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    • NYSUT: Now's the time to boost BOCES

      As New York moves forward with plans to encourage more students to take Career and Technical Education (CTE), NYSUT will be making the case for the state to invest more in BOCES.

      “NYSUT has long supported multiple pathways to high school graduation and the Regents “4+1” proposal does open up those multiple pathways,” NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino told about 70 BOCES unionists attending NYSUT’s Leadership Conference over the weekend. “This is an important development and finally puts some focus on the ‘career’ in ‘college- and career-ready.’”

      Fortino said the Regents plan, which would allow students to pass four “traditional” Regents exams (instead of five) and one pathway exam, was recommended by NYSUT earlier this year. “We are hopeful that this will mark a significant policy change for SED to recognize that one size does not fit all,” she said.   

      In the next legislative session, NYSUT will be making the case for new state aid formulas that encourage more shared services and a greater utilization of BOCES.

      Specifically, Fortino noted the maximum amount of a BOCES employee’s salary that qualifies for state aid has not been updated since 1991. As a result, almost half of all BOCES salaries are not even eligible for BOCES aid, meaning the remainder must be covered by local school districts.  

      “This provision must be updated to reflect the world of 2014 and not 1991,” Fortino said.

      Fortino said component school districts are sending fewer students to BOCES due to budgetary constraints and underfunding by the state. “Half of all schools still receive less from the state than they did six years ago,” she said. Too many districts are restricting attendance at BOCES programs because they simply can’t afford it.

      Regent James Tallon, who chairs the Regents state aid committee, said the Legislature would need to increase funding to school districts for CTE programs in order to make the “4+1” program work. “It’s important that we understand this is a huge step, there are big implementation challenges and we are going to have to work collectively to get it done.”

      “This is a massive opportunity for us,” said Sterling Roberson, the United Federation of Teachers vice president for career and technical education and the keynoter at the BOCES Leadership Conference.

      Roberson said businesses are saying students lack the technical skills needed for current and future job openings. “STEM is embedded in CTE every single day,” Roberson said, referring to science, technology, engineering and math. “CTE is quite different than most people think — it’s an integration of academics and vocational education … You cannot teach electronics without math.”

      Perhaps most importantly, Roberson said, CTE gives students the “grit, fortitude and work ethic” that employers want. “Everyone now is looking to CTE … This is our time.”

      Aside from discussing ways to boost CTE, BOCES leaders at the conference talked about a number of legislative initiatives that would help BOCES remain economically viable and even expand offerings:

      • a bill that would provide BOCES building aid for school safety expenses like metal detectors and security devices;
      • a bill that would provide preschool special education programs with  a desperately needed cost of living adjustment; and
      • a bill that would allow BOCES to establish reserve funds to cover long-term costs.

      Nassau BOCES Central Council of Teachers President Bob Dreaper urged NYSUT to support legislation that would lift the cap on BOCES district superintendent salaries, saying the revolving door of superintendents has hurt the stability of many BOCES when they lose superintendents for better-paying jobs with component districts.

      At a roundtable meeting with Fortino, several union leaders voiced concern that their BOCES are not providing services required by a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

      “I’m concerned about legal ramifications, when you have a student whose IEP says they need to be in a 6:1:1 class and those supports and test modifications don’t follow them,” said Bill Baker of United BOCES TA in southwestern New York.  “I teach culinary arts, where kids are working with knives and I have no aide or assistant. Of my 28 kids, almost half the class has IEPs.”

      Another BOCES leader, who didn’t want her name published, expressed safety concerns for a physical education or music teacher who has 30 BOCES students in a class, with no support. “It can be a dangerous setting, say if a child is injured in the PE class and the teacher is all alone with 30 kids” she said. “I had an art teacher who just had one of her students try to cut her wrist with an X-Acto knife. “

      Fortino said NYSUT staff would follow up with the State Education Department on the IEP issue.

      BOCES leaders also shared ideas on a wide range of other topics, such as strategies to help educators work effectively with special needs students and information on what state-approved Annual Professional Performance Review plans look like for BOCES educators.

    • Regents approval of new CTE pathways the right move

      ALBANY, N.Y. Oct. 20, 2014 - New York State United Teachers today expressed strong support for new pathways to graduation for students in the arts, humanities, STEM and Career and Technical Education, calling it a long overdue step in the right direction.

      NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the Regents' unanimous support would allow all students to graduate by demonstrating they have a strong, core academic background, as well as the knowledge, skills and CTE coursework to apply their interests to industry-related jobs in their chosen fields.

