Friday, April 11, 2014

Enjoy Spring Break!

The NSEA Office is on limited staffing from Monday, April 14 though Friday, April 18.  The best way to contact us is via email:

  • Tim Brittell, NSEA President: tbrittell@washingtonea.org
  • Kraig Peck, WEA Staffperson: kpeck@washingtonea.org
  • Lydia King, Admin Assistant: lking@washingtonea.org
Have a safe and relaxing Spring Break!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Looking for the Latest?

Be sure to head over to our Newsletters page for the latest classified ads and links to all of our newsletter!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Nominations Are Open!

Nominations are now open for the following NSEA leadership positions:
  • Secretary/Treasurer 
  • Executive Board, Intermediate Elementary 
  • Executive Board, High School 
  • Executive Board, Special Education 
  • Executive Board, At-Large 

These are all two year positions; terms start July 1, 2014. To nominate yourself (or someone else), please complete the nomination form and send it to the NSEA Office by 5:00 pm on Monday, March 31st.

If you have any questions, please contact Lydia King at lking@washingtonea.org or 425-486-7101 ext 111.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Emergency Rally


 Student Test Scores =  Your Evaluation?

 Emergency Rally and
Lobby Action

Thursday, March 6, 2014
in Olympia 
Use a personal leave day to attend--NOT a sick leave day please.
 


It's time to take action!!! Do you think that student test scores should be tied to your evaluation? Some legislators in Olympia, along with the US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Democrats and Republicans, are crafting a bill linking your student test scores to your evaluation that they will introduce next week. Educators from across the state will be converging on the Capitol on March 6 to tell legislators this hurts students and is unfair to all educators.


NSEA has chartered a bus to transport you to Olympia and back. We will also be providing sack lunches for all that attend. Come join your colleagues and standup for your students, yourself, and public education!

Where: Olympia
When:  Noon * Thursday, March 6th
Leave From: Pop Keeney Field Parking Lot at 10:00 am
Return To:  Pop Keeney Field Parking Lot approx. 4:00 pm 
    




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Be Sure to Like Us on Facebook!

Head over to the NSEA Facebook page and like us today!  We update regularly with video clips, articles, reminders, and other fun tidbits about education, politics, and our union.  Join the fun.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Increase in Instructional Hours for 2014-2015



In our most recent NSEA newsletter and in a bright yellow flyer you should have received (or will receive soon), we provided you with information about a state law that will have a major impact on all districts in Washington state.  This message contains much of the same information as the bright yellow flyer.  Please take some time to familiarize yourself with this issue soon.  We will be sending a survey to NSEA members at their work email account on Friday, 1/17.  Please take the survey when you can—it closes on our grading day (Monday, 1/27).  If you have questions about this matter, please email us and we’ll do our best to answer.

INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS ARE INCREASING

OVERVIEW

  • At the end of the Legislative Session last summer, the Legislature added a new requirement: A minimum of 1,080 hours of instruction for each grade, grades 7-12, to be implemented 2014-2015.
  • NSD currently provides an average of approximately 1,031 to 1,045 hours per grade level in our secondary schools—so that’s about 35 to 49 hours to be added, to get to 1,080.  
  • This affects all NSD elementary and secondary staff.  Since we are one district, we likely want to operate with one school year calendar, and one salary schedule.  Changing secondary school schedules and not elementary schedules creates many other problems we’ll want to avoid.  
  • NSEA will begin negotiating soon with the Administration/School Board to determine how to do this.
  • There are difficult choices to make, and we want your input on how to do this.  Read this and then take the survey we send to your school email address on Friday, January 17th.  The survey will close at the end of the day on Monday, January 27th (our Grading Day).

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  1. This new requirement was passed last year.  Is it really going to go into effect in the 2014-2015 school year or will it be postponed?
We are working statewide, as WEA, to get the Legislature to postpone the implementation of this until the State adequately funds the CURRENT requirements, as the Supreme Court has defined in the McCleary decision.  MORE time in the SAME large classes, with the SAME inadequate staffing, salaries, and support for students is not the optimal way to improve our schools.  However, it is not likely that a majority of the Legislature will heed these concerns.

  1. What are our options for adding more instructional time?
Typically, a “day” is about 6 hours of “instruction” (defined below in #7).  The options include:
·         Adding more time to the school day (or some school days): about 15 minutes per day
·         Adding additional school days to the 180 day year: about 7 days.  (6 hours x 7 days= 42 hours)
·         Some combination of these.

  1. Will we be paid for this extra time and work?
That will be decided by negotiations, and you will vote on the entire tentative agreement.   This situation offers the possibility of a substantial pay increase.  (With lemons, make lemonade?)  It will depend, in part, on the choices we make together, the number of us who will get involved (for example, to come to the vote), and our unity—our willingness to take action if necessary.

In the past, the Admin/School Board has been unwilling to increase pay for adding instructional time within the 7 ½ hour workday.  In other words, if their position has not changed, it is not likely that changing what we do during the 7 ½ hour work day would generate any additional pay; it would simply change our work.  

