Welcome to the Dighton Rehoboth Regional Teachers' Association site. 
New easy to remember web name drteachers.org
Pre-Year meeting August 27th 2014
#1: E-Committee  October 8th 2014
#2: E-Committee January 14th 2015
#3: E-Committee March 11th 2015
#4: E-Committee May 6th 2015
#5: Annual Membership : May 27th 2015*

  This site is a work in progress; it is our hope that it will become a vital part of the association's effort to keep all members informed.  Please check out the entire site including the members only area.
Tim Kelly
Remember our working environment is our students' learning environment.
As part of our new push to
increase communication
please click and give us
your information!!

Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Contact your building representative with any problems or concerns!!!

P.O. Box 601     

Rehoboth, MA 02769

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Lost Generation  Watch this very cool!!
The New Evaluation is here!
"Experience averts tragedy in Hudson landing"

Our school's most experienced teachers have spoken, is anyone listening?
In a recent talk with an administrator she said something like;  The best teachers are the new ones because they have just been taught in college the latest educational best practices.  I did not know how to respond ... I wanted to say to her  "So if you were going in for major surgery would you choose the doctor who has never done the operation but been just taught best practices or would  you want a doctor who had successfully done the surgery before?"  
Most of these best practices come from people who are trying to profit on the educational system.  experienced teachers should continue to grow and learn ...but experience is about 75% of the game!!
New teachers are valuable for many other reasons
-they are the future of education
-they are young: students need someone who can relate to the world they are growing in a little better
-they are optimistic ... and that can be contiguous!!   

Dr. Azar has agreed that we may need to reorganize the evaluation committee.  It has been at a dead lock and did not reach an agreement last year on improvements.

These are the things we are working on;
Time line for Evaluation proposed changes in blue

Completed by September 20
Evaluator meets with new educators to assist in self-assessment and
goal setting process

Completed by  October 1
Educator submits self-assessment and proposed goals
Completed by  November 1
Educator submits self-assessment, sets expectations and proposed goals

Completed by  October 1
Evaluator should complete first walk-through of each Educator and a coaching session
(coaching session for 1st year teachers only)
Completed by  November 1
Evaluator should complete first walk-through of each Educator  and a collaboration session
(Collaboration session for 1st year teachers only)

Completed by  October 15
Evaluator meets with Educators in teams or individually to agree on goals
Completed by  November 15
Evaluator meets with Educators in teams or individually to agree on goals and expectations

Completed by  January 5
Evaluator should complete at least 3 observations and 1 coaching session
(2nd coaching session for 1st year teachers)
Evaluator should complete at least 3 observations and 2 collaboration session
For teachers without professional  teacher status and 1 observation and collaboration session
for teachers with professional teaching status  (2nd collaboration session for 1st year teachers)

Completed by  January 5*
Educator reviews evidence on standards and progress towards goals

Completed by   February 1
Evaluator should complete mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports for
Educators on one-year Educator Plans
Completed by   February 15
Evaluator should complete mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports for
Educators on one-year Educator Plans

Completed by February 15
Evaluator holds Formative Assessment Meetings if requested by either
Evaluator or Educator

Completed by  April 30
Educator reviews evidence on standards and progress towards goals

Completed by  June 1
Evaluator completes Summative Evaluation Report

Completed by  June 6
Evaluator completes Summative Evaluation meeting if any

Completed by  June 10
Educator signs Summative Evaluation Report and adds response, if any

2.  Evaluation  changes
-purpose statement
-Clear definitions (example walk through and walk about)
-Meetings held in teachers rooms (for easy access to evidence)
-Teachers can document observing evidence

3.  Definition changes
Expectation; enlisting your evaluator in helping you achieve exemplary in a
category or categories you feel you should achieve this level.

coaching changes to collaboration we feel it should be a team effort to reach the goals
of the teacher and the district

Collaborative meeting form; this gives the educator a clear understanding of where
they stand and what they need to do.

