Monday, September 19, 2016

Hours Saved on Evaluations

We made major progress on our bargaining goal to reduce unnecessary paperwork, meetings, and technological impediments so we can focus on instruction. Here’s what we achieved regarding our Danielson evaluation process. It’s in Addendum B-4: Classroom Teacher Evaluation of our new contract (not yet printed). Excerpts are below. The complete Addendum B-4 is available here

You don’t have to prove you are proficient. “The evaluation process presumes that teachers are proficient and evaluators are objective unless evidence suggests otherwise.” (Section 1) 

Evaluators cannot expect or require you to create any evidence you don’t already use in your teaching (except for documenting student growth) unless there is not enough evidence to achieve a proficient rating. “Except for student growth goals and student growth documentation, employees shall not be expected or required to submit any written documents (including responses to prompts, reflections, notes, self-assessments, or other documents) not otherwise used in the course of their typical instruction, unless there is insufficient evidence to achieve a proficient rating. Employees may utilize written prompts or personal notes if they wish, but these optional documents may not be required by their evaluator.” (Section 3.D.4) Note: Even if not formally required, it violates our contract if your evaluator expects you to submit this stuff.
Goal setting conferences: They are NOT about your growth. You cannot be required or expected to complete any prompts or other documents for it. 
  • Focused goal setting conferences are to establish a student growth goals and the teacher’s focus criterion. (Section 6: Goal Setting Conference). Note: You can choose an area of strength for your criterion; your focused rating will be the rating you received on your most recent comprehensive evaluation.
  • Comprehensive goal setting conferences are simply to establish student growth goals. (Section 5: Goal Setting Conference)

Student growth data does NOT have to be test scores or other numerical evidence. It is evidence between any two points in time. It does not need to be for the year or semester. A unit can also be used. (Section 7.B)

You don’t have to use the online eVal system, except to view observations and year end reports. “The use of the District’s online evaluation tool by teachers is optional beyond the establishment of an account, viewing of observation reports, and viewing year-end summary reports.” (Section 3.D.1)

Observations are reduced because they don’t have to be in the classroom. “Evidence of a teacher’s performance may be collected in a non-classroom setting where the teacher is leading or actively participating as a member of the team. These non-classroom activities may include but are not limited to: IEP meetings; leadership team meetings; PLC meetings; staff meetings; SIP visit; school assembly; parent-teacher conference; back to school night/curriculum night/open house;…” (Section 3.D.3)

Your Focused rating is the rating from your most recent Comprehensive evaluation, but it can go up from Proficient to Distinguished. (Section 6: Annual Written Evaluation)

Pre-Observation Conferences are reduced:
  • Comprehensive pre-observation conferences for continuing teachers (except those on probation) are only for their first observation, unless you want and request it for the second observation. (Section 5: Observations)
  • Focused pre-observation conferences may be waived by mutual agreement between the administration and the teacher. (Section 6: Observations)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lead a Professional Practice Group This Year!

NSEA is seeking a lead for each of the following Professional Practice Groups (PPGs) for the 2016-2017 school year.  Leads will be responsible for facilitating regular group meetings throughout the school year, communication to and among group members and communicating with NSEA leadership.  Leads will receive an annual stipend of $300 from NSEA in June, 2017.

Professional Practice Groups
  • Pre-K and K
  • 1st Grade
  • 2nd Grade
  • 3rd Grade
  • 4th Grade
  • 5th Grade
  • 6th Grade
  • Elementary Special Ed
  • Secondary Special Ed
  • English/Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Math
  • Science
  • World Language
  • Business/CTE
  • Library
  • Music
  • Arts
  • PE
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • National Board
  • Pro-Teach
  • OT/PTs
  • SLPs
  • New Teachers
  • Lead colleagues in identifying and meeting professional needs 
  • Regular time for collaboration to discuss teaching and learning strategies, share what works, identify needs, share successes, and develop a deeper understanding around initiatives like Common Core, teacher evaluation, and curriculum changes as needed
  • Inform and advise NSEA of needs and successes
  • Attend two annual meetings with NSEA leadership after school
  • Facilitate at least 3 group meetings throughout the year
  • Communicate meeting logistics with group members and NSEA
  • Facilitate communication among group members outside of meetings
Selection Process
  • If interested, submit your name, the Professional Practice Group for which you would like to be considered as a lead, and the reason why you want to be a lead (500 words or less) to Lydia King ( by Wednesday, September 30, 2016.
  • Names will be submitted to the NSEA Exec Board meeting on October 3, 2016 for consideration. The Exec Board’s recommendations will be submitted to the NSEA Rep Council on October 10, 2016 for final approval.
  • Candidates will be told their status by October 14, 2016.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Contracts Ratified!

By votes of 98% respectively, NSEA's Certificated and Educational Support Professional (ESP) members ratified new contracts at our August 31, 2016 meeting.

Click here to read the tentative agreement overview provided at the meeting. The 2016-2017 school calendar (including the use of Early Release Days) is available here.

