Share This

CTU News & Notes Compiled by Tracy Radich, 1st Vice President 10/24/16

Cleveland Teachers Union News & Notes

Compiled by Tracy Radich, 1st Vice President     October 24, 2016

News & Notes is intended to be a weekly publication.  Please make sure that you are receiving N & N from your Chair or checking on the CTU website for the latest N & N.

N & N (printable .doc)


All intervention specialists and RSPs should have received an email from Jessica Baldwin announcing the district acquisition of Goalbook Toolkit for 16-17 school year. Goalbook is a resource used to create IEP goals and objectives as well as UDL strategies. If an Intervention Specialist or RSP did not received the email from Jessica please email Mary Moore (


Even though the Student Growth Measure (SGM) portal isn't open yet teachers can begin the process of writing the Trend Data and Student Population portions of the SLO. Once a teacher knows which class(es) he/she will use for their SLOs, data can begin to be gathered.  All the data and other information can be written in a Word document and saved.  Once the portal is opened, the teacher can just cut and paste the information into the SLO template.  More information will be coming soon regarding SLOs.  Please contact Mark Baumgartner or Debbie Paden with any Student Growth Measure concerns.


The district and CTU negotiations teams returned to the Negotiations table on October 14.  There are more meetings scheduled this week.  The initial focus is on the issue of over-testing.  The CTU Negotiations team is relying on the online survey information from members, as well as the information offered by Chapter Chairpersons at the annual Leadership Retreat.  Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond.


CTU will be hosting a walk on Saturday, October 29 at MULDOONS (1020 E 185th Street Cleveland, Ohio).  These walks give the voters in Cleveland the opportunity to talk to our teachers, paraprofessionals, and RSPs about the Levy and the impact of the Levy in our schools.  The members of the community want to hear from educators that are in the schools every day.  The last 2 walks have been very productive and voters that were home and spoke to our educators were positive and glad to have their questions answered and concerns addressed.  Come help on Saturday.  Every vote matters.


Several schools will be going through the School Quality Review (SQR) process over the next few months.  This process should be painless for our members, with NO preparation needed prior to the review.  The Chapter Chairperson should be notified of the schedule for the visit and involved in the process while it is occurring at a school.  SQR is NON-EVALUATIVE and should be used to help schools plan for the future.  If there are any concerns or you are being asked to do anything to prepare for a visit, please contact Shari Obrenski.


The Master Teacher Committee is being assembled and teachers will be able to apply and receive a Master Teacher designation from the State of Ohio.  This designation is recognized in all school districts in Ohio.  Look for more information soon regarding timelines and expectations.  If you have any specific questions, please contact Mark Baumgartner (


I know that a number of people have asked in what check will we see the 2% raise and how do paras submit for coverages if they cover for an absent para?  Those measures are not in place.  When the TA was rejected those measures (among many others) were not enacted upon.  Those things will not be in place until there is a Tentative Agreement with those measures in it that is approved by CTU members and the Board of Education.  We are working under the 2013-2016 CBA.


It’s really cool, go see it if you have not already had a chance to go. A fabulous exhibit of black and white photographs taken at 11 Cleveland Schools is on display at the Main Branch of the Cleveland Public Library in the Carl Stokes wing.  This incredible photography features students and educators.  To quote the Changing Minds book of photographs, “These are just some of the public schools in Cleveland that inspire their students through high expectations, collaborative relationships and creative instruction.  They provide evidence that public schools in Cleveland are changing minds.”  If you have a chance, go and see the exhibit which is on display until Friday.


All members that have a certificate or license must have an IPDP on file BEFORE taking coursework or PD for CEUs.  Everyone should do an IPDP right after their license is renewed.  Once approved that is your IPDP until after your next license is issued.   You DO NOT write one before coursework and a second one after you have taken all of the coursework.  Jim Wagner and Bonnie Hedges will come to schools to help with IPDPs if there are more than 4 people interested in a session.  Building Chairs need to contact Jim (jwagner@ctu279 if you use his CMSD email it is James Wagner) to set up a day and time for the IPDP Session.  Jim Wagner (, Bonnie Hedges ( and Tracy Radich ( can send you your username and password as well answer individual questions about the IPDP and IPDP process.


Michael Kulcsar wants to make sure that everyone is aware that November is Open Enrollment month for healthcare.  This is the month that members can change health care providers (we have Medical Mutual of Ohio and Aetna to choose from).  This is also the time when you re-establish or start a new Flexible Spending Account.  Lots more information will be coming your way. 


Michael Kulcsar among many others highly recommend a Flexible Spending Account for all members.  A Flexible Spending Account is an IRS pre-tax dollar benefit covering healthcare as well as child and dependent care.