Walkabouts; in an effort to allow administrators to  enter the classroom for the students
sake.  This is not evaluative and requires no written response

4.  Where am I?  we need improvements on this

5.  An Appeals process

6.  Better PD on this

7.  Evidence reality info

8.  The need of a teachers handbook

As we enter year 3 of the new evaluation system we need to understand that we are not through the woods yet.    The evaluation  is complicated, time consuming and frustrating to many and new parts of it are rolling out every year.  We are the pioneers through the new system that the commissioner of education believes will take 5 years to work out.  We need to work together as a Union to help each other and represent a united front to Administration.  The administrators have  been working hard to help everyone.... but it is not safe to just have administration driving this ship.   We need to become experts and we need to use the Unions structure to keep the evaluation process fair and just.  The district has purchased Baseline edge This system should help make the Rubric more manageable.  We will need training!!!

Race to the Top
Summary of Massachusetts
Grant Application

Planning to retire soon ??...click here

The administration in at least one school is doing a full court press against teachers.  Please be aware of your weingarten rights... this just states that if you get called into a meeting you should always ask if this is about a  disciplinary action or could lead to one ... ask if you can have you building rep with you.   This is always best ... just having another pair of ears and someone taking notes ... this is just a good idea.  In one school we have had some serious issues with teachers being called in and not understanding their rights.

Changing Education Paradigms Interesting video
House Of Cards - Corporate Deform in America
The evaluation committee by state law is made up of teachers (selected by the association), administrators and school committee members.  The task is overwhelming and vitally important.  Last year at the start of the year these were the results of a survey I sent out about the evaluation process ... it will be interesting to do another survey and see what we now know about the 2013-2014 cycle and the coming new requirements in the 2014-2015.   

Survey update: 

As of today (Sunday 9/29/13) 96 members responded 62% of members

1st Question results;
13% Had very little knowledge of how the evaluation worked
31%  said they were somewhat knowledgeable
31% said they were fairly knowledgeable
20% understood the system
4% said they were comfortable

2nd Question Have you been  adequately trained on base line edge? results:
31%  yes
69%  no

3rd Question Did you know that the Evaluation system is reevaluated every year and it is important to give your building Representatives feedback? results:
38% yes
62% no

We talked to Gail .. she sent our the video and agreed to call the evaluation committee back together and to train the Excom members.  We think it is important to have building representatives trained so people can come to them and trust they will be help in a professional way. We need to make the evaluation system work for not only the administration but also for the teachers!!  The MTA info site http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/Evaluation.aspx

4th question What is your biggest concern with the new evaluation system? results;

I will send out everything for you to see next week.... but overall people worried about time, inconsistency, trust, fairness, time and time.....

5th Question Do you know what DDM's are? results;
15% yes
85% no

District determined Measures is a part of the evaluation system that will begin next year.  It is student test results in state tested areas of common assessments.   It can not be used to give you a "bad evaluation" but if your students do not show growth you can be kept on a 1 year plan.  The association is upset that teachers have not been informed, we will run workshops provided by the MTA this year and we encourage you to read up on it.  http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/toolkits/ddm.aspx

6th Question Do you know what PARRC is? results;
61% yes
39% no

First of all I messed up the letters, its PARCC.  It stands for partnership for assessment of readiness  for college and careers.  It is a computerized testing system owned by Pearson (http://www.parcconline.org/), the Education conglomerate driving education reform (RTTT)  It is one of the ways states will test schools based on the common core standards (also designed by an Education conglomerate)  We will be testing it in all schools this year and fully implement it (computerized) next year.  Most intelligent informed leaders in education do not see this as physically possible( computers with internet access for all students) by next year.  The problem is education reform is not being led by  intelligent informed leaders in education.... so stay tuned!!!  more information http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/toolkits/ccss.aspx

7th Question What is the most important quality you are looking for in a new Superintendent? results;

I have listed all of them in the members only survey section

                                       Health Insurance Safety-Net Found

You received a letter about this found.  It is designed to help staff and retired members who receive insurance from the district.  Specifically it is to help with high out of pocket costs for covered health services and perception co-pays.  The basics; 
*If you have the individual insurance once you pay over $1,000 you are entitled to the found for up to another $1,000
Example   If you costs were $2,300 .... you could receive the maximum $1,000 from the found
*If you have the family insurance once you pay over $2,000 you are entitled to the found for up to another $2,000
Example   If you costs were $3,300 .... you could receive  $1,300 from the found
So please start saving your receipts for out of pocket costs