      "Providing additional pathways to a high school diploma for all students, including those in CTE programs, is the right move," said Magee, who noted the 4:1 option was recommended by a NYSUT report, Unlocking New Futures for New York's High School Graduates. "The Regents and state Education Department deserve credit for listening to educators and providing flexibility to students, even as they uphold high standards and strengthen and advance CTE education and other disciplines."

      The preliminary vote to change the graduation requirements means students would be allowed to substitute a passing score on an approved CTE exam for one of the five Regents exams currently required for graduation. High school students would still take a balanced curriculum, including American history, global studies, science, math and English language arts. But, in what is known as the 4:1 option, students would also be able to earn a Regents diploma by completing required coursework, passing four Regents exams and succeeding on an approved CTE exam or another alternative exam.

      NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said, "This opens up new pathways to engage all of our students and help them on their chosen path to success."

      Fortino noted, however, the 4:1 option is a first step.

      "These new requirements create an important and exciting new pathway to graduation for students. Yet, there is more to be done," Fortino said. "There must be a greater investment of funding and more support for CTE program development. Discussions with students about career exploration should begin earlier — well before high school. And, CTE programs should be finely honed to strategically focus on workforce needs and job growth so students can acquire skills with value in the labor market." Fortino added that NYSUT looks forward to continuing to bring teacher voice to the process, including participation in a blue-ribbon panel on the arts.

      New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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    LTA Blog

    Carle Place Rally



    Picture with Randi Weingarten, AFT President

    Our LTA Executive Board attended the Rally in Carle Place on September 26th.
    The Carle Place BOE has proposed a salary schedule that would have all new hires making many thousands of dollars less down the line than their current counterparts.

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:35)


    Member Alert Program




    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)


    Nysut Action Center Mobile App




    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)


    Field Trips in LPS


    Students in Lynbrook Public Schools Have a Lot of Field Trips to Look Forward to!Field trips provide real-world connections for the things students are learning in the classroom. Teachers in Lynbrook Schools have organized great experiences for their students to look forward to.


    Teacher: Carol-Ann Pryor- Science teacher, Globe Club Advisor
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip:
    Globe Club went on its 2nd Annual Homecoming Clean Up. 15 members of the club attended a clean up sponsored by the American Littoral Society with the goal to clean up the waterways at Wantagh Park. Operation Splash also aided the clean up. The students were able to clear the waterways of 200 pounds of litter. Every time some one litters the trash is flushed off the ground into the gutters, the gutters lead to reservoirs and the reservoirs pump the garbage through a huge pipe directly into the bays and oceans in our areas. A local organization named operation splash (mentioned above) works to put catches on the gutters in order to prevent a surplus of trash making its way to the water. The gutters with the catch are labeled with green and blue stamps above the gutter.They also hold weekly clean ups of the wetlands from local marina. There is a splash boat docked in East Rockaway that cleans the waterways of Easy Rockaway and Hewlett Harbor. For more information students can go to opperationsplash.net.


    Teacher: Erin Murray- English Teacher
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip:
    I've taken my juniors on a field trip at the start of our unit on The Great Gatsby. Our first stop is Coe Hall, a mansion from the Gold Coast of Long Island in the Oyster Bay Planting Fields Arboretum. We go to the mansion to understand the lifestyle and wealth of those living on the north shore of Long Island in the time of The Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties. After we take the mansion tour, we head up to Sands Point Preserve on the bus to have a picnic lunch outside the Hempstead House, a mansion previously owned by the Guggenheims. Unfortunately, the mansion is now empty, hence the first trip to Coe Hall. But the mansion is very close to where Gatsby's house was supposed to be, and overlooks the Long Island Sound. After lunch we look out at the Sound and I explain the difference between the two "Eggs", "East Egg" and "West Egg," which were really Manhasset and Great Neck, and we see look out over the water at what Gatsby stares out into throughout the book. Time permitting, we read together from the novel the scene in which Gatsby stands with his arms outstretched toward Daisy's dock across the bay. It's powerful for the students to connect the text with the actual setting.


    Teacher: Susan Ehrlich
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: Yankee Stadium & Hard Rock Café / Madison Square Garden & ESPN Zone.
    As a follow up to our stadium design and franchise management units, I take my Marketing classes to the Yankee Stadium tour. On the tour, students will visit Monument Park, the Yankees Museum, dugout, clubhouse and batting cages. After the tour, enjoy lunch in the Hard Rock Café at the stadium. In past years, I have also taken students to Madison Square Garden for the facility tour followed by lunch at the ESPN Zone. This annual field trip helps students to make real world connections to units studied in class.


