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Colleagues,


Here’s an update on several important and timely issues:


-PD Impact Bargaining

Last Fall we filed a Class Action Grievance and requested Impact Bargaining because of the District’s failure to provide teachers full opportunities for professional development, during the summer months and beyond, caused by delays in the transition from Generation Ready to TrueNorth Logic platforms. I am pleased to inform you that the District accepted our request and we have reached agreement defined in the attached Memorandum of Understanding. All teachers will have an opportunity to recover sixteen (16) PD credits by reading one book, selected from a menu jointly developed, and submitting written reflections on that book. These 16 PD credits would be in addition to, not in lieu of, whatever PD credits teachers may have already and/or otherwise accumulated. Furthermore, there may be future opportunities for related PD, for additional PD credits, to deepen the learning gained from the selected readings. You will soon be notified about this opportunity by a joint letter from the District and the RTA.


-Support Visits to Schools

You, and we, were recently notified that the District plans to involve Teaching and Learning School Partnership and Support Teams from Central Office in school visits with the intent of “listen, learn and focus support where it is needed.” The District assures us that these visits are not evaluative and will not disrupt classroom lessons. We plan to survey teachers about this District initiative and how it could be improved. Meanwhile, please let us know how the visits fare at your school and how we might assist, if needed.


-Resolutions in Support of All Our Students 

At the January 17 meeting of the RTA Representative Assembly, colleagues from School #58 proposed a resolution to endorse, and encourage teachers to participate in, “A Day of Understanding to Affirm that Black Lives Matter at School, to be held on Friday, February 17, 2017.” The resolution, also attached, was adopted unanimously. A similar resolution was adopted by the Board of Education and by the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester (ASAR). Teachers can choose whether and how to participate. In a letter sent to all RCSD staff earlier this month, the District offered clarifying answers to questions, suggestions for activities, and sources for instructional toolkits. And a resolution in support of our students who are refugees from other countries, including Muslim countries, will be presented to the RTA Representative Assembly later this month.

Learn more…


-Sabbaticals

If you’re considering taking a sabbatical during the next year, you have until February 17th to submit an application. Any teacher who has at least five consecutive years of service in the Rochester City School District is eligible to apply for this negotiated benefit. Sabbaticals can be requested, for either a full or half year, at sixty (60) percent of pay.

Learn more…


-Absentee Reduction Plan

Just a reminder that we have a negotiated provision in our contract (Section 60) that allows teachers to “bank” money as an incentive to reduce absenteeism. As of the 2004-05 school year, and each year thereafter, teachers who take no illness days receive $115 per each unused sick day; teachers who take one illness day receive $95 per each unused sick day;  $80 per each unused sick day if two illness days are used; and $70 per each unused illness day if three sick days are used. The credits are banked annually. The accumulated credits become available after ten consecutive years of service. To receive the incentive money, a teacher must notify the District’s HCI Department by March 1 of the year in which the teacher retires or resigns from the District. A full explanation of this benefit can be accessed on the RTA website. 

Learn more…


-Support United Way and Dial-a-Teacher

Each and every year Rochester teachers give generously to the United Way. We know that you will continue to do this. We urge you to consider giving all or a portion of your donation to our Dial-a-Teacher program that helps our students with homework. Dial-a-Teacher is a United Way Designated Option (#1403). Help us continue this long-standing and direct support to the education of our students.


Thank you for all you do for your students and for our profession. Have a restful weekend.


Adam Urbanski, RTA President