Date: Wednesday, May 31
Time: 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Location: 400 First Ave., 5th floor, Manhattan
In attendance: Helen Kaufman, assistant superintendent, Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES chapter leader, Janet Palumbo-Katz, Staten Island HES/RSP and UFT delegate, Noel Lehrer, Brooklyn East HES/RSP and UFT delegate and Natasha Seaton, Manhattan self-contained class teacher and note taker.
Can HES providers make recommendations for HES student placement in middle and high schools?
Mr. Lehrer asked about school placement recommendations for HES students when they move up to middle and high school programs. When they have spots available, HES teachers provide recommendations to schools that work well for our students. Students are not always selected for these schools, even when they have open spots.
Ms. Kaufman responded that we do not have control over this issue. There is an application process for middle school and high school students in New York City that all students must follow.
TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT AND APPROVAL CERTIFICATION (TRAC)
Ms. Cortez asked about TRAC payments.
Ms. Kaufman stated that Ms. Kolb completed all the pending TRAC requests on May 30. Everyone has been paid for TRAC. She checked all the payments today. It was stated that some teachers had been delayed in payments. She said that was true, but everyone has now been paid.
Ms. Kaufman said if you follow the system, you will be paid. Everyone will be paid if they submit the request correctly and it is accepted by the HES supervisors.
NEW DOE PARKING PERMITS
Ms. Cortez wanted to clarify the current parking permit situation. She was told by the UFT that HES will continue to have the same number of DOT permits as last year. These DOT parking permits allow you to park on the street, not just in school parking spots. The DOT parking permits will continue to be distributed in the same way they have been distributed in the past. Additionally, all teachers who have a car and want a DOE parking permit will be allowed a DOE permit. These new DOE permits will let you park only in a DOE school parking spot. These spots are first come, first served. The new DOE parking permits will come to HES.
Can we have preparation periods during the first and last periods on our schedule?
Ms. Cortez said nowhere in the contract is it stated that we cannot take preparation periods during first or last period. Therefore, the teachers’ handbook should not state that.
It is difficult to schedule students in the first period because they are in ELA blocks. It is also difficult to schedule students in the last period because many of them take the bus. HES providers should be allowed to take preparation periods the first or the last period.
Ms. Kaufman asserted that we need to maximize the amount of time children are in school. If you must schedule your preparation period during the first or last period slot, you must speak with your HES supervisors.
Ms. Kaufman also said she would follow up with the supervisors in their next meeting on June 1.
AUDIOLOGISTS FOR COMMITTEES ON SPECIAL EDUCATION
Ms. Cortez asked about audiologists for Committees on Special Education.
Ms. Kaufman explained that they are on a teacher line. She also said they will hire an audiologist.
In the past, many audiologists completed their undergraduate degree in speech and could be hired on the teacher line. The requirements have now changed for speech. The DOE can now hire on the DC-37 line for audiologists, but they are 12 month, 8-hour work day employees.
Ms. Kaufman said the UFT should speak to Louise Kanian, the person who hires audiologists for CSE. Ms. Cortez will follow up.
Ms. Cortez asked about the Chromebooks. She asked when we will receive them.
Ms. Kaufman said the Chromebooks have arrived, but there were issues in creating domains because the Chromebooks will not be tied to one school. Before the end of the year, teachers will be allowed to pick up their Chromebooks and will receive a brief training. Teachers must come to the HES office to pick up the Chromebooks. Teachers will then sign for their Chromebooks. We are waiting for the company to schedule a time to do this.
Ms. Cortez asked about the curriculum for HES teachers. PS 148 in Queens and PS 33 in Manhattan have ordered an ELA curriculum.
Ms. Kaufman said we will wait to see what arrives. She is also interested in what is used and what orders are placed for other self-contained classrooms in each of the boroughs.
Ms. Cortez stated that some HES teachers do not want to use the money raised from the Walk4Hearing to pay for speakers. They want the money to be used differently. They suggested that the $560 could be used for school supplies for the related service providers.
Ms. Kaufman said the HES budget is very small and specific. If HES providers do not want to pay for speakers for the two professional development meetings we have every year, HES providers will have to present. She said she had recently completed tenure interviews and found that we have many teachers doing wonderful things with our hearing-impaired students.