Teacher Times #6
October 6, 2014
Birthdays of the Week
Erica Laurent 10/7
Teacher Notes Newsletter Now Available
All teachers at your school should have received the fall issue of Teacher Notes, a new quarterly publication for NYCDOE teachers. As noted in last week’s Principal Notes, this newsletter provides teachers with an opportunity to hear directly from Chancellor Fariña. Each issue will highlight programs, teacher voices, recommended reading, and helpful tips. Going forward, Teacher Notes will be published quarterly via email to both teachers and principals. Issues will also be accessible via the Teacher Page.
You should review the fall issue of Teacher Notes for the Chancellor’s message to teachers, as well as discussions of the Common Core, parent and family engagement, and other timely information. In addition, if you receive inquiries from staff about how to receive the newsletter at their non-NYCDOE email addresses, please direct them to contact Leslie Pankowski to register their email addresses on the distribution list.
For questions, email Leslie Pankowski or call 718-935-4042.
Opportunity to Modify Health Benefits
Please note the following opportunities for staff members to make changes to health benefits:
Health Benefits Transfer Period: Also known as Open Enrollment, the Health Benefits Transfer Period begins on October 1 and ends on October 31. During this time, you and members of your staff who are eligible for benefits may make changes to your health plans, including adding or dropping optional riders. To submit changes, log in to Employee Self Service (ESS) (for more information about logging in and using ESS, click here). Any changes that you or your staff make during Open Enrollment will take effect during the first full pay period of January 2015.
Flexible Account Program Transfer Period: The Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) program allows participants to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses using pre-tax funds that are automatically deducted from their payrolls. During the Flexible Account Program Transfer Period, which began on September 22 and ends on October 31, you and your staff may make changes to your flexible spending accounts or opt in to the program for the first time. Any changes that you or your staff make to your flexible spending accounts during the transfer period will take effect during the first full pay period of January 2015. For more information, visit the City’s Office of Labor Relations website.
For questions, contact HR Connect at 718-935-4000.
Grant opportunities are posted on the Grants website (you can visit the page on any computer using this link). This week’s highlights include:
§ Studio in a School Grant Opportunity for Title I Schools
§ Wendy’s High School Heisman
Pic Of The Week
Regents Scoring Per Session Opportunities
Note that Algebra 2/Trig, Chemistry, Comprehensive English, Earth Science, Integrated Algebra, Physics, and US History will be scored partially or fully through per session opportunities that will funded and managed centrally by the NYCDOE. Interested teachers and supervisors may now apply for these per session positions at Regents scoring sites and should do so by October 29.
Teacher's Choice Program Renewed
Like last year, your teachers and other eligible staff will have the opportunity to purchase instructional materials and supplies for use in their classrooms through the Teacher's Choice Program. To view the titles of teachers and staff who are eligible for the program and for specific allocation levels in place during the 2014–15 school year, see the Teacher's Choice eligibility requirements. As noted in the eligibility requirements, APs who teach at least one class, certain full-time regular substitute teachers, and ROTC instructors are also eligible for these funds and must submit required certification forms by October 17. In addition, any staff members who do not want to participate in the Teacher’s Choice Program should complete and submit this Request for Non-Participation (i.e. Opt-Out Form) by October 24. For other key program dates, see here.
For updated program guidelines and related forms, see the Teacher’s Choice website. You may also access program FAQs here. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-935-4000.
Professional Development and Student Opportunities
Professional development and student opportunities are posted on the PD and Student Opportunities page. This week’s highlights include:
§ Register by October 17: Attend Project Chess Teacher Training Workshop at Chess in the Schools
§ Register by October 21: Lunch & Learn: Creating History-Inspired Books Using Primary Sources
§ Register by October 21: Free Curator-Led Tour of Photography Exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York
§ Ongoing: Visit FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island
Elementary and Middle Schools:
§ Register by October 15: Daily News Spelling Bee Competition
Middle and High Schools:
§ Ongoing: 2014-15 Guided School Visits at The Frick Collection
§ Register by October 15: Attend the Free DNA Barcoding Workshop at the Harlem DNA Lab
§ Register by October 18: STEM Workshop: Chemistry--A Modeling Approach to Periodicity & Bonding
§ Register by October 18: STEM Workshop: Graphical Approach to Momentum and Energy
§ Apply by October 21: High School Science Research Program