    Teacher: Jessica Sanders- English Teacher, School Newspaper Advisor
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip:
    1 - Hofstra Press Day in December. Students meet with local journalists who run a variety of workshops throughout the day. 2 - Adelphi Press Day in April. Students participate in the Quill Awards presentation and also participate in various workshops conducted by local journalism professionals.


    Teacher: Danielle Leighley- Spanish teacher
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: A la Carte, Lynbrook
    For the past few years, I have taken my Spanish Classes to the A la Carte Cooking School in Lynbrook. The trip provided the students with an opportunity to improve their understanding of the Spanish and Hispanic cultures by introducing them to various types of Mexican and Spanish cuisine and to the origins and uses of Spanish spices. The students also experienced a cooperative group exercise in which they worked in teams to prepare a sampling of foods and ended the trip by actually eating what they prepared!


    Teacher: Marisa Minicus- Spanish teacher
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: A la Carte, Lynbrook
    The Spanish 2H class goes to A la carte while studying our "food" chapter. There the students prepare, cook, and eat typical Spanish / Hispanic foods such as arroz con leche, paella, fresh salsa, tortillas, and tortilla espanola. The kids learn a lot about the cuisine and the preparation and are exposed to a positive cultural experience.The Spanish 3H class goes to the Kindergarten Center to teach the students a simple lesson in Spanish. Last year they prepared a lesson on the colors. The interaction between the older and younger kids was awesome. Both groups really enjoyed the experience and it also promotes studying languages.


    Teacher: Michael Franklin - Math Teacher, Mathletes club Advisor
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: Nassau County Mathematics Tournament
    The mathletes club goes to the Nassau County Mathematics Tournament every February to compete against the top math students in the county. It is an all day event of three rounds of math. The first round is the grade level individual round, the second round is the mathletics round and the third round is the team round. There are both team trophies and individual trophies for the top 10 teams and individuals in each grade.


    Teacher: Ellen Kannengieser-Science Teacher
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: NY Aquarium, Brooklyn
    The Marine Science classes at Lynbrook High School ended the school year with an exciting trip to The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn. The Coney Island atmosphere helped the students feel as though they were in a true ocean environment. The classes observed the marine organisms and their habitats up close. Many students were able to touch the smaller organisms.From the small sea stars to penguins, sharks and sea turtles, the classroom lessons came alive. An entertaining 3D show was part of the trip. Most of the students agreed that the highlight was the sea lion show. Wally, the sea lion, really performed in the aqua theater.Both the students and their chaperones truly enjoyed this learning experience!


    Teacher: Jonathan Spector- Guidance Counselor
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: AHRC, Brookville
    For the past 9 years, I have taken LHS students on school trips to volunteer with children and adolescents who have developmental disabilities. One popular field trip is to the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) located in Brookville. Every year LHS students particpate in holiday-theme art projects with special education children. We go to the AHRC during Thanksgiving, Halloween and Valentine's Day. It's amazing to watch the LHS students make special connections with children at the AHRC. In addition, LHS students visit the Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS) located in Plainview. They shadow teachers and additional staff such as Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Speech Pathalogists. LHS students also interact with special education children ages pre-school to kindergarten. This year we will continue to volunteer at the AHRC and ACDS and do more community service projects.


    Teacher: Noriko Koide- Japanese Teacher
    School: Lynbrook High School
    Field Trip: Japanese Tea Ceremony
    We are going to a tea house called Urasenke Chanoyu Center in New York City. Interior design of the tea house looks like the traditional house in Japan. The master will take students around the house and show rooms. In the tea room, he will talk about the way of tea and demonstrate the ceremony which students are going to participate in as the guest.


    Teacher: Neil Farina
    School: Lynbrook North Middle School
    Field Trip: Old Bethpage Restoration Village
    We go each year to Old Bethpage Restoration Village. This is a recreation of an 1840s village, with a farmhouse, blacksmith, hatmaker, tavern, shops, and animals. The trip allows students to experience the lifestyle of Americans during the period which they study in 7th Grade Socials Studies.


    Teacher: Maureen McCartney
    School: South Middle School
    Field Trip: King Tut exhibit at the Discovery Times Square
    The sixth grade students at South will be attending the King Tut exhibit at the Discovery Times Square exhibit. Last year, we also attended the same trip in June. We were so impressed that we are going back with a new group!


