Programs are over, parties are done, and now it's time for the real fun to begin! I hope everyone enjoys this nice long break--whether you are traveling to see family, hosting a dinner with friends and neighbors, or just putting your feet up and reading your new book--I wish you a joyous and restful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Years! (I hope I didn't forget any celebrations!) Relax, make merry, and I'll see you back refreshed and ready to go in 2020!
The ongoing bargaining team met on Wednesday. Some key points:
--We are considering lowering the number of years that we will grant new hires for teaching experience, from 10 years to five years. This will help save costs from the general fund.
--Hard to fill positions may have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
--We looked at leave time taken: 70 fewer sick leaves day and 111 more professional days taken for the same period, first quarter, 2018 and 2019. We are collecting this information for a wider discussion around training and grade level meetings. Question: would you give up a "choice" PIR day for an added required day in our calendar that was devoted to in-district training?
--We are looking at the cost of all the district testing and computer programs--are they still the best, is there a better, more cost efficient option out there?
--We are looking at the number of students in high school classes, cost effectiveness vs c...
Thank you for everything that you do each and every day on behalf of our students, our families, our district, and our union. You have the most important job in the world--and often the most demanding. Every day you come to school and something amazing happens--that "aha" moment when your student "gets it"; that day you finally break through to the child who has been resistant; that minute that your kiddo gives you a hug and says "I'm glad to be here!"
You probably don't hear it often enough, but I know that so many people out there think it: Thank you! Thank you for what you do. Thank you for what you give up to do what you do. Thank you for caring about children. Thank you for caring about education.
Enjoy your well deserved holiday break. Safe travels to those of you who will be on the road. Enjoy your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!
Congratulations to those folks who were able to take advantage of the Retirement Incentive offered this fall. I wish every one of you the best as you move into the next chapter of life--whatever that may be! I know that HSD is losing very talented and dedicated educators. On behalf of the HEA, I want to thank you for your years of service to our students, our school district, and our union. You will be missed!
HEA and HSD has been working on a new transfer form (thank you Kelly Elder!) which will be available online soon. We anticipate that there may be quite a bit of movement, so make sure that you start thinking about where you would like to be next year. If you are even considering a possible move, or have a dream job in mind, make sure that you put in for a transfer, even if that particular position is not currently open--you never know, it just may open up. As soon as the transfer form is live, I will let you know by email.
If you missed the MFPE Educators Conference this past week, make plans for next year! Great sectionals, fabulous dinner--where several of our own HSD1 teachers were recognized, and fun catching up with friends and colleagues from around the state. Maybe you even want to offer a sectional of your own!
MFPE's Regional Meeting is tonight, 5:30-7:00. Come out to Helena College and find out what is going on with your state union. Food and drink provided!
Bargaining continues on November 6th. Please send any ideas that you have for bargaining to any committee member or to me. Make your voice heard!
Thanks for everything you do in the Helena School District! Jane
The HEA Board of Directors met last Tuesday. There was a lively discussion about guest teachers, the lack thereof, and how to solve the problem. If you have any great suggestions, bring them to your building rep!
The COPE Board voted to support our own HEA member candidate, Melissa Romano, in her bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction! We donated $340 to her campaign on behalf of HEA.
Helena Vigilante Runners are sponsoring the Helena Sun Run on October 5. The beneficiaries of this fundraiser are Helena's new elementary schools. Check the calendar for a link to their website.
The MFPE Educators Conference is fast approaching. Register for the Belgrade conference at MFPE.org. Remember that 0--5 year union members go for free, union members pay $30, and nonmembers pay $100--registration must be completed by October 15. There are a ton of sectionals to choose from. All non-tenured HEA members can receive a $50 travel stipend from HEA--just submit proof of attendance....
September has already been a busy month! It is exciting to see you all back and doing your thing!
Rep Council had its first meeting on Tuesday. We have about 50 educators and 25 paraeducators new to the district this year--please welcome our new colleagues. Paraeducators are using the AESOP system for guest paras, so help them out on the system if necessary. Nominations are open for the Elementary Board of Directors position, due by Sept. 25. Also, if you are a non-tenured member heading to the Educators Conference in Belgrade in October, you can be reimbursed for $50.00 in travel expenses by providing a copy of your sectional transcript to me.
Check out the website calendar to stay up to date on what's happening--including Angel Fund fundraisers and HEF activities.
Thank you for all you do for our students each and every day!
Looking forward to a great beginning of school! So much activity has been happening in each and every school and it’s exciting to see. If I can help you in any way as you begin your year, please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me!
A quick note on the Board of Directors meeting held August 20, 2019. The Board approved some normal beginning of the year expenditures: Para Educator breakfast; New Teacher lunch; and Back to School BBQ among others. We have hired 47 new educators and 26 new paraeducators to date, with still a few vacancies to fill. A discussion took place about the retirement incentive and the request was made to post the details:
Welcome to all new and returning educators! I am excited to begin this year as your Helena Education Association President. I work for you--so please let me know how I can help you. Contract questions, leave questions, PIR questions, any questions at all, please ask, and if I can't answer you I will do my best to find someone who can! My biggest goal for this year is to have the best communication possible. I will be posting here often: letting you know what has happened in Rep Council and Board of Directors meetings; updating you on any negotiations with the district; reminding you of upcoming dates; and generally using this as an HEA-wide communication platform. My goal is to visit every school at least twice a semester. Individually, I will get back to an email, voice mail, or text from you within 24 hours. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have--remember, I work for you! Let me know if there is anything that I can do to you get your...