Consultation was done by phone. The following people were on the conference call: Kerri Evangelista, OT/PT(UFT), Mike Sill (UFT), Suzanne Sanchez (DOE), Darnell Young (DOE), and Alison Karty (DOE).
The agenda was as follows:
- Hiring Halls
- Staff Updates
- Pilot Programs
- Chromebooks of therapists who leave DOE
- Evaluation Process
- Paperwork Reduction Items
- Professional Development Conference
Kerri Evangelista opened the meeting by asking about hiring halls. She asked how many therapists were hired at the last hiring hall, and when the next one would be. Darnell Young replied that 20 to 25 therapists were hired at the last hiring hall. The next hiring hall will be in February. The DOE is looking for space. As soon as they secure space, they will let us know when and where the next hiring hall will take place.
Suzanne Sanchez mentioned that Carlo Vialu, the director of PT, had resigned from the DOE. The position will be posted as early as next week. Until the posting is filled, Alison Karty will temporarily fill the position.
Kerri asked about two therapy supervisors who were retiring. The DOE said that they would send an updated list of supervisors and their assignment locations.
Kerri asked which pilot programs OT/PT members are involved with. Alison mentioned the Integrated Mentorship Program. Two members are working in that program, which means they go to schools and help new therapists with therapy related to movement. Both members have had these positions for about five years. Kerri asked about Ready-to-Learn. Suzanne Sanchez responded that Ready-to-Learn is run by District 75 and is school-based. She said the DOE Office of OT/PT asks that all therapists at schools that are running Ready-to-Learn be allowed to participate. The other programs are SIT, Evaluators and CAT; one OT/PT works with Helen Kaufman to locate unused equipment.
Kerri suggested when employees with Chromebooks leave the DOE, the department should collect them and provide them to therapists who still do not have one. Suzanne Sanchez responded by saying that, through the SESIS agreement, all OT/PT members who do not have a Chromebook will receive one. Anyone who does not have a Chromebook should reach out to Kerri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerri repeated, as she has in previous consultations, the need for guidelines about who has to do evaluations and who can have an evaluator sent to their schools. Suzanne agreed to send something in writing to supervisors, which explains if a therapist is working two days or less, they should get an evaluator. Also, if people are working three days or more, but their schedule prevents them from completing evaluations, the therapist should contact their supervisor. If that doesn’t help, they should contact Kerri and she can raise each individual case with the DOE.
Kerri raised the issue that the Student Caseload Form and the Students to be Contracted Out Form contained fields for information already available in SESIS and is therefore duplicative. Suzanne Sanchez agreed to redraft the forms so as not to include the duplicative information.
Kerri raised alarming examples of situations in which people are unfairly denied PD. Kerri informed the DOE personnel on the call that members would start grieving if they are unfairly denied time to attend PD. The DOE responded that they understand, but sometimes after learning more about a course that was previously approved, DOE officials withdraw their approval.