Between now and November 5th will be - to say the least - busy. Here’s what’s in store for us this week:
· Many of the answers to your questions surrounding SB191 can be found here. There has been one question about “How prepared do I need to be for my Professional Performance Plan (PPP) conference?” that is not currently on the FAQ document. The short answer to that question is that you need to have reviewed your self-assessment and at least have some notes and ideas to begin developing your PPP with your evaluator.
· To find out more about MVEA’s recommended candidates for our school board, please click here.
· Tonight at 6:00 p.m. is the first of several candidate forums. It is being held in the CMU Ballroom on the corner of 12th and Elm. Get there early to get a good seat. Remember, democracy is a participatory sport! Bring your family and show them what it is to be an engaged citizen. Tomorrow’s news will largely be dictated by who cares enough to be in the audience tonight. On a side note, Mr. Manning has agreed, on behalf of the Broncos, to save all of the excitement for after the forum. Seriously, though, this will be done by 7:30 p.m. There will be plenty of football left.
· There’s a thought-provoking Letter to the Editor that you can read here regarding our obligation/responsibility/privilege to provide ELL services. It is the second entry under fellow member Jim Van Pelt’s blog entitled “Why the Internet was Invented”, a very worthy read, as well. The cartoon Jim found to include in the blog is HILARIOUS! Jim was asked to begin blogging on our site because, in his own words, he is “relentlessly pro-teacher and pro-education”. How refreshing. Check in regularly to read his ( and other members’) work.
· Rocky Mountain PBS is screening "The Graduates" which looks at the pressing issues in education today are explored through the eyes of a diverse array of Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States in this eye-opening documentary on the challenges facing both the students and their families. It will be shown on Wednesday, October 16th in the Mesa County Library Community Room. For more information, click here.
· If you have a student teacher, let them know that for a one-time $23 fee they can have legal protection (and all the other benefits of the Association) during the entire time of their student teaching AND that amount will be refunded them when they join as a employed teacher the following year. It’s a no-brainer. They sign up on the same form that all other members do, just attach a note they are a student member with their check for $23 (obviously, they won’t have a payroll deduction) and send it in to our office. We will do the rest!
· Reminder: while candidates must come from the Area they represent, every voter will be voting for ALL MEMBERS of the school board.
· If you haven’t signed for volunteer training yet, please do so here. Remember, it takes less than an hour, you will get to personally meet the candidates, and dinner is provided for you and your family. Plus, you will have all the tools needed to help with this election! Ballots drop in 22 days…
Let’s get right to the update:
· Your AR has some very interesting news surrounding the election. Please speak with them today! After speaking with your AR, you will know the importance and significance of this link. Please know there will be food available (i.e. pizza dinner), and this will be a family friendly environment.
· Speaking of elections, it’s impossible to vote unless you are registered. Check your voter registration status and register to vote here .
· Listen to this Colorado Public Radio story, and then consider coming to "The Reformers" at 6:30pm on Monday, October 7th at the Mesa Theater and Club. The filmmaker, Brian Malone, will be there to discuss his documentary. To say this is timely and relevant is quite an understatement. He is coming to Grand Junction for a reason.
· Several members have asked for the PowerPoint that was presented at the SB191/EE training. It can be found here.
· Interested in reading about the use/misuse of student data in teacher evaluations? Take a look at this article.
· MVEA receives $6 per year ($.50 per month) in what is called the Every Member Option (EMO). This money allows us to promote and advocate for public education policy. If you choose to have that money refunded to you ($6), that is absolutely your right.
We are heading in a very good direction. Remember to contact your AR today.
Welcome back. Your MVEA has been busy over the summer! Executive Council set the following major goals for this school year:
1) Ensure the three school board seats that are up for election in November are won by pro-public education candidates,
2) Increase membership and build the involvement level and leadership capacity of our current members,
3) Actively partner with administration in increasing the organizational health of each school, especially surrounding the
implementation of the new teacher evaluation system, and
4) Increase our compensation package.
With these guiding areas of focus, we recognized the need for a web site to help with communication. Members Becky Johnson, Mike Warner, and Paul Van Camp deserve kudos for the many hours they spent on creating this quality site. In future letters, I will point out the multitude of resources that are available.
On the main page you will notice a great video that can be used in recruiting the potential members in your school. Many thanks to members Brad Thomas, Justin Whiteford, Trey Downey, Tracy LeFebre, Katie Schaffer and former members Mark Schmalz and Vernon Walker for articulating so well why every teacher should join the MVEA. And we have made it even easier to join this year by having printable membership forms on our website.
Also, please thank your AR. They will be a wonderful resource for information as we all push hard for success in reaching our collective goals this year! They have already spent a day at the AR Training and then were part of a wonderfully successful New Teacher Orientation membership drive. If you notice your school does not currently have an AR, please decide who will be representing your school this year and let me know ASAP.
There is so much more to share, but no doubt each of you are hitting information overload as you think about how much needs to be done prior the first bell on August 12th. Just know that the MVEA is stronger than ever, and that together we will do great things this year!