February 2018

February 26

Violence in Florida

On February 14, I woke feeling excited that Shoreline voters had passed both levy propositions. A few hours later, I heard the devastating news of another school shooting, this time in Florida. My joy at our success was crushed by the anger and sadness of yet another preventable massacre.

People are looking for ways to come together, to make a difference, to be heard. Some have contacted me looking for information.

There are several national actions taking place to stop gun violence at schools. Florida students are organizing a national student protest on Saturday, March 24. I have also heard that Shoreline students are planning a walk out on March 14. I’ve received questions about whether educators can support the student-led events. The answer is “Yes, IF” you follow whatever guidance and parameters your district sets forth. As with all issues, school employees don’t have free speech rights in the classroom. I am in contact with Shoreline administration to clarify what the district's policy will be in this event. In the meantime, you will find a Q and A document from the NEA at this website.

There are also plans for national educator days of action to end gun violence in schools. NEA has put its support toward the April 20 event, co-led by Diane Ravitch, AFT, and others. Details will be coming next week and I will be sure to share them with you.

Partial Release Recommendation Information Sessions

  • Monday, February 26 - 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 1 - 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 1 - 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

All of these sessions will take place in the Board room at the Shoreline Center.

Please attend! The goal is to inform parents, staff and community members about the recommendation made to the School Board on January 22. These meetings will be structured as information sharing, to provide the “why” and the “what” of the recommendation, and respond to questions regarding the plan. This proposal is so important for the education of our students, our professional development, our work with colleagues and the work necessary to keep up with the day-to-day preparation and organization of our classrooms. The committee is expected to bring the recommendation to the School Board for final approval at their March 12th regular board meeting.

Janus v. AFSCME

The case, Janus v. AFSCME, is a politically motivated attack to use the Court to divide and conquer public sector unions, including SEA and WEA. The US Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments today.

If affirmed by the Court, Janus would eliminate our union’s ability to collect “fair share” fees from individuals who receive the benefits of the union without paying for them. This would make it harder for educators, firefighters and nurses to stand together to fight for our students and our schools, and to negotiate wages and benefits.

Janus was brought by the ultra-conservative National Right to Work Committee and Liberty Justice Center. They, in turn, are funded by corporate billionaires like the Koch Brothers who want to rig the system even more in their favor.

We know there is power in numbers, and when we stick together, we achieve great things. Consider:

Our SEA Bargaining Team is preparing to negotiate for our members and our leadership makes sure our contract is enforced. With a united membership behind us, we have the power to protect our rights and to fight for the needs of our students and our colleagues.

Our WEA membership gives us the strength in numbers to do things we cannot do separately. Together, we have won more funding for our students and negotiated better salaries and benefits for educators. And, together, we will keep fighting in Olympia and at home until legislators fully fund public education so that all of our students have access to a quality education.

SEA President Pat Valle will be in your building over the coming months to give you and other SEA members more details about this case and its impact on our union.

Professional Development Opportunities

Culturally Responsive Strategies 3 & 4

This training is comprised of two three-hour sessions intended to help educators reflect on their practice as culturally responsive professionals to increase effectiveness across differences among their students and families. It is intended for any educator (including office staff, before and after school caregivers, ESP, etc.) interested in creating a new culture of equity and cultural responsiveness in their school community. Prior attendance of CRS1 and CRS2 is not required to attend. Click here for more information and to register.

Special Education Law Training

Understanding the Federal and State laws for providing special education programs in our public schools is imperative to ensure the compliant delivery of services to qualified students. This popular and intensive six-hour professional learning course is designed to provide an overview of the rules and regulations required for providing special education services. This training is designed for teachers, paraeducators, office personnel, and others who work with special education students. Based on WAC 392-172A and specific court cases, this course provides the tools stakeholders need to provide compliant services to students eligible for special education. Click here for more information and to register.

New Address for SEA

One more time...SEA has a new office. We're still in Bothell and are excited about the new space. Below is the new address, however, phone numbers have not changed.

22522 29th Drive SE, Suite 205

Bothell, WA 98021

February 7

Cascade UniServ Office is Moving!

We are officially moving the Cascade Uniserv Council office this Saturday, February 10th. Below is our new office address. Please make sure to update your directories, financial software, etc. with the address below. Phone numbers will not change.

New Office Address:

22522 29th Drive SE Suite 205

Bothell, WA 98021

The new address affects the following locals as well:

Shoreline EA

Shoreline ESPA

Shoreline Children’s Center

While we pack and prepare to move this week, the office staff and local leaders may have delayed response time.

Our phones and internet may be down from February 9 – 12th. Below are cell phone numbers for staff and leaders affect by the move.

Pat Valle: 206-940-8364

Lyn Sherry: 206-940-4492

Kari Meyers: 425-223-1585

Chenoa Gray-Brewer: 206-730-5348

Beth Rogers: 425-387-0875

Thank you for your patience as we transition to our new digs!

February 6

2017 Tax Deductible Dues

FTE Deductible Dues

.76 - 1.0 $1158.28

.51 - .75 915.64

.26 - .50 590.64

.25 or less 307.04

Each individual must contact her/his tax advisor to determine whether her/his dues is tax deductible.

If you worked multiple FTE’s, went on leave, paid sub dues, and/or were hired for less than 12 months, contact Chenoa Gray-Brewer (cgray@washingtonea.org) directly for your 2017 tax-deductible dues.

Partial Release Next Steps

The district is proposing three community meetings to inform parents, staff and community members about the partial release recommendation that was made to the Shoreline School Board on January 22. These meetings will be structured as information sharing, to provide the “why” and the “what” of the recommendation, and respond to questions regarding the plan. It is expected that the recommendation will be brought to the School Board for final approval at their March 12th regular board meeting. The dates for these three community meetings have not been established yet and as soon as they become available, I will post them to this website.

Should you choose to attend one of these meetings, please keep in mind that the length of the release time (1.5 or 2 hours) is based on the State's required number of instructional hours. The use of the time will be discussed at the SEA/District bargaining table, evidence of your dues dollars at work!

Pearson Math Update

Some of you and your students' families might have been experiencing problems using Pearson enVision or Pearson Digits at home or at school, due to Adobe Flash Player issues. All web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) have stopped supporting Flash Player, and without Flash Player teachers and student lose access to many online curriculum components. In order to resolve this problem, the district is working with Pearson to move these two Pearson math programs to a new digital platform that does not use Flash Player. All of the content will be the same, but the interface will look a bit different. Digits users will transition at the end of February, and enVision users will transition at the end of March. There will be support and training provided to help with these transitions.