30, where thousands of educators, parents, students and industry partners will gather. Contact Jeffrey Bernstein for more information.

Express your opinions through your union

Contact your union if you would like to share your thoughts and opinions on being a public school educator and union member. The UFT’s editorial online publication Edwize is currently seeking submissions. Currently, you can read UFT member John McCrann’s piece on the Common Core and the over-emphasis on standardized tests and Paula Washington’s comments on lobbying her state legislature to protect public education.

Get involved in the Association for Career and Technical Education

Congratulations to Alex Bell, CTE teacher at Thomas Edison High School, for being recognized by the Association for Career and Technical Education in Region I as one of the finalists for the ACTE Teacher of the year. We all know it is important to keep up with industry trends and network with other educators. Joining the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is a way to do this: You can further your professional development and build your career while supporting important advocacy for career and technical education programs. The cost of professional membership is $80. For more information about ACTE, please contact your union.

Sign up to become a member now  »

Exercise your voice at UFT Team High School citywide meetings

You are invited to meetings of the Academic High School and Career and Technical Education High School committees. We hope to see you at the next academic HS meeting on Wednesday, June 17 at 52 Broadway. Take this important opportunity to share information pertinent to our high schools!

Citywide Academic HS meeting

ORGANIZING FOR POWER — UFT members at a citywide academic HS meeting get trained on utilizing Google Drive to organize their chapters and aid in instructional practice.

See future HS meeting dates and times »

Advance at a Glance now available

The DOE has released its latest version of Advance at a Glance, a newsletter for teachers that highlights key dates and deadlines in this year’s teacher evaluation system. Please encourage your teachers to use Advance at a Glance to guide them through the rights and responsibilities of the evaluation process. You can access Advance at a Glance on the UFT website.