For the first time, NSEA bargained both Certificated and ESP contracts at the same table. Contract highlights include:

  • provisions for safer schools for students and staff 
  • more opportunities for full-time positions for ESPs 
  • assistance for large Kindergarten classrooms
  • increased support specifically for music, PE, libraries and special education. 
  • significantly more time for educators, fewer meetings, less paperwork and fewer unnecessary assessments so Northshore educators can focus on teaching students. 
Over the course of the contract, ESPs will get a salary increase of 19.3 percent plus the cost-of-living granted by the state Legislature over four years. Certificated staff will get 10 percent plus COLA over three years, bringing them both a bit closer to the market rate.

“I am very proud of our members’ unity to achieve these groundbreaking contracts. We are grateful for the leadership of Superintendent Reid in crafting an agreement with us that will benefit all of Northshore’s students,” NSEA President Tim Brittell said.

We could not have achieved this gains without your active involvements and commitment to each other. We educate Northshore and we are stronger together.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Be There: Contracts or Strike Vote Meeting

NSEA Contracts Vote Meeting
Wednesday, August 31
5:15 pm

This meeting is open to all certificated and ESP members only.
Certs and ESPs will vote on separate contracts if we have reached tentative agreements.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tentative Agreements Reached!

Your bargaining team is pleased to announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the school district late this evening. We are excited to present details of the TA at the Aug. 31 General Membership Meeting at Bothell High School. Please make sure you attend, listen and vote at the 5:15 p.m. meeting, which will be held in the gym.

Thank you for your presence, hard work and support these last few months. Those of you who attended our meeting in June, and those of you who rallied outside the School District office Monday night, then packed the board room in a sea of red to directly address board members during their regular meeting helped push the discussion at the bargaining table this week.

Our bargaining team felt your energy and support! THANK YOU!

We educate Northshore and we will not be divided!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bargaining Update: Progress Made!

A sub-group of the Cert and ESP bargaining team were at the table today, working to resolve issues and make progress in our negotiations with the district administration. The sub-group is also negotiating on Thursday of this week. We are discussing calendar, paraeducator support for General Ed and Special Ed classes, Special Ed ratios, para training, and ways to attract and retain quality substitutes.

We are happy to report that we had a productive day today.

#1: We have joint bargaining!
Thanks to your commitment to each other, the administration agreed to joint bargaining for Certs and ESPs. We will not be divided, and our collective efforts are working! The Cert and ESP bargaining team members will now be able to negotiate with the administration at the same table. We will negotiate two separate agreements with simultaneous expiration dates.

This is a huge victory for our Certs and ESPs. We work together every day and our professional needs often overlap. Now we will be able to discuss our concerns at the same table, with the same administrators. Thank you to all of you for attending our June Contract or Action Vote meeting and voting to pass the two resolutions, wearing your red “We Educate Northshore” t-shirts, and supporting each other. We have worked together for years to achieve this. 

This is a big step forward for administration and we would like to thank Superintendent Michelle Reid and Deputy Superintendent Carolyn O’Keeffe for their leadership

#2: We have a 2016-2017 calendar!
We have tentatively agreed to the following: 
  • Early Release Days will be on Wednesdays for 2016-2017. The number of I, SDLT, and D Days has not yet been negotiated. 
  • Non-student days before the start of school: Tuesday, August 30, Wednesday, August 31, and Thursday, September 1
  • First student day: Tuesday, September 6
  • Veteran’s Day: Friday, November 11
  • Thanksgiving: November 24-25
  • Winter Break: December 19 through January 2 (back to school on Tuesday, January 3)
  • MLK Day: Monday, January 16
  • Grading Day: Monday, January 30
  • President’s Day: Monday, February 20
  • Mid-Winter Break: February 21-24
  • Spring Break: April 10-14
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 29
  • Graduation Day: Monday, June 19
  • Last Student Day: Wednesday, June 21 (see note below)
  • Grading Day: Thursday, June 22
  • Elementary conference days: November 17-23 and March 3

Note: June 22 and June 23 will be held on the calendar as emergency makeup days in case of weather closures. If either or both days are used as makeup days, the following day will be the non-student grading day. 

Please like us on facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates. Text "NSEA" to 41411 to get text message updates (messaging fees may apply; this will be used sparingly). Our sub-group is back at the table on Thursday, July 28, and our full team has 6 more bargaining sessions scheduled in August. 

We hope you are having a good summer and look forward to seeing you at our Contract or Strike Vote meeting on Wednesday, August 31st at 5:00 pm in the Bothell HS Gym.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

See a Membership Meeting in Action

Click here to see a video of our recent Contract or Action Vote Meeting (held on June 8, 2016 at Inglemoor HS). It shows a membership meeting in action.

All NSEA members, cert and ESP, should be at the Contracts Ratification or Strike Vote meeting on Wednesday, August 31 at 5:00 pm in the Bothell HS Gym. (This meeting is open to members only. We hope to be voting on two new contracts: one for certs and one for ESPs.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ESPs in the News

NSEA ESP member Susan Fox, para at Canyon Park JH. Photo from the Woodinville Weekly.
The Woodinville Weekly ran an article in their June 27th edition detailing the impacts of Northshore's low pay/no benefits model of employing Education Support Professionals. Read it here.

Also, check out this video featuring our ESP colleagues. Though it was made in 2011, the issues are still relevant.

ESPs have been at the bargaining table for over a year. We are hoping that joint bargaining with NSEA's certs will expedite an agreement.