EDITION #5 - MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2016
In this issue of your ETFO Waterloo Newsletter:
- Update on new benefit plan;
- Important report card reminders;
- We're a culture, not a costume;
- Parent-Teacher Interviews;
- Project Overseas 2017;
- Mandatory Staff Training reminders;
- Last Call! TPA Workshop Tomorrow!
- Connected Communities Webinars
- Upcoming Events
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BENEFITS
OTIP did send out enrollment emails to all remaining eligible Waterloo Teacher Local members (all actively at work members; members on leave who currently have benefits – this includes maternity/parental leaves, unpaid leaves, etc.) at their board email addresses on Tuesday, October 18.
Unfortunately Waterworks was down and continues to be down for maintenance, resulting in these external emails not being delivered to members at this point. We understand that the Board is working on this issue, and as a result, emails will not be received until early next week.
Please be assured that the delay will in no way jeopardize or delay your coverage as of November 1 in the new ETFO ELHT benefits plan – current coverage will be rolled over automatically. You will receive your new benefit cards in the mail in the near future. Once you do receive the email, you should then complete the online enrollment process to verify and update your coverage. We will send another communication when we have an update regarding the resolution of the Waterworks system.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847. OTIP offers extended hours to help you through the enrolment process. You can call Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you are having any technical difficulties with the on-line sign on process you can call 1-888-521-0023 for assistance.
Please continue to monitor ETFO Waterloo Memberhub for further information.
Important Report Card Reminders:
The earliest date that completed progress reports may be asked for is Monday, October 31st.
In schools that have reorganized, it is possible that some classes may have had more than one teacher since the first day of school. This may present some challenges in the writing of Progress Reports. The teacher before reorganization and the new teacher both have a role to play in progress reporting.
The teacher who is in front of the class when the reports go out, is responsible for inputting the marks and comments.
The teacher who taught the students prior to reorganization, should be providing assessment data to the new teacher, in order for them to complete progress reports in TWEA.
If situations contrary to this arise, please contact Joanne Threndyle at the ETFO office.
Halloween is only a week away and the WRDSB Equity and Inclusion Officers have shared a variety of amazing tips and resources for staff to consider. ETFO is an equity seeking organization which encourages all members to consider these tips before planning next week's activities:
- In communications home, ensure families do not feel pressured to dress their children in costumes, and support alternatives like wearing black and orange, if they would like to participate as such. It is their choice.
- Costumes should not be disrespectful of others. In short, if something is representative of a persons culture or religion/religious beliefs, then it should not be worn as another person's costume.
- Discourage the wearing of masks, for safety reasons, and the carrying of plastic weapons that may go along with a costume. We don't allow weapons, real or fake, to be brought to school on any day, so Halloween should not be an exception.
- If food/treats are a part of your activities, then remember that healthy options should also be considered. Some classes encourage children to bring treats in for the whole class. Once again, please be aware that this can be a financial strain on many of our families.
The afternoon of Friday, November 18th has been set aside to meet with parents regarding Progress Reports. The morning will be Board provided PD at your school.
There is no expectation that teachers will meet with or contact all parents. Teachers continue to be responsible to communicate with parents/guardians. Communication may be face-to-face, or through a telephone conversation. As at any time during the year, parents/guardians may request a meeting and the teachers/administrators would work with the parents/guardians to establish a mutually
If a teacher or parent wishes to meet or otherwise communicate about reports, how and when that occurs is between the teacher and parent. Groups of teachers may decide to do something at the same time, but it is each individual teacher's responsibility to arrange and communicate with parents as appropriate.
If there is communication being sent home about interviews it should be developed and come from the individual teacher. A teacher may choose to meet with the parents/guardians before or after school hours, however administrators should not direct teachers to participate in a scheduled, school-wide parent-teacher interview night, including putting the entire staff into School Day for an interview evening.
This expectation applies to all reporting periods. As always, if teachers or a group of teachers are planning interviews for which they require the principal to be present, they should arrange that in advance.
If something contrary to this is happening at your school, please contact me at the ETFO office or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDER: Mandatory Staff Training
Below is a summary of the mandatory training required for the year, who is required to complete each, and when it is due.
Online training portal: http://training.staff.wrdsb.ca/login
If you have any technical issues (such as problems with your PAL username/password, or with accessing the website) please either log a ticket at itservicedesk.wrdsb.ca or call the IT Service Desk at 519-570-0003, ext. 5566 for assistance.
LAST CALL!! - ETFO Waterloo will be hosting our annual Teacher Performance Appraisal Workshop tomorrow! This workshop is directed toward teachers who have been identified by their administrators as being evaluated this year and who have questions regarding the evaluation process. Teachers should have received letters from their administrators on or by October 3, 2016, that indicate they are to be evaluated this year.
Professional Learning Opportunity!
Participate in a series of 16 different online webinars (unlimited choices) to enhance your knowledge, develop more effective practices and gain a better understanding for teaching and learning in a digital world.
November 3-30, 2016
Registration will close one (1) week prior to each individual webinar
For more information, visit the ETFO Provincial Website or view the flyer.
Waterloo Region Dates of Significance
Tuesday, October 25 - TPA Workshop
Thursday, October 27 - Fall Business Meeting
Thursday, November 10 - ETFO Fall Dinner - Bingemans
Friday, November 4 - Health and Safety Training Due Date
November 3-30, 2016 - Connected Communities Webinars - Registration closes one week before session.
November 17-18, 2016 - Enhancing Public Speaking Skills for Women - Registration closes October 31
November 24 and 25, 2016 - Effective Negotiation Skills for Women Leaders - Registration closes Friday, October 28
December 2-3, 2016 - Next Steps: Racialized Women’s Workshop on Resumé Writing and Interview Skills - Registration closes November 10, 2016.