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Team High School Newsletter - October 2015

As the air gets brisker and the days shorter, we settle into the fall semester with our students. We hope that class sizes have been equalized, that classes are going well for you and that the energy in your schools is vibrant and positive.

Now that we are in the second month of the school year, it’s time to collaborate. It’s time to collaborate with our students as they take greater responsibility for their learning processes; with parents, guardians and our communities as partners in the education of the young people in our schools; and with administrators in creating a school environment based on respect, shared goals and achievement. And it’s time to collaborate with each other to raise our voices and protect our rights.

We are a collective of compassionate, wise and courageous professionals and through our work, we continue to move our students and our school communities forward.

We must stand together as we work to overcome the challenges we face in our schools. And as unionists and activists, we will succeed!

Thank you for all 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


Photo of the Month

UFT Vice President for Academic High School speaks to New York State legislature

UFT Vice President for Academic High Schools Janella Hinds testifies at a public hearing in Albany about the state receivership law.

At a public hearing in Albany on the state’s new receivership plan for struggling schools, UFT Vice President for Academic High School Janella Hinds declared the UFT’s firm opposition, calling it a “heavy-handed action” that does nothing to improve the quality of instruction and support for children facing the greatest challenges.“Where the scores are lowest, the challenges are also the highest,” Hinds noted in her Oct. 14 testimony before the State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education. She described receivership as a failed strategy that does not address the root problems of poverty, homelessness, learning disabilities and lack of English proficiency. Instead, she said, receivership is really about neutralizing the union and giving management a freer hand to terminate teachers.  “There’s a desire to privatize public schools and to nullify collective-bargaining agreements,” she said. “So that’s our frustration — this ultimately isn’t about making education better for these children.”

Read Janella’s full testimony on UFT.org »


Exercise your voice at UFT Team High School citywide meetings

Every month, educators from academic and CTE high schools convene to discuss issues about our union, profession, schools and students. Our conversations will cover national and state issues that have an impact on our union and our schools. We will also share information and updates pertinent to high schools. We hope you will join us at these upcoming meetings.

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28
  • Time: 4:15–6:15 p.m.
  • Location: UFT Staten Island borough office, 4456 Amboy Road Directions »
  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 5
  • Time: 4:15–6:15 p.m.
  • Location: UFT Bronx borough office, 2500 Halsey St. Directions »

Build a Better School Contest Winners

Sterling Roberson stands with Build a Better School Contest winners

Sterling Roberson presents a check to students and teachers from Research and Service HS, one of the winners of the Build a Better School Contest. This event was held on Sept. 22 at UFT headquarters.

How would you build a better school? UFT Vice President for Career and Technical Education Sterling Roberson headed a contest that asked students to submit a three-minute video describing a project they would undertake to improve their schools — if they had the funds. Congrats to the students and teachers at Research and Service HS in Brooklyn, who will use their award to create a food pantry to support their community in the fight against hunger.


Election Day PD

The UFT Association of Teachers of Social Studies is hosting an Election Day PD on Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. at the National Archives, 1 Bowling Green in Manhattan. This professional development opportunity is open to all members. The topic will be “Using Student Diversity and Multiple Perspectives as a Teaching Resource.” A workshop on teaching social justice and human rights will also be offered.

Register online now »


Nominate a colleague for an outstanding CTE teacher award

Help us shine a spotlight on the great work done by our CTE teachers! Please take a moment to nominate a colleague for an Outstanding Career and Technical Education Award. The winners will be honored at our upcoming CTE Awards Ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. The deadline to submit your nomination is Wednesday, Dec. 16. For more information, contact Elizabeth Cardona-Diaz at 212-598-9290.  

Make a nomination now »


Nominate a colleague for a Team High School Award

Our second annual Team High School Awards Ceremony will be on Friday, April 15, 2016. This event is a great opportunity to honor those who are going above and beyond to connect with students, communities and the union. Please take a few minutes to nominate a colleague, community member or your school for the UFT Academic High School Awards. Nominations are due on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Read descriptions of each award category »

Make a nomination now »


Team High School educators are Hometown Heroes!

UFT Vice President for Academic High Schools Janella Hinds with some of the educators honored as Hometown Heroes by the New York Daily News.

Congratulations to four proud award winners who were recently honored as Hometown Herores in Education by the New York Daily News! The winners include Theresa Kutza, a teacher at New Dorp HS in Staten Island; Abeda Khanam, a teacher at Robert Wagner Secondary School of Technology in Queens; Mariela Regalado, the director of college counseling with the College Bound Initiative at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn; and Rockeia Graham, a teacher at Excelsior Prep HS in Queens. The celebration was held on Oct. 1.


Tell us your thoughts on professional development

We have voice in determining how professional development is determined, delivered and assessed at our schools. Please let us know what ideas and resources you would you like to see from your union regarding professional learning opportunities by sending your feedback to Teamhighschool@uft.org. This feedback will help guide our planning for future PD topics and workshops.


Join the High School Electronic Media Committee

High school teachers are aware of the increasing role of technology in their classrooms. Students are more comfortable with a computer than they are a pen and paper. Teachers and students are increasingly faced with learning new technology and navigating the online world to survive. You are invited to join the High School Electronic Media Committee as we explore ways to confront the challenges and reap the opportunities posed by technology.

For more information, please email Gregg Lundahl at glundahl@uft.org or call 212-598-9217.


Join us for a conversation about athletic programs

Athletics in New York City high schools have changed over the past decade. Physical education teachers and PSAL program coaches are invited to engage in a conversation about the current state and future of athletic programs in our schools. 

Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 4 to raise and discuss issues of importance regarding our students’ physical well-being during and after school. Please contact Team High School at Teamhighschool@uft.org to RSVP.


Calling all math tutors

Are you a high school math teacher interested in tutoring current high school students? Columbia University is offering an opportunity for math teachers to tutor students in grades 7–12 who are interested in honing their arithmetic skills. The courses will be held on Saturday mornings and afternoons at Columbia University Medical Center. For more information and to apply, see the job listing.


Swag time

Please tell us your definition of unionism and what is needed in your school to create a chapter that is positive, supportive, collaborative and a great place for all to work and learn. The first 10 people to send their responses to Teamhighschool@uft.org will receive Team High School swag. Thanks to the many who responded to last month’s question!