Oh, how I love the end of the school year! Especially when it feels like a return to “normal.” Uncovered faces. Proms. Graduation. Moving up. There is much to celebrate and much to be grateful for as we mark the end of the year. We wish well our friends and colleagues who’ve decided to retire. Now you can travel off peak! We congratulate those that have joined our ranks as tenured faculty. What a time to navigate the tenure process! You’ve found a home among the best colleagues and the best faculty anywhere. By now you have learned that if you’re doing this job right it means you’re giving tremendously of yourself. That’s why what we do is so difficult. But it’s also why it can be so rewarding.

Like running a successful marathon, teachers who work as hard as we do and give as much as we give often cross the finish line in June with nothing left in the tank. So, for those returning in September, I encourage you to focus completely on recovery this summer. Relax. Restore. Rejuvenate. Focus on what brings you joy.

See you again at the starting line!

Odds and ends……

Weekly COVID Testing

As of July 1, schools will not be required to test unvaccinated teachers and staff weekly, nor will they be required to offer weekly screening testing to students. Here is the updated emergency regulation.

Know Your Contract

There has been some confusion over the modification of our leave of absence provision in the new contract. The provision in the MOA reads “Teachers on long-term leave must give 30 days’ notice prior to returning and teachers on long term leave of absence may not return after June 1 until the following September.” This provision does not apply to teachers who are out due to illness or injury and are using sick leave. It does apply to members who have elected to take a long-term unpaid leave (beyond the maximum under FMLA), most often after the birth of a child.


Paychecks in 2022-2023

Please be aware that the first payroll of next year will be on September 9, 2022. As it was this year, unit members who elect to have money withheld throughout the year for lump-sum distribution at the end of the school year will receive 21/25ths of their annual salary between September 9, 2022, and June 16, 2023. The remaining 4/25ths will be distributed as a lump-sum on Friday June 23, 2023. Please budget accordingly. Also note that your July health insurance premium is taken out of your June paychecks and your August premium is taken out of your September checks.


Tentative Summer/Fall Calendar Dates

July 6—BOE Meeting, 8:00 pm

Aug 15—BOE Meeting, 8:00 pm

Aug 23, 24, 25—New Teacher Orientation

Aug 29, 30, 31—Superintendent’s Conference Days

Sep 1—First Day of School for Students

Sep 7—HBT and SW Open House, 6:30 pm

Sep 8—Elementary Open House

Sept 15—STA Representative Council Meeting

Sept 21—SHS Open House

Superintendent’s Conference Days

We will begin the 2022-2023 school year with three Superintendent’s Conference Days on August 29, 30 and 31. Many teachers have volunteered to be part of the planning and from initial reports it sounds as if we can expect an interesting mix of activities. I’m looking forward to seeing what the teams come up with and thank them for their willingness to take on the project. Expect to be compensated for any work done over the summer.


Teachers College Survey

The STA is in the process of surveying its elementary classroom teachers and grade 6-8 English teachers, among others, on their experience with the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Program. The results of the survey will be analyzed over the summer and shared with the Central Administration. If you were sent a survey link, please provide your feedback ASAP.

Election—Please Vote!

Primary election day is coming up on June 28th. We’re voting in primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, and state assembly. Early voting has already started. Check out the list of NYSUT Endorsed Candidates here.


New Teachers/Early Career Members

The Early Career Member Summer Workshop Series is designed to acquaint members in the early stage of their careers (defined as the first 5 years of employment) with the vast array of professional and personal services NYSUT union membership provides. This series will feature 5 workshops on a range of subjects that we have found are of interest and value to early career members. Click here for info


Loan Forgiveness

The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program—with the changes that the AFT has secured through advocacy and litigation—is perhaps the single best opportunity to deliver money in our members’ pockets. So far, $7.3 billion has been forgiven for more than 127,000 public service workers. But there is limited time to act to secure these benefits. Specifically, the expanded opportunity to receive credit for past payments ends Oct. 31, 2022. That means AFT members must submit paperwork by this date—it’s not too late! For more info click on the link above.

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