Welcome back. I hope that you had a restful and fun summer. As you prepare to return to work, I want to update you on some timely and relevant information.

– Superintendent’s Opening Day Presentation. As she did last year, Superintendent Deane-Williams is respecting the fact that teachers have lots to do on the day before students show up for school. Therefore, teachers have a choice. You can come to the presentation to experience it in person (8-9:30am at Edison, 655 Colfax Street) or you can view it streamed at your own school. By mid-day, the presentation will be posted online for those who want to view it later.
– Payroll. Your first paycheck will be on September 15th. Future paychecks will be at two week intervals throughout the school year. For teachers who receive 22 paychecks, the last paycheck will be on July 6, 2018. Teachers who opted for 26 paychecks (“spread-the-check” plan) will continue to receive paychecks at two-week intervals throughout the summer.
– APPR. By now you should have received your APPR ratings. In case it’s confusing, it’s the “Transition Score” that counts. But if you didn’t receive a Transition Score, it’s the Composite Score. Any teacher (be)rated as Developing or Ineffective may file an appeal. The APPR Appeal Form is on the RTA website <www.rochesterteachers.com> under the menu APPR. The deadline for filing an appeal is Tuesday, September 26th. RTA’s Grievance Advisory Committee will hold advisory sessions at the RTA (30 N. Union Street, Suite 301) to help teachers with appeals from 3 ‘tip 5pm on Wednesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 20. No appointment necessary.
– SLO Changes. We were made aware that some teachers had their Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) changed by either their supervisors or by Central Office. Affected teachers are advised to retain copies of their originally-set SLOs, related correspondence and any other related documents. We will address this matter with the District at our first Labor-Management meeting later this month.
– Early Dismissal Days. The dates for early dismissal of students this school year are September 29, December 1, February 2, March 23 and June 1. All dates are Fridays. These early dismissal days are for teachers’ professional development. Principals must plan these with the direct involvement of School-based Planning Teams.
– Dial-a-Teacher Changes. After 35 years of helping students with homework, the telephone portion of Dial-a-Teacher has been discontinued due to declining participation and shortage of funds. The WXXI TV Homework Hotline show will continue as a collaborative effort with RTA and continued financial support from the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), our state-level union. RTA will continue to investigate transitioning to an online homework support format that would replace the earlier telephone-based one. We are grateful to all our colleagues who have done such a terrific job with Dial-a-Teacher over the last three and half decades.
– Rochester Teachers Care Videos. This is a weekly series of brief videos that highlight the dedication and commitment of Rochester teachers in service to our students. This year’s first video focuses on Marie Rice, a teacher at school #35, who visits her kindergarten students at their homes during the summer in order to get to know each one “by face and name” even before the first day of school < https://youtu.be/io2qLtIhuww>. We know that Marie Rice is one among many Rochester teachers who exemplify excellence and caring. Please let us know the unsung heroes you know so that we could recognize and acknowledge them, as well.
If you have questions about any of the above, or any other work-related topic, please call (546-2681) or email us. We wish you a successful and exciting new school year.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President