  1. What role do members have in deciding this?
You will have the opportunity to let us know your thinking by completing a survey.  The survey invitation will be sent to your NSD email address on Friday, January 17th, and you will have until the end of the day on our Grading Day (Monday, January 27th) to take it.  Any tentative agreement will be voted on by all members at a General Membership meeting in the Spring.  Please be on the lookout for emails and more information on this issue throughout the school year, and stay in touch with us. 

  1. Is our “Instructional Planning and Collaboration Time” (Early Release) the cause of this?  
No.  The new increase in instructional time is coming from the State legislature’s decision, made last session.  The need to increase instructional time has nothing to do with our new schedule and calendar.  We maintained the instructional time we formerly had by converting 5 non-instructional (“waiver”) days to school days, and adding 5 minutes to each school day.  No instructional time was lost.  We have the same number of hours of instruction as we did before early release.  

If we shorten or eliminate our Wednesday early releases, it would sufficiently increase instructional hours.  But it would likely mean that we’d be teaching the equivalent of 7 days more for the same salarywithout the time for planning, collaboration, and for implementing the new evaluation system, the upcoming Common Core, new curricula—time for which we are currently paid with early release.  Similarly, if we added the instructional time within the 30 minutes before or after the current instructional day, it is unlikely that we’d be paid for it; we’d simply lose some of the 30 minutes we now use for meetings and prep time.  The work we do during that time (and are paid for) would simply shift to unpaid time before and after our work days and on the weekends because the work won’t go away.

  1. Where is the funding for this?
The Legislature has only partially funded the required increase, so local funds would also need to be allocated.

  1. What are “Instructional hours”? 
Instructional hours are the amount of time between when the school day begins and ends, minus 30 minutes for lunch.  The law includes class passing time, recess, and elementary parent conferences.   

  1. Who is on the bargaining team for each side?
  • For NSEA (approved by the Exec Board and Rep Council): Kraig Peck (WEA Staffperson/Lead Bargainer), Patrick Holmes (Bothell HS), Jon VandeMoortel (Northshore JH), Janice Rendahl (Cottage Lake Elem), Kelly Griffin (Moorlands Elem), Lynn Emerson (Crystal Springs), and Lydia King (Note taker)
  • For the Admin/School Board: Buzz Porter (Attorney/Lead Bargainer), Carolyn O’Keeffe (Deputy Superintendent),  Jeff Sherwood (Executive Director of Human Resources), Heather Miller (Assistant Superintendent, Secondary), Kathleen Poole (Assistant Superintendent, Elementary), and Becky Anderson (Assistant Superintendent, Special Education)

If you have additional questions that have not been answered, please contact NSEA. We will keep you updated on the progress of negotiations throughout the school year.

TIMELINE FOR WORK
  • Friday, January 17th: NSEA survey to members goes live
  • Monday, January 27th: NSEA survey closes (end of the day)
  • Friday, January 31st: First meeting of the NSEA and Administration bargaining teams
  • Spring 2014: General Membership meeting to review and vote on a Tentative Agreement and 2014-2015 calendar

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Resolve to Help Northshore's Students

Before you start your Winter Break, resolve to make a difference for Northshore students.  

Our students need YOUR help to make sure the Northshore bond and levy measures pass in the February special election.

Your Building Rep may have asked you to sign up for phone banking in January and early February. If you've already signed up, thank you! If you haven't done so yet, click here to sign up for a slot. Calling is easy and fun! Each school has been given a date for calling from the NSEA Office. Come together with your colleagues and help inform voters about the issues. If you can't make it on your school's date, find another time to come make calls.

There's a lot at stake, and we need your help to ensure success. Voters need to be asked to support the bond and levies.

3 x YES = SUCCESS 

In mid-January, voting begins. Northshore voters will have the opportunity to support our students by voting YES on three educational measures on the ballot:

1. Capital Projects Bond: This will replace aging roofs and heating and ventilation systems, increase energy efficiency, complete improvements at Woodinville High School, and build a much-needed northend High School to ease overcrowding in the part of our district with the most student growth. The bond requires a supermajority of 60% to pass.

2. Renewal of the Education Operations Support Levy: The current levy (approved in 2010) expires in 2014.This levy funds nearly 25% of each school, and includes funding for our recently negotiated pay increases over the next three years.

3. Renewal of the Technology Levy: This levy will fund the wireless infrastructure we need to enhance technology access for teachers and students across the district. Your Tech PD hours come directly from this levy.

To pass these three measures, we need to ask voters for their support. Your 1 1/2 hours on the phones is what will win this. Please click here to sign up to make calls. 

Visit the Citizens for Northshore Schools website to learn more, to make a contribution, and to endorse the measures.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Instructional Planning and Collaboration Time

 Looking for information about our Instructional Planning and Collaboration Time?  Click here to visit our page dedicated to this issue.
LET'S LEARN FROM EACH OTHER!
How are you using the Instructional Planning and Collaboration Time?  What improvements have you seen to your classroom, your instruction, and/or your school?  Click here to share your experiences with us!