    Teacher: Jackie Miller
    School: Waverly Park Elementary School
    Field Trip: Nassau County Museum of Art
    Third graders go on three separate field trips (fall, winter and spring) to the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn to view their varied exhibits offered through the year. This is part of an Arts in Education Partnership with the museum, sponsored and paid for by our PTA. In second grade, a unit on famous artists from around the world is done in late spring, and this trip taps into all the students' prior knowledge and allows them to now apply it. It is related to our art teacher's curriculum for third grade as well.


    Teacher: Peter J Deschler, Band Director
    School: Waverly Park Elementary School
    Field Trip: Greis Park, Lynbrook
    The Waverly Park Senior Band (4th and 5th grade) perform music from both the winter and spring concerts at Greis Park. Every year, we are invited to perform for the senior citizens at the Greis Park recreational center. This usually takes place at the end of may/beginning of June. This provides another performance opportunity for these students.


    Teacher: Melissa Quartararo- Music Instructor
    School: West End Elementary School
    Field Trip: New Orleans Jazz concert at the Tilles Center at C.W. Post
    I'm taking my 5th grade band students to see a New Orleans Jazz concert at the Tilles Center at C.W. Post. It's an educational jazz concert geared towards school-age children.


    Teacher: Donna Smith
    School: West End Elementary School
    Field Trip:
    We go to Amigos Mexican Restaurant to support our study of Mexico. They provide food and a very extensive educational presentation of the history, geography and culture of Mexico. We also go to Commerce Plaza to support our study of economics. (www.commerceplaza.org), we go to Ellis Island and we go a museum with Mr. Christie, the art teacher.


    Teacher: Jenny Winn
    School: West End Elementary School
    Field Trips: Mangoes Restaurant in Bethpage - Cultural experience that relates to our Latin America UnitEllis Island - We extend the school day and visit the museum at Ellis Island to enhance our Immigration unitFishing Trip (Freeport)- That's our traditional end of the year trip to celebrate their upcoming graduation. Each child brings one parent on the trip.Also, our art teacher, Michael Christie, takes each fifth grade class to a different museum such as the Guggenheim.


    Teacher: Karen Ajamian, Gale Bayen, Gail Meister, Peter Deschler
    School: Marion Street Elementary School
    Field Trip:
    Every December, the Marion Street Music Department (Karen Ajamian, Gale Bayen, Gail Meister, Peter Deschler) takes a group of chorus, band and orchestra students to perform at the ATRIA ASSISTED LIVING Facility. The students perform for the residents and then take part in a group sing a long. It has become a tradition that one of the residents, a former professionally violinist, plays along with the group.Karen Ajamian (Chorus, Marion Street) regularly accompanies a Marion Street Girl Scout troop on their annual visits to assited living facilities to perform.This year, the music department is sponsoring a field trip to a CW POST TILLES CENTER program entitled WHAT IS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ. The fourth grade classes at Marion Street are studying the history of jazz and this program will enhance their experience.


    Teacher: Susan Lindner
    School: Waverly Park Elementary School
    Field Trip: Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor
    In conjunction with the Fourth Grade Social Studies Curriculum, New York/Long Island, and the 4th Grade Science curriculum, the fourth graders at Waverly Park take a trip to the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor in December. The students have pre lessons with their homeroom teachers, learning about the whaling industry and the part it played in the economy of Long Island. Susan Lindner, their Science teacher, while learning about Animal Adaptations, to include the whales, also does a prelesson on parts of the whale used long ago, scrimshaw, baleen,etc. and other terms related to whales and the whaling industry. The students go on a scavenger hunt in the Whaling museum, looking for various items througout the museum, watch a video on a Whaling voyage, and culuminate by making a piece of scrimshaw as a souvenir of their trip. The students learn first hand about the life of a whaler and have a great time on this totally hands on trip.


    Teacher: Kathy Freehill
    School: Lynbrook Kindergarten Center
    Field Trip: Lynbrook Public Library
    Kindergarten classes are going to the Lynbrook Public Library. The librarians introduce the children to the children's section of the library and explain how to get their first library card. In addition, the children learn about all the different books, tapes, cds, dvds and magazines they can take out for free. Ms. Egan and Ms. Rene read picture books, play a memory game and do fun stretching activities with the children. It is always a fun trip!We are also going to Tanglewood Preserve on Nov. 4th and 5th for the Live Animals program and Math in the Natural World. Then we will visit a local dentist for our Community Unit.

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:34)

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