President’s Message... Volume 25 No. 1

President’s Message...
Volume 25 No. 1
Welcome back from what I hope was a wonderful summer. Now that Open House is
behind us and the weather is turning cooler, it really feels as if the school year has
started and I’d like to take a moment to wish you all an excellent year.
STAnd United
I know you are aware that our contract expired in June. I realize that this fact
has made some of you uneasy and is frustrating for some as well. The negotiations committee has been busy continuing the negotiations process. As I mentioned in my emails to you,
we continue to make progress. In my latest email I stated: "Many members have expressed
that they want to take some sort of action. If the negotiating committee felt that this
would strengthen our negotiating position, then we would absolutely take that approach.
However we are unanimous in our opinion that any perceived action on our part would
negatively impact the strides we have made thus far." Nothing has happened since that
email which changes that statement. I thank you for your continued patience and
If you are not receiving my emails, please send your non-school email address to
me at [email protected] and I will make sure you are added to the distribution list.
This year I am asking every member of the STA to commit to at least two new
union related activities that you haven’t done before. Some examples of this are:
• Joining PTA
• Attending a Board of Education Meeting or PTA meeting
• Attending the building level STA meetings
• Attending the NYSUT phone bank on October 15th (look for more information in
this newsletter)
• Attending the November 3rd General Membership Meeting
• Voting in the November 4th election. Go to to see which candidates, support New York's students, teachers and
public schools.
• Participating in the annual STA Turkey Basket Drive by donating your time,
money and/or food donations. (Contact Mark Hanik at [email protected] for
more information. Be sure to include STA Turkey Basket in the subject line.)
Working together makes us all stronger. Unions continue to be under fire as the
lawsuits filed in New York about tenure clearly indicate. See Tenure Talking Points in this
newsletter. If we don't educate the public regarding the truth about tenure, all they will
hear are the untruths that corporate reformers continue to perpetuate.
As a reminder, our General Membership Meeting is being held on Monday,
November 3, 2014 at the H.B. Thompson Middle School cafeteria. I look forward to
seeing you all there.
In Unity,
If you hold a Professional certificate, you must complete 175 hours of professional development (PD) every 5 years. Check your individual record on TEACH annually to ensure that the hours reported reflect your records. Note, the first professional development period
begins on July 1 following the effective date of the certificate.
All professional development activities taken as an individual, i.e., a course at the TRACT Center, must be entered by the staff member in
the Staff Dev Log. Other activities such as scoring the NYS assessments must also be entered by the faculty member, as neither the District nor the building would do so.
Other examples of activities that should be entered in the My Learning plan include: Pre & Post observation discussions, Collegial observations, Post-graduate or in-service coursework (Only graduate courses may be taken online), attending workshops
or conventions, Guided reading, attending workshops provided by prof associations, working with consultants, experts who
come into the school or classroom to provide staff dev of specific teaching strategies or curriculum content, acting as a mentor
or peer-coach, writing curriculum, providing instruction for a prof dev activity, serving on a statewide or national committee
or board dealing with any issue relevant to prof dev, serving on district-wide or school committees or boards dealing with any
issue relevant to prof dev, attending any faculty or C.S.E. meeting, serving as a mentor or intern.
Clicking on Staff Dev Log will access the form. Record your hours here. You do not need to enter hours for any group activities such as
for department, faculty meetings, or Superintendent’s Conference days. must be used to log professional development hours and to file requests for approvals before you attend a conference or course. Please refer to the User Instruction Guides that were given to you in September.
When requesting approval for a conference or course you must:
File the request before the activity date - Enter all costs associated, including mileage.
Submit form and then check online to confirm the activity has been approved and now appears in the Approved and In Progress
section of the portfolio.
Mark Complete the activity after participating in the conference or course. Staff will not be able to receive credit unless this step has
been completed.
Enter actual costs. If requesting reimbursement follow the instructions below:
Submit a completed request for reimbursement form
Submit receipts for expenses
Attach a copy of MLP activity form - marked complete with actual expenses listed
Send Transcript - Upon completion of course or degree
Send transcript or conference/course completion certificate of Dr Streitman
Meeting Notice . . .
Syosset Teachers’ Association
General Membership Meeting
HB Thompson, Middle School Cafeteria
Monday, November 3, 2014
Page 2
3:45 p.m.
Te nu re Ta lk ing Po int s
Source: NYSUT Media Relations
The Issue The recent attacks on tenure — such as the legal case now
before a California appeals court, the lawsuit filed by a group of students on Staten Island and another in New York by a right-wing front
group headed by former television celebrity Campbell Brown — are
utterly without merit and simply nothing more than an all-out attack on
the fundamental labor rights of working people by the wealthy elite and
anti-union forces. NYSUT will mount an aggressive and vigorous challenge to any attempt to strip New York's dedicated teachers of this essential and fundamental right — which is a vital safeguard ensuring
quality education, academic freedom and classroom stability.