Per the CBA, there are two types of Flexible Spending Accounts.  One is for un-reimbursed medical, drug, dental, or vision expenses that occur over the calendar year.  In general, if you anticipate out-of-pocket expenses not covered by health care (braces, Lasik surgery, deductibles, copays) you can enroll and have pre-tax payroll deduction to cover expenses.  Since it is pre-tax money, you benefit.  While these pre-tax dollars go into an account, they do not continually roll-over.  More information will be out with the opening of Open Enrollment.  Talk to your advisors or Michael Kulcsar to see if a FSA is something good for you too.


The CTU Grievance Team has updated the grievance forms. The new forms have been emailed to all chapter chairs. The new forms are also available on the CTU website,  There are no substantive changes to these new forms and the old forms will still be accepted while we transition. The new forms have an improved layout with instructions and include an email address that should be used to submit forms:  While we will still accept forms by fax, through school mail, regular mail or dropped off in person, the use of the email address is the most efficient way to submit all grievance forms. 


The Cleveland Schools Levy is on the ballot as Issue 108.  It does not raise taxes.  This Levy is critical for the school district to continue moving forward.  If the Levy fails, the district will be forced to cut $65 million from their budget.  This will be too high of a cost for our students, our schools, our community.  In 2012, before the Levy was passed the students in K-8 were dismissed 50 minutes early – eliminating their elective.  Additionally – over 1,000 members were laid off; classes were staffed at 42:1; pre-school paraprofessionals were eliminated; no textbooks, no technology had been updated in years; etc.  This was a mere 4 years ago.  The citizens of Cleveland supported our schools and our students when they voted Yes in 2012.  If the levy does not pass this year, $65 will be cut from the district’s budget.  We will be forced back to the level of funding that existed in 2012 when there were lay-offs, a shortened school day for kids, enormous class sizes, minimal amount of pre-school, etc.  We hope that the residents of Cleveland will continue to support the efforts that are ongoing in our schools.  We also want our teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers to help talk to voters in Cleveland about the progress made and the good things that have happened first hand since the passage of the levy in 2012.  We cannot afford to go back.


The Gund Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation in coordination with the Cleveland Teachers Union and the CMSD announced the 10 winners of the inaugural Excellence in Teaching Award.  These winners were surprised at their school (or PD) on Friday.  Congratulations to:  Dora Bechtel (Campus International), Stephanie Chiariello (John Marshall Civic & Business), Molly Gus (Scranton), Laura Masloski (Nathan Hale), Holly Morell (Joseph Gallagher), Christine Richard (New Tech East), Christine Sims (Cleveland School of Science & Medicine), Spencer Small (John Marshall Information & Technology), Bonnie Whitmer (R. G. Jones), and Stephanie Wojtowicz (Mary. B. Martin).  These CMSD teachers are instructional experts who are creative and innovative.  They ensure that learning is engaging, vibrant, and relevant for students.  Thank you and congratulations!

The Gund Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation in coordination with the CMSD and Cleveland Teachers Union also named 18 Excellence in Teaching honorees.  This group of teachers’ nomination, application, and endorsements demonstrated a high degree of excellence.  These teachers’ leadership, professionalism, and accomplishments are to be commended.  Congratulations to:  Jonathan Bubbett, Sarah Darymple, Jaqueline Glenn, Lori Hlosek, Rhonda Hurst, Kathy Kisel, Hallie McEntire, Rita Mikita, Maryanne Nesbett, Leslie Perry-Hanley, Lesley Petrie, Rebecca Pickens, Eleanor Salzbrenner, Christine Scarcella, Anthony Simeone, Anna Singleton, Cristina Stratton.  Thank you and congratulations!


The following are the cut scores for needing to write a RIMP in grades K-3.  All of these are based on NWEA results, except for kindergarten in the Fall which is based on KRA.  The following table outlines the reading cut scores used by our district to determine if a child is on-track or off-track for reading. The cut scores determine if a student must be placed on a mandatory RIMP for the reminder of the school year.

                           Fall            Winter        Spring

K                       25(KRA)    144              150

1st                     150             162             168

2nd                   168             174             180

3rd                    180             185             190


In order for students in third grade to pass to the fourth grade (unless exempted per the statute) must pass the state reading assessment (OST) or they must score 190 or higher on the Winter or Spring administration of NWEA.

All of this is a part of legislation called The Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  This legislation was passed by the state legislature during the lame duck session in December 2012.

Cleveland Teachers Union 279


A text service is available for members of the CTU.  You can sign up right now to receive mobile text message alerts from AFT-Cleveland Teachers Union.  You will receive updates, notices, and reminders.  Get your phone out right now and send a text message with the word ctu279 (lowercase, no spaces) in your message box.  Send to the phone number 69238.

AFT-CTU will never charge you for text messages, your carrier's Message & Data rates may apply.