Did your principal designate your additional 35 minutes of planning?

Last year, we not only negotiated for Early Release Wednesdays but additional protected planning time. Article VI Section B Number 5 says: “The principal will be provide an additional thirty-five minutes of protected planning time once a week. The day of the week will be at the principal discretion.” In other words, your principal should provide the entire staff a weekly thirty-five minute slot that is a meeting free zone. Most likely this thirty-five minute protected time will not be during the student day. For instance, the principal at an elementary school might designate Mondays from 2:45-3:15 as the time or Thursdays from 7:15 –7:45 as the time. Did your principal designate your addi

Classroom Supply Money (aka LEAD)

We have had a lot of questions about the money that will soon be distributed to teachers for classroom supplies. The basics: First, straight from the statute (FSS 1012.71(2)) “… The funds appropriated are for classroom teachers to purchase, on behalf of the school district or charter school, classroom materials and supplies for the public school students assigned to them and may not be used to purchase equipment. The funds appropriated shall be used to supplement the materials and supplies otherwise available to classroom teachers. . .” That means, this money is not for a printer, but it could be for the paper. It is not for a big whiteboard, but could be for the markers. Sometimes we’ll h

BFT Budget (As exciting as it sounds)

General Membership meeting, August 17, 5pm, Kennedy Middle School At the General Membership meeting on August 17, we’re going to discuss and (hopefully) approve the BFT budget for 2016-2017. The fiscal year begins September 1. This is a time for discussion and questions. I want to offer an overview. The behind the scenes preparation of the budget has been much more detailed than usual. You will see far more category lines than usual, so that expenses are more specific. For example, where we used to have a line for “Conventions,” we now have the FEA, NEA, and AFT conventions spliced out. Where we used to have a line for “Member Incentives,” we’ll now have our individual events planned a

Overview of the Evaluation System & Pay

This is for all you NEW teachers to Brevard. You’ll get a detailed explanation during pre-planning. But let me try to overview this complicated system. The state gave us a whole bunch of requirements for our evaluation system back in 2011. We’re still dealing with it as best we can. Here are the basics: The evaluation is broken into 2 sections. They are called “Summative Part 1” and “Summative Part 2.” Summative Part 1 is made of 4 parts: PGP – “Professional Growth Plan,” a plan for you to professionally grow during the year. You’ll get points for the quality of your plan. This is submitted and graded in the fall. PGP Implementation – This is your score on how well you implement the

Progress on Discipline Plans

Over the past 2 years we have received an increasing amount of concerns about student discipline and campus safety. We won’t get into details, but it seemed a troubling trend had emerged. Fortunately, we found the Superintendent to have a very good ear for the issue. When we approached Dr. Blackburn in the spring, he already had a framework for creating a countywide consistent discipline plan. His plan for creating it is methodical and includes all stakeholders over the course of a year. We appreciate and support that plan. However, in the interim we have the 2016-2017 school year. He and I had several productive talks, and the talks expanded to members of his senior staff. Most rec

Teacher Leadership: It's in Your Contract

I believe that the solutions to the multitude of problems teachers face should come from teachers. In other words, I believe in the power of teacher leadership. I think that every school in Brevard County should be using teacher leadership to improve teaching and learning. If you believe the same, then I urge you to step up and lead. As a matter of fact, your contract provides the opportunity for teachers to lead via steering committees. Article VI Section D of the 2015-2016 Contract states: A Steering Committee composed of a school's faculty may be established in each school at the discretion of the faculty. The Steering Committee may request and shall be granted a meeting with the pri

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Federation of Teachers