Where We Stand Tenure does not mean a job for life. Nor does
it protect bad teachers. Tenure simply means that a teacher cannot be
terminated for cause without having formal charges presented and without the fundamental right of due process, which ensures a fair hearing.
Tenure is also a protection that must be earned. Under the law, teachers must prove themselves by serving a probationary period of three
years. Tenure helps safeguard children's ability to receive a quality
education and ensures classroom stability because it provides teachers the freedom to advocate for their students without fear of reprisal.
Blaming low-student achievement on teacher tenure — (a meritless
claim that is not supported by any evidence) — is like blaming the due
process granted to police officers for crime, and blaming the due process
granted to firefighters for fire.
New York's teacher tenure law was amended in 2012. Now, all hearings, by law, must be resolved within 155 days from the point in
which formal charges are presented against a teacher. Note, 84 percent
of discipline cases brought against teachers were resolved before
ever reaching the hearing stage. Teachers' unions do not negotiate
The real reason some of our public schools are struggling is poverty.
The wealthy elite and anti-union forces are missing-in-action in critically important battles such as fighting for state budgets that ensured
equitable and adequate funding for all schools and in opposing the
state's tax cap. The obscene profit-motivated attacks on the rights of
working people in places like CA and NY are why America no longer
has the world's largest middle class. Fundamental rights for workers
are essential to a decent standard of living in NY state. And fundamental
rights for teachers are essential to fairness and defending what students
NYSUT Phone Bank As Election Day approaches NYSUT
members will be making pre-election phone calls from the NYSUT Nassau Regional Office.
Please urge everyone to get involved.
Volunteer for the phone bank and get others to do so.
Date: October 15, 2014
Place NYSUT Nassau Region al Office, 1000 Woodbury Road,
Suite 214, Woodbury, NY 11797
If any of the following changes occur: your
name, address, telephone number, marital
status, number of family members, etc., you
must register your new information by contacting the appropriate offices:
Main Office in your home building
Personnel - Ms. Deborah Mawad
- ext 1980
Health Insurance - Ms. Karen Fem
minella- ext 5664
Life, Dental, LTD—Ms. Karen
Femminella- ext 5664
STA Trust Fund & NYSUT Benefits
- Donna Stanziani - ext 5784
All changes must be conveyed to the insurance
companies. This can only be accomplished by
communicating with the above offices. Take a
few minutes to call or write and send your information regarding the changes you wish to
Next STA Rep Council
October 9, 2014
NYSUT Phone Bank
October 15, 2014
Making Strides Walk-a-thon
October 19, 2014
(Please return T-shirt orders, schoolwide
collections, and walker registration forms
to Debra Puccio @ STA office,
HBT Middle School)
Time: 3 p.m.—6 p.m.
Your Employee Assistance Work/Life Program (EAP) provides support for a variety of personal and professional concerns
including emotional well-being, family and relationship issues, job-related difficulties, substance abuse and others. Trained
professional counselors are available 24/7. Your EAP can help. Call 800-833-8707 for a free and confidential consultation.
Rep Council Notes...
Last Meeting: 9/11/14
South Grove
South Woods Middle School
Approval of Goals
Treasurer’s Report
Political Action
President's report
Bridget Perlmutter
Carol Zweilich
Cathy Bozza
Christine Payne
Sean Kiernan
Syosset High School
Michele Webb
Joanne Neary
Beth Schettino
Rep. Council Attendees:
Dr Rafael Dueñas
Allyson Giles
Jennifer Lamond
Eileen Hoffman
Rosemary Jones
Michelle Potvin
Caroline Polatsidis
Stacey Balducci
Gordana Martinovic
Walt Whitman
Debbie Smith
Candace Nupp
Marcy Eager
Berry Hill
Michele Strauss
Mary Hendrickson
Robin DiMaggio
Jennifer Gustafson
Jodi Beckoff
Registered Nurse
Courtney Orphanos
Susan Murphy
Jody Miller
Robbins Lane
Susan Gallagher
Linda Blanchfield
Lisa Funk
Fritz Weinrich
Angela Alfred
Elissa Wagner
Matty Wolfson
Joyce Ettinger
H.B. Thompson Middle School
Psych Services
Tania Johnson
Margaret O’Connor
Bonnie Pantell
Darlene Darress
George Basso
Ann Cullen
TRACT Center
Marisa Occelli
Fran Bernstein
Kim Pritchard, President
Carol Castaldi
Kat Kelly, Vice-President
Megan Halleran
Michael Callahan , Treasurer Mark Hanik
Allison Noonan
Debra Puccio
David Steinberg
STAnd United
September/October 2014
Volume 25, Number 1
Syosset Teachers’ Association
President: Kim Pritchard
Editor: Donna Stanziani