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Team High School Newsletter - June 2015

Congrats on reaching the end of another challenging and rewarding school year. The Regents examinations have been scored, and the graduation ceremonies are over. Summertime is here!

This time of year is bittersweet for us. Bitter as some of our friends and colleagues are leaving the profession (sometimes due to negative school cultures and lack of support), pursuing transfers, packing up to leave phase-out schools, or retiring.   

Yet it is also sweet because we have made our classrooms and offices centers for discovery and growth. We have pushed our students to find the greatness that lies within. We have innovated and collaborated to engage our school communities. We have worked together to create and maintain powerful chapters in our schools. Together we have demonstrated the strength of our union by standing shoulder to shoulder to provide the solutions that will make our buildings wonderful places to work and learn.

We look forward to joining you at your school in the fall in the continual work of ensuring our schools are filled with happiness, learning and love. We hope you spend the summer doing everything that you love to do and return to work next fall rested, rejuvenated and ready to return to work.

Thanks for the work you do and enjoy a well-deserved break.

In solidarity,

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

Janella Hinds receives NAACP honor and proclamation from the New York City Council

Vice President of Academic High Schools Janella Hinds stands with UFT Director of Community Affairs Anthony Harmon before accepting the New York State NAACP chapter Freedom Fund Award and a proclamation from the New York City Council for efforts in serving the working people of New York City.

Janella Hinds elected secretary-treasurer of the New York City Central Labor Council

Janella was re-elected as secretary-treasurer of the New York City Central Labor Council, an organization that brings together 1.3 million people from 300 local unions representing every trade and occupation in both the public and private sector of the New York economy to support, advocate and advance the interests of working people across our city and state.

LIC and CHA are removed from state list of priority schools

Congratulations to Long Island City High School and Cambria Heights Academy in Queens which have both been removed from the state’s list of priority schools. 

Renewal schools hard at work

We would like to acknowledge the collaboration, hard work and dedication of the UFT members at the schools that have been designated as Renewal or Out-of-Time schools. Through effort and commitment, these members are marshaling the staff in their buildings to improve their schools. Lehman HS fine arts teacher Rajive Anand made the mural pictured below, which is outside the school’s UFT office, to celebrate the school’s unity and strength through the school renewal process.


Medgar Evers College Prep graduates 39 students with associate degrees

Educators at Medgar Evers College Prep had 39 students graduate with not only a high school diploma but also an associate degree. It typically takes students two years of undergraduate course work to earn an associate degree. But many UFT members working in a host of early college programs in NYC high schools are helping students to earn these college credentials in high school.

Make sure your school consultation committee starts strong in September

Ensure that your school’s UFT consultation committee is organized and prepared to meet next fall. Find out more about the role and responsibilities of the UFT consultation committee by contacting Team High School or your district representative.

Got tentative programs? Two days to file reorganization grievances

By now, all teachers in your school should have received their tentative programs for next year. Note we have two days from receipt of any new program to file a reorganization grievance. Please contact your union if you have not received programs.

New manual available on injury in the line of duty

A newly revised instruction manual and checklist are available to guide pedagogues (not paraprofessionals) should they suffer a work-related injury. The most important procedural change concerns leaves for Injury in the Line of Duty (LODI), which must now be submitted on the Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS). Please work with your school secretary to make sure that pedagogues know that forms OP198 and OP407 are obsolete for LODI and are no longer used to establish leave dates and medical documentation requirements. All information and documentation requirements are now handled by SOLAS. You can share the new LODI procedures with your members. If you have questions, contact Thomas Bennett at the UFT at 1-212-598-7711 or by email at

UFT and AFT taking CTE to the future

Michael Mulgrew and Sterling Roberson (pictured below) along with the UFT and the American Federation of Teachers announced a $500,000 initiative to expand career and technical education in New York City and four other cities, based on a model pioneered here. The AFT plans to create partnerships with school districts, community colleges, city governments and business groups to support the growth of CTE. The UFT’s newest initiative, “National Industry Certification for Educators,” or NICE, will provide educators with access to courses designed by industry partners so that they can earn industry credentials that meet established standards. Four “boot camps” will launch this summer to certify 100 teachers in graphic arts, automotive technology, educational technology and information technology. Those teachers will then share what they learned with their colleagues in an effort to create a cadre of industry-trained instructors. UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson and past VP Frank Carucci helped lay the groundwork for the program.


Remove old file letters

Any negative letter dated before June 25, 2012 should be removed. See articles in the agreements for respective UFT titles regarding removing letters to file here: Secretaries: 16A3, 16A4, 16A6; Guidance Counselors: 15A3, 15A4, 15A6; Social Workers/Psychologists: 15A3, 15A4, 15A6; Lab Specialists/Lab Technicians: 15A3, 15A4, 15A6; Attendance Teachers: 15A3, 15A4, 15A6; and Paraprofessionals: 24A.

If a delegate builds it, students will litigate!

UFT delegate Angelo Caterina and students at New Dorp HS in Staten Island built a mock courtroom to create a space for future attorneys and legal professionals to learn and master their craft.


You are invited: free social justice seminar at the UFT this summer

Learn how to teach your students about human rights and social justice at a Speak Truth to Power summer workshop on Aug. 18-20 sponsored by the UFT and Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Participants will receive a free social justice curriculum and learn how to teach students to create a short documentary about human rights and social justice for entrance in the annual Speak Truth to Power student video contest. Email if interested in attending or to have someone from the UFT or the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights visit your classroom or school.

For students:

Drama summer camp opportunity

The nonprofit Speak Truth to Power is offering an exciting free summer opportunity for all high school students interested in theater and drama. Participants will explore social change and human rights through performing the play “Speak Truth to Power” by Ariel Dorfman based on Kerry Kennedy’s interviews with over fifty human rights activists from around the world. Teens will also learn about theater for social change as well as improvisation and playwriting. There will be a host of guest speakers and much more!

The program runs from Aug. 3–7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Anyone interested should email

LaGuardia Community College focus summer program

Students entering the 12th grade who are in need of either ELA or math help to prepare for CUNY assessment tests (and avoid remedial classes) can take advantage of a free college-focus summer program at LaGuardia Community College from July 13 to Aug. 13.

Students may find an application here or may call 1-718-482-5409 for more information.

Propaganda and the arts

The Japan Society is happy to announce our high school summer workshop Call of Duty: Propaganda & the Arts on Aug. 17–20. We believe your current and former students at the high school level with an interest in history and art will enjoy the workshop. 

Related Topics: Chapter News