Greenburg gives update on the full-day Monday proposal

Yesterday Steve Greenburg, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT), sent his members a report on the latest changes that have been made to the proposal for full-day Mondays. He explained that there have been adjustments to the number of minutes for both unencumbered and collaborative planning time. Also, staff meetings should be limited to an hour in length and not be held more than twice a month. In an earlier message he explained the history of the current proposal.

Here is the text of his most recent email:

Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 2:51 pm
Subject: FCFT Update: Quick update on Monday, STAC, and Supervisors help!

This FCFT Update will be abbreviated and focused specifically on the Monday / calendar changes, and items relating to those.  I will send a full FCFT Update later this week with information on the Meal’s Tax, later high school start times, and more…

I will include the notes from the STAC meeting today in the next Update, as well.

Please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues or administrator.  We want everyone informed and involved, as we move forward.

There is an STAC meeting later today.

Karen decided to call an ‘extra’ STAC meeting so building reps could get the same information that the school board got (it is linked below for you to have now) this Monday.  She is out of the state (and therefore will not physically be present at STAC), but is sending the same staff that presented to the school board on Monday.

Once again, the link for the updated Powerpoint is below (June 16th work session).

Also, expect a staff and community survey to go out in the next few days to solicit further input on the changes.

Here is what has happened since my email last week:

  • The school board is going to vote on this on June 26th (not in July).
  • The Fairfax County Supervisors verbally committed to assisting with funding of the Monday ES calendar changes at a strategic planning session with the school board last week. We are all working with them now to determine an exact dollar commitment. Both Sharon Bulova and Jeff McKay stepped up and offered support; we thank them.    This means the change should not effect salary or other items in the budget for next year.
  • The Elementary Principal’s Association endorsed the change at the work session. Why care? Because many school board member concerns were with, ‘Can the principals really make the change that quick?’. That endorsement pretty much ends that concern.
  • There are some adjustments in the number of protected (unencumbered) and collaborative planning time totals under the plan:

–  Protected (by regulation; unencumbered) teacher planning time is 240 minutes per week (I said 220 before)

–  Collaborative planning time is 60 minutes per two weeks (vs. 90 minutes).

  • FCPS has now put parameters in on staff meetings (I mentioned we were working on this in the last Update): No more than 2X a month (before or after regular contract hours), and no more than one hour in length.  

Also, time spent by staff after school will be ‘banked’ and returned with time allotted on other days; more on the details of this later.  

Mostly, remember that there are currently NO parameters or regulations governing staff meetings

As ‘professional responsibilities’, administrators can currently call unlimited staff meetings, and have them as long as they would like (there are no real ‘rules’); this is a protection we need.

  • I have met with Kim Dockery on the regulation revisions to protect planning and other staff time (see meetings above). We are close to having a final draft.  More to you soon on that…
  • They are going to put sub money in and change the regulations for specialists so they can get subs when they are sick. This will be important in covering classes when teachers are planning.
  • There are no changes in the music programs or regulations around those.
  • They are going to recommend Calendar A (from the work session on May 28th; link below) if they vote to approve the Monday changes. This is the version that keeps Columbus Day vs Veteran’s Day (version B). 

Let me know if you have a preference on this before they vote on June 26th.

Here are some other items we are working on with this:

  • How Instructional Assistants and hourly workers will handle after school items (like a staff meeting)? Unlike teachers, they are under federal standards on overtime, etc.
  • How can we use this opportunity to better assist our recent destaffs (SBTS, etc.) and specialists thrive while making this change?  They have taken a hit with the budget adjustments, and we are going to really need to support them so they can help us with this…

I will get you answers, soon.

Please know that FCPS is ‘playing ball’ with us well, and working to make this a great ‘win’ for teachers and students.

June 16th Powerpoint to the school Board on Monday changes (work session):

http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/9L3H6F72FE34/$file/Master%20Schedule%20Work%20Session%20061614%20-%20Final%20SB%20Presentation.pdf

I will continue to keep you up to date on all-

      Steve:)

May 28thth Powerpoint to the school Board on Monday changes (work session):

http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/9L3H6F72FE34/$file/Master%20Schedule%20Work%20Session%20061614%20-%20Final%20SB%20Presentation.pdf

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