October 10, 2019
In this issue…. SEBB Reminders, October 11th, Being Political, Healthy School Environments, CBA FAQs - All Things PCT
Open enrollment for SEBB has begun. Start at the SEBB MyAccount web page. If you would like assistance with SEBB enrollment, HSD Human Resources staff will be available on Fridays during open enrollment from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM in the Central Office Computer Lab. Also, be sure to print, sign, and return your eligibility notice to Highline Human Resources; it needs to be placed in your personnel file!
October 11 is a non-student workday. As such, if employees are absent, they must enter their absence using the appropriate leave. Because the focus of member work must be on “building priorities,” administrators have the right to insist their staff stay in the building and work on “building priorities.” They cannot, however, direct with whom our members must team nor on which priorities they must focus. Read the full CBA FAQ from the September 26th eFocus here.
All Politics is Local -- good governance depends on each of us!
• Why do education unions have PACs that endorse candidates? We endorse candidates who we want elected because we have evidence that the way they will govern will improve the lives of our students and our members. This month members are doorbelling, donating, displaying yard signs, and sharing our endorsements with others. We hope every member will commit to one action in support of at least one candidate. Email Sandy Hunt today!
• Registered to vote?...Moved lately? Ballots are mailed next week. Get your ballot delivered on time and GOTV by helping eligible voters living in King County to register here.
• Need more info on pro-ed candidates in your area? Fellow WEA PAC members around the state have vetted and endorsed candidates. Click here for the list.
• What is WEAPAC? Find out here. Turn a small monthly contribution into transformational wins for families, students, and educators by joining the largest educator-driven political action committee in the state! Get your donation to candidates who will make a difference on our issues. To join WEA PAC, print out this form, complete it, and return it to your HEA Rep in person. Already a WEA PAC member and want to give more? Use this secure online donation form.
• Does one person’s voice really matter? Amplify one voice into many when you use WEA’s Our Voice Website to easily write to your own elected officials on issues of importance to you:
• Who else cares? Visit the HEA website to learn how to get involved and find fellow members who share your interests. The Oct 3rd EFocus newsletter has more details. Sign up for HEA’s Political Action Team or other key committees using this link.
Healthy School Environments
Finding creative ways to nourish successful learning environments at every worksite is a top priority of our executive board.
Hosting district administrators at our October 7th Rep Council Meeting was a new practice. By inviting Holly Ferguson and Doug Judge, administrators who develop district policies as well as work on discipline and social emotional learning, we encouraged them to better understand challenges members face on a daily basis. In addition, HEA representatives received information on new state discipline policies that are changing the ways we work with students and their families.
The rights and responsibilities expected of all members of our school system may be a good topic for your upcoming Shared Leadership Team meetings. Here is a webpage the district has developed to help our members and our families better understand the new state law.
CBA FAQs - Professional Collaboration Time (PCT)
Q. How can our school develop its PCT year-long schedule in a way that ensures it is in compliance with the contract? Are there steps we should follow? Who controls what we do during PCT?
A. PCT is outlined in Section 4.4 of the CBA. Here are two subsections of Section 4.4 that some members have found confusing, along with an interspersed explanation of how to collaboratively build your schedule and allocate days using our contract language. It is important to review the district calendar when placing all of your job-alike days.
4.4.A. Each school’s shared leadership team (SLT) will gather input from the certificated staff to consult with the principal regarding the content, type, and format of professional collaboration time.
• In other words, there should be an SLT discussion about PCT, including when to calendar the three different types of PCTs; the PCT schedule must take into account the calendared job-alike dates, which are necessary to ensure that every school has those available for the two types of job-alikes. However, after this SLT discussion, the principal has authority over which dates to schedule for each type of PCT, following the allocations in section B. below.
• Usually there are about 32 PCT Fridays, but if there are more or less than 32, SLT should have a discussion about how to address the balance. This year, there are 34, so it might make sense to have one of the extras be principal-directed and the other either individually or team-directed. The explanation for subsection B uses 32 days for simplicity.
• Additionally, the allocations in subsection B are percentages, so it is allowable for an SLT & principal to split PCTs, so long as the proportionality is correct. (e.g. One week, a PCT might be 45 minutes principal-directed and 45 minutes team-directed, and then the next week, the split might be 45 minutes principal-directed and 45 minutes individually-directed. This would maintain the 25/25/50 split.) Likewise, it’s allowable to have different PCT schedules for different staff members in a building, so long as the proportionality is met. For simplicity, the explanation below uses full days and assumes all staff are on the same PCT schedule.
4.4.B. PCT will be allocated as follows:
1. 25% will be reserved for teacher/ESA-directed work by individuals;
• Assuming 32 PCT Fridays, 25% would be 8 individually-directed PCTs. Many schools try to ensure that some of these individual dates are scheduled right before progress reports and report cards are due, to provide time to work on those. Assuming the entire building has a consistent PCT schedule, individually-directed PCTs cannot be scheduled on either type of calendared job-alike dates.
2. 25% will be teacher/ESA-directed collaborative work by small teams of teachers/specialists on building or district priorities, with half of these PCT days identified and reserved on the work year calendar for optional teacher/ESA-directed cross-school collaboration with job-alike colleagues (principal notification will be provided in the event staff leave their usual worksite);
• Again using 32 PCT Fridays as the norm, there would be 8 of these team-directed days, 4 of which must be scheduled on the “optional” job-alike dates (yellow cross-hatching). For ALL of these team-directed PCTs, teachers/ESAs choose their team, and they choose which building or district priority(ies) their team will work on. Principals may ask who teams are working with and what they are working on, but may not direct either of those; also, detailed meeting notes are not required. (SLT may make recommendations about team composition and/or areas of focus based on their PCT planning, but these should be considered recommendations.)
• On the optional job-alike dates, cross-district groups may be formed by the job-alike groups listed in part 3, as well as by others that are not specifically outlined below (e.g. world language teachers, dual language teachers, literacy specialists, 4th grade teachers and so on). For any optional job-alike, staff need to let their principal know if they are leaving the building to attend a job-alike meeting – and again, who they are working with and what they are working on.
• On the other four team-directed dates, the general assumption is that they are for small teams to work in their own buildings, but there may be exceptions to this, especially if there isn’t a natural in-building ‘team’ for a particular teacher or ESA.
3. 50% will be determined by the building principal, with one-quarter of these PCT days identified and reserved on the work year calendar in Exhibit B for potential administratively-directed meetings of ESA/specialist groups (OT/PTs, Psychologists, Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists, Special Education, Librarians, Fine Arts and PE specialists, and CTE teachers) in cross-school collaboration with job-alike colleagues. Additional job-alike groups may be identified on an annual basis for administratively-directed subject area and/or grade level initiatives; notice of any additional job-alike groups will be provided to principals and HEA leadership as soon as possible, but no later than August 10.
• Again assuming 32 PCT Fridays, there would be 16 principal-directed PCTs, and 4 of these (25% of 16) must be scheduled on the administratively-directed PCT dates on the calendar (solid yellow). On these four job-alike dates, only the groups listed above and any additional groups identified by HSD before October 10th may meet for job-alikes. (This year, the additional group is Challenge.) If there is an administratively-directed job-alike meeting taking place, staff who fall into those groups may leave their usual worksites to attend (again, with principal notification).
• Principals may direct the content of these 16 PCTs, and they may be either whole group or small teams. If principals choose to use some of their PCT dates for small team work, they may direct both the composition of the teams and the work done by those teams. It’s important that any work requiring the presence of staff who fall into the identified job-alike groups be scheduled on the 12 principal-directed days that are not set aside for administratively-directed job-alikes.