September - October 2017 WTA Newsletter


I hope your first weeks back have been joyful and productive. It's been almost a month since our Opening Meeting on August 30, and there is much to report. If you missed our first meeting, you can view the slide presentation on the WTA Website (a great source of information).

Executive Board Meetings and Members

The Executive Board serves to support our membership and ensure that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is implemented in word and spirit. We meet the first Thursday of every month in Room Ten at Happy Hollow. All WTA members are welcome to attend our meetings. Meeting dates, agendas, and minutes can be found at the WTA Website. Snack and chat from 3:35 - 3:44 pm. Business Meeting begins promptly at 3:45 pm. Non-E-Board members must step out during any discussion of personnel issues.

Our goal is to address issues quickly and keep them small. You can help by communicating in person with your building representative as soon as any question, or concern arises. I recommend also letting building reps know about positive happenings.

Building Representatives

High School: Eva Urban Hughes and Joanne Schmidt

Middle School: Matt McCormack, Rebecca Poulo, and Frank Lenz (currently on leave)

Claypit Hill: Michele Fiske and Mark Owen

Happy Hollow: Deede Bergeron and Gretchen Ryder Sharry

Loker: Rebecca Lepow and Marie Pesaturo

Other E-Board Members

President: Kori Rogers (Happy Hollow)

Vice President: Michelle Lataille (Happy Hollow)

Treasurer: Ken Rideout (High School)

Secretary: Maureen Devlin (Happy Hollow)

Membership: Leigh Netcoh (Middle School)

Mandated Trainings and Collective Bargaining Agreement

The signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was posted online and then taken down, due to a technical issue. The School Committee must vote to have the Chair sign all contracts. The School Committee will vote on whether or not to sign the contract on October 2. Therefore, the deadline to complete mandated trainings will be extended (date TBA by the administration).

I recommend completing all parts of the Mandated Employee Training - except for reading the CBA - by September 29. Once the CBA is posted, please read it carefully, and then complete the Training Verification Form. The time allotted to complete the trainings is 2.5 - 3.0 hours. I have personally found this to be woefully inadequate. Reading and understanding the CBA alone is a full-time job. Please let me know how much time it takes you to complete the trainings.

Benny Cards

Please keep your cards, check your balance, and use the cards. Based on the Memorandum of Agreement with the Town re Health Insurance, "A portion of the mitigation funds will be provided to eligible participants through a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) utilizing a pre-paid “Card." These Benny Cards are reloaded with funds as follows:

7/1/17 $110 Individual Plan $330 Family Plan

7/1/18 $110 Individual Plan $330 Family Plan

School Start and End Times: Potential Changes at All Levels Starting Next Year

As you may be aware, the district is considering a later start time at the High School and Middle School. Former Superintendent Paul Stein organized a Task Force of parents, teachers, administrators, and school committee members, "charged with developing one or two plans for school start times that move high school and middle school start times as close as possible to 8:30 A.M., understanding that this will likely impact elementary schools start times as well." I interpret this to mean that we will be looking at an earlier, or later start and end time at the elementary level, if there are changes at the High School and/or Middle School.

Any change will impact our staff as well as our students, so it is incumbent upon us to stay informed. I attended the School Committee meeting on September 18 and learned the following: The Task Force has held two of three meetings. Members will conclude their work and make a recommendation to the School Committee at a November meeting (tentatively November 20). The School Committee will then invite public comment and make a decision by January. The School Committee is planning to vote at its meeting on January 8, 2018.

Please share your thoughts on any potential changes with your building representatives, and we will get this information to the Task Force. The WTA has not yet taken a position on this matter. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Professional Learning and Certification

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Forms Required for Staff

Fingerprinting is a one-time deal. However, according to Assistant Superintendent Brad Crozier, CORIs must be completed every three years. Thus, many of us will need to update our CORIs this October. Mr. Crozier noted that staff will need to have a current driver's license or government issued photo identification on hand, so administration can complete the process. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.

REMINDER -- OCTOBER 1ST NOTIFICATION DEADLINE: 2018-2019 Anticipated Salary Lane Changes

This is an important deadline, as it means increased pay! Email Linda Lavenda if there is any possible chance you will qualify for a Salary Lane Change in the next school year. Budgeting starts early. There is no penalty for giving notice and not changing lanes. There is a great cost, however, to missing this deadline.

Thank you for your incredible work and professionalism. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.



Karen (Kori) Rogers, M.Ed.

WTA President