Colleagues,

In our ongoing effort to keep you informed about current issues, and to respond to your most frequently asked questions, here’s today’s update:

– Status of Layoffs. The proposed 192 layoffs of RTA members for next year were already predicated on the hope that we would receive an additional $35 million in Lottery Spin-Up aid for this year. Fortunately, we did. This prevented the need for additional layoffs. We will continue to do all we can to avert these proposed layoffs and to mitigate as many as we can through anticipated attrition. But the growing deficit at the State level may adversely affect State aid to school districts, including ours. Stay tuned.

-Tomorrow’s Superintendent’s Conference Day. Contrary to what some principals may have communicated to teachers, there is no Superintendent’s Conference Day tomorrow. No excessive demands can therefore be made. It is like any other day during the period of school closure. Please bring to our attention any related questions or concerns and we will immediately address them.

– April Recess. As you already know, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order directing all NYS school districts to cancel the scheduled Spring break and to continue instruction for students. Failure to do so would jeopardize the district’s entitlement to State aid.

– Rumor Control. It may have been just an April Fool’s joke gone bad. Or it may have started as an immature and reckless FB post. In either case, it is not true that you will be required to teach this summer for free. Nor is it true that RTA or any other union has consented to this. Please continue to rely on your union for accurate and exact information.

– Professional Development. Please know that teachers can continue to engage in professional development even while schools remain closed as long as that professional development occurs outside the scheduled school hours. To qualify for the Professional Development Incentive (PDI), please upload and submit the requisite information through TrueNorth Logic by no later than June 9th. Related surveys must be equally submitted by no later than June 11th.

– Continuity of Instruction Plan. Since schools remain closed for a longer period than initially anticipated, school districts are required to submit to the NYS Education Department a plan for continuing instruction. Superintendent Dade has reached out to the RTA in the hope of developing a plan that is both necessary and reasonable. You should soon receive a communication about this from the District. Please let us know if any part of the plan raises concerns, questions or need for clarification. 

Thank you for all that you continue to do for your students every day. Stay healthy and safe.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President