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Instructional issues

Social-emotional screening

Read the UFT-DOE agreement on social-emotional screening for the fall of 2021

I have been assigned to screen my students using the DESSA social-emotional screening tool. How much time will I receive to complete this work? 

School-based staff members will be given four hours to complete the screening for one class, not to exceed 34 students. Staff members will also receive a 50-minute period for related training. 

Will I be able to work on the SEL screeners during my regular workday? 

Yes, this agreement carves out designated time during the school day when you can do this work. There are several options depending on how your school day and time are structured:

Option 1: In schools that use an 80/75-minute model or other 155-minute reconfiguration for professional development, parent engagement and Other Professional Work (OPW), screeners may use a combination of this extended time.

Option 2: In schools that have an SBO and use a 150-minute-per-week model when students are not in attendance, screeners may use a combination of professional development, common planning, Other Professional Work, and/or parent engagement time.

Option 3 for multi-session high schools only: Screeners may use a combination of professional development, Circular 6, faculty and department conference time. In lieu of completing this work during Circular 6 assignments, screeners who prefer to be paid per session to complete this work should not be denied.

The screener should submit the schedule of this time to their administrator for approval, which cannot be unreasonably denied. 

If I prefer, can I do this work after school hours and be paid per session?

If a staff member prefers and the principal agrees, per session can be paid to complete the screenings and the related PD outside school hours.

Am I able to complete the screeners at home

For all of the above options, including per session, the screener can choose to do this work off school grounds. 

I already started to work on these screeners. Does this agreement benefit me? 

If you have already begun or completed this work, you must be given an equal amount of self-directed time, off school grounds if you choose, during the same periods of time as outlined to complete screeners in this agreement. 

When will staff members identified as SEL leads be able to complete their work?

For school counselors and other UFT members who have been identified as Social Emotional Learning leads within their school, the UFT negotiated the following:

  • SEL leads may work remotely on Election Day and complete the first five hours of required training and begin the screening process for their own caseload of students.
  • The DOE will allocate 20 hours of per-session pay for each SEL lead to complete the 13 hours of training plus answer screeners’ questions.
  • In the rare circumstance that a SEL lead is unable to complete some or all of the required work, the lead will inform their direct supervisor and the work may be redistributed.

When do I have to have the SEL screeners for all my students done? 

SEL screenings should be completed by Saturday, Dec. 4. 

What recourse do I have if my administration does not honor this agreement? 

Ask your chapter leader to file an operational issues complaint if your principal violates this agreement or call the union at 212-331-6311.

 

Remote instruction

Read the UFT-DOE agreement on remote instruction for the 2021-22 school year

Do teachers and related service providers need to create digital classrooms this year? 

Yes, for times when classrooms may be closed due to positive COVID-19 cases, and all or some of your students may be required to quarantine. 

Teachers and related service providers were provided a window from Sept. 9 to Oct. 1 to create and set up a digital classroom and will be paid $225 for this initial set up time. The initial set up should include materials required for the first day of an emergency closure.

Going forward, when more than half of your students are reprogrammed, teachers and related service providers will be paid an additional four hours at the per-session rate to recreate your digital classroom. 

When would teachers and related service providers be required to use their digital classrooms?

Digital classrooms will be in use when:

  • Conducting remote Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Conducting synchronous instruction on snow days or during whole class or whole school closures (either health or emergency related)
  • Conducting asynchronous instruction on Election Day
  • Conducting asynchronous instruction for partial class closures due to quarantining students
  • Conducting synchronous instruction if the teacher/provider has to quarantine and is able to work remotely

You are not required to upload any additional content to your digital classroom more than 24 hours prior to an emergency closure. 

When are we not required to use our digital classrooms?

Digital classrooms cannot be mandated for:

  • Regular instruction for absent students not related to a quarantine
  • Newsletter or ongoing family communications
  • Uploading or collecting lesson plans

If my entire class is quarantined and goes remote, will instruction happen synchronously or asynchronously?

In the case of a full class or whole school closure, the teacher/provider will conduct synchronous online instruction. 

What if some of my students are quarantined but others are not required to? 

Teachers and related service providers who are not directed to quarantine themselves will engage quarantined students via remote asynchronous instruction and be available for office hours. Students not required to quarantine will be taught in person.

What work and communication will I need to provide to students during office hours? 

Office Hours may consist of: 

  • Posting asynchronous assignments
  • Individual or small group synchronous instruction, support or tutoring to students who are quarantining
  • Emailing or checking in on assignments with quarantining students 

A minimum of one to two office hours must be provided per week of a partial class closure to quarantining students and will be compensated at the per-session rate. Middle and high school staff will also receive one additional hour of per-session pay per additional course taught (not section). You may request additional hours based on your workload. 

When will office hours occur and how will I keep records of this time?

Office hours will be conducted at the teacher/service provider’s discretion and can occur: 

  • During the school day as paid preparation or lunch periods
  • After school hours paid at the per session rate at a time decided by the teacher/provider and subject to supervisory approval
  • Time keeping procedures must be followed to record the time worked

If all of my students are quarantined and working remotely from home, must I report to my school building? 

If all students on your caseload are remote and your building has not been closed, you may provide synchronous digital instruction to students remotely as well, unless your supervisor tells you with reasonable advance notice that you must remain on site. 

Can my supervisor observe me while teaching in a digital classroom format? 

Any supervisor may observe your teaching at any time, whether in person or online. However, no evaluative observations may be conducted on the first day of an emergency closure and 24-hour notice must be given for any observation in a digital classroom that will be used for evaluation purposes. 

What recourse do I have if my supervisor does not follow the guidelines in this agreement? 

Any issue related to pay for remote work can be settled through the DOE-UFT regular grievance process. Other issues should follow the operational issues process.