As this school year winds down, I hope that you are looking forward to a wonderful summer with some time to relax, recuperate and refresh. During the school year, sometimes we may find ourselves overwhelmed by our many responsibilities. At all times, but especially then, we must keep focused on our primary identity as members of the mental and behavioral health chapter.
We had a great response to the training offered this past year. I aspire to maintain our professional and clinical standards. We often have to be responsible for ourselves in obtaining professional development. I encourage all of you to peer supervise each other and network amongst yourselves, especially those who are newer to the job. I look forward to offering you interesting and exciting professional development opportunities in 2017–18.
While many of us are looking forward to the summer break, the union is already gearing up for a tough fight next fall to mobilize against a state constitutional convention. As you probably know by now, every 20 years, the state must ask voters whether they wish to hold a constitutional convention to amend the state constitution. It’s a question with extremely high stakes for city teachers and other public employees because a constitutional convention could open the door to attacks on a range of rights and benefits now enshrined in the state constitution. As they have in the past, we hope voters will reject it. Please read more about it in this New York Teacher Q&A. And please, tell your family and friends to vote “no” on Nov. 7.
Enjoy your summer break.
Social Workers & Psychologists Chapter Leader
Deadline to apply for per session is June 12
If you are interested in applying for per session this summer or for the 2017–18 school year, the deadline is this Monday, June 12.
There are three five-hour sessions to choose from in the summer and there is also an option for you to serve on a substitute basis only. The summer work schedule will be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For the upcoming 2017–18 school year, there are five sessions from which to choose, including hours during winter, mid-winter and spring recess.
Parking permits for school-based employees
The UFT recently informed members of the DOE’s plan to distribute new parking permits. The first distribution was to schools. Only schools that currently receive permits and have DOE-posted parking signs will receive permits for all staff. School-based support team/related service providers are eligible to receive these placards. Non-school based clinicians who travel to schools will be eligible for itinerant parking permits, but these have not yet been distributed.
We will update you as soon as we have more information. Please note: The number of parking spaces at each school has not changed nor have parking regulations. Parking with these permits is on a first-come, first-served basis.
DOE policy on recommendations for students to attend non-public schools or special classes in D-75 schools
For clinicians on school-based support teams: The DOE has implemented a new policy regarding consultation requirements before the clinician makes a recommendation for a non-public school or a special class in a specialized school (D-75).
You only are required to have a consultation for a non-public school (NPS) placement or a D-75 recommendation. Many of you have told me that you have been asked for consultations on less restrictive options such as one-to-one paraprofessionals and for student placement in special classes in community schools.
A consultation for a NPS placement or D-75 recommendation is just that: a consultation. You have the consultation and then you proceed as you see fit. I have been advising all clinicians, and DOE managers concur, that consultation recommendations are not directives.
The supervisor’s approval or disagreement is only advice; the IEP team determines recommendations for services.
After consulting with a supervisor on a NPS placement, if that supervisor refuses to certify the case in SESIS so it can proceed, please email the supervisor. Explain to the supervisor the reason the case should proceed and explain why some of the required documents that provide support for the recommendation may be missing. Please cc: me at email@example.com, in your correspondence with the supervisor.
If, during an IEP meeting, a NPS placement or D-75 recommendation comes up but you have not had a consultation with your supervisor, you can always consult with your supervisor after the meeting. You may, however, need to schedule a second meeting to meet the directive requirements.
Last note: Make sure you document the status of your cases in SESIS events.
School psychologist compliance issues
For school psychologists: As your contract with the city states, you are not solely responsible for compliance. No one in the DOE should make you "feel" that the burden of compliance is on your shoulders.
To ensure you are fulfilling your responsibilities with regard to compliance, please make sure that you:
- Keep a record of all students you've evaluated for the year in your monthly case management plan and add any students you anticipate on working with for the month.
- Complete a request for assistance (RFAs) if you anticipate any difficulty meeting compliance with cases in the upcoming month.
- Perform duties that are clinically appropriate and follow due process rules and procedures.
If you are following all these guidelines and are still experiencing issues, you can file a workload dispute and, possibly, a grievance.
If the compliance issue escalates, you may also be able to file a special complaint of harassment given substantiated evidence. If you have a "U" rating due to noncompliance, you must file a grievance immediately as well as file for a "U" rating appeal. The grievance can be filed by your school chapter leader, by me or at your UFT borough office. You can appeal a rating at the borough office as well.
Tenure: For recent hires
If you are a new clinician, I'd like to welcome you to the Social Workers and Psychologists Chapter. If you were hired after July 1, 2015, you are eligible for tenure four years after your hire date. (If you were hired before July 1, 2015, you are eligible for tenure three years after your hire date.)
If you are asked to do anything in particular to receive tenure such as develop a portfolio, please contact me and copy your school's chapter leader if you have one. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.