The Rochester Teacher

Winner of NYSUT journalism awards and the Ted Bleeker award as “Best of the Best”

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Our Union Contract

The newly bargained agreement is good for students and fair to teachers.

Click here to download our contract.

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The Rochester Retired Teacher Association is a Dept. of the RTA, composed of all retired members of RTA. Learn more…

Effective Teaching PracticesEffective_Teaching_Practices.html

Human toll of school suspensions is devastating

Should a student be suspended for tugging on a teacher? What’s the likelihood of a student returning to school after a multiple-day out-of-school suspension? Are special-needs students able to make up instruction time lost to suspensions? And how long should it take for school officials to notify parents that their child has been arrested and is sitting in the Monroe County jail? These are a few of the questions raised by parents and students yesterday at a press conference organized by Metro Justice and several community partners concerning the high suspension rates in the Rochester school district.

The winners of the $100 Marketplace gift card for those registered \with First Book are:

Trina Rose,  Wilson Foundation

Mary Beth Duffy-Hasenauer,  STEM

Christina Scarpulla,  #41

Amanda Sullivan,  #4

Lorraine Williams,  #5

Congratulations!  You will be contacted to claim your prize! Because of YOU, we have booked the truckload of books to come to Rochester, just in time for the holidays!  Save December 13th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to pick up free books!  Register now if you haven't!!! It is not too late to register!  Visit to register or complete the attached registration form and send to Aimee Rinere at the Rochester Teacher Association office.

Click here to register…

Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren

For better or for worse, the third graders in Greg Fletcher’s class at Hunter Elementary School always know where they stand. One morning in mid-October, Mr. Fletcher walked to the front of the classroom where an interactive white board displayed ClassDojo, a behavior-tracking app that lets teachers award points or subtract them based on a student’s conduct. On the board was a virtual classroom showing each student’s name, a cartoon avatar and the student’s scores so far that week.

U.S. to Focus on Equity in Assigning of Teachers

The Obama administration is directing states to show how they will ensure that all students have equal access to high-quality teachers, with a sharp focus on schools with a high proportion of the poor and racial minorities. In a letter to state superintendents released Monday, Deborah S. Delisle, an assistant secretary at the Department of Education, said states must develop plans by next June that make sure that public schools comply with existing federal law requiring that “poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified or out-of-field teachers.”

Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

Higher education, preschool funding, the Common Core and the future of No Child Left Behind are just a few of the education policies that will be in play under the new Republican-controlled Congress. How will these things change? We called Sen. Lamar Alexander to ask.The Tennessee Republican is expected to become chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. There, he'll preside over the Republicans' education agenda, an issue he's been deeply engaged with for decades as a governor, presidential candidate, university president and U.S. education secretary.

‘Think Before You Link’ promotes student cyber safety

As elementary and secondary students spend more time online, a new free program will roll out Tuesday aimed at giving children, teachers and families the tools to help young digital users safely navigate the Internet. “Think Before You Link”, is an online course for students from grades three through eight with a focus on cyber safety, online bullying and Internet ethics. It was produced by Discovery Education and Intel Security and is being offered free to schools around the country.

PD Opportunity - Teaching for the 21st Century

November 22. 2014 from 8:30am - 5pm. Tickets are $20 There is an effort underway to create a new urban school in Rochester based on principles of humane education ( and modeled after the Harbor School in New York City ( Called the Rochester River School, the plans are to open in the Fall of 2016 with fifth grade and add one additional grade per year until 12th.

Learn more…


32nd Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The RTA Human Relations Committee is sponsoring the 32nd Anniversary of         Student Recognition in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each school is asked to select ONE STUDENT who best personifies the qualities exemplified by Dr. King.  RTA Reps are asked to complete the form below and return it to the RTA Human Relations Committee, c/o of the RTA Office, by Friday, December 19, 2014. The students' names will appear in an ad in City Newspaper on the week preceding the ceremony.  On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, participating students will receive a certificate of recognition and a letter from President Urbanski.  This event will be held at School of the Arts at 6:30 p.m.

Click here to download application…

  1. APPR Agreement

  2. I am pleased to inform you that we have reached an agreement with the District on this year’s APPR implementation (see attached Memorandum of Understanding). We will continue with last year’s agreement except for some changes that address implementation concerns expressed by teachers. We have also agreed to work collaboratively to eliminate unnecessary testing, eliminate the use of pre-tests for APPR, review and simplify post assessments, and create guidelines for setting better informed and more understandable SLO targets. More detailed information soon about dates for SLO target setting, informational forums about APPR, etc. Meanwhile, please call the RTA if you have any questions or concerns.

  3. Click here for full APPR agreement…

  1. Educational Videos on RTA Website

  2. As part of our commitment to support teachers in their professional work, we have recently added an "Effective Teaching Practices" section to the RTA website. Included are video clips, articles and other resources. The information is practical and directly related to our day-to-day work. Many of the video clips will feature our own RTA colleagues. Please contact Marie Costanza at the RTA if you would like to volunteer to be filmed while you are using an effective instructional strategy - or if you'd like to recommend a colleague. Also contact Marie with suggestion or feedback.