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CTU News & Notes Compiled by Tracy Radich, 1st Vice President 11/21/16

Cleveland Teachers Union News & Notes 

Compiled by Tracy Radich, 1st Vice President     November 21, 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.


Mark Baumgartner wants to make sure that all members are aware that the SLO timeline has been extended so that teachers and building teams can take the time necessary to do the work.  This is to help relieve some of the pressure that is happening with TDES observations and interim reports.

The new timeline is:

  • SLOs are due Wednesday, November 30 at the end of business
  • SLOs have to be approved by the Principal Tuesday, December 6


Because of the extension of the SLO timeline the Encore post test window for administering the test is now:

  • Wednesday, December 7 through Tuesday, December 20.


Teachers that are Accomplished or who have submitted an irrevocable notice of retirement need to log into the system.  One of the first questions will ask you if you are Accomplished or if you have submitted retirement.  Once you answer yes to one of those questions – you are done.  Teachers who are not required to complete an SLO are still required to administer all assessments.  Please contact Mark Baumgartner or Debbie Paden with any Student Growth Measure concerns.


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).  If you are not planning to change anything, the CTU still strongly recommends that you login and verify that all information in the system is correct.  Login information was emailed to all members via CMSD email on October 31.  This is also the time when you re-establish or start a new Flexible Spending Account.  Flexible Spending Accounts are NOT automatically renewed, they must be renewed annually.


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.


If your Formal Announced Observation is not completed yet, did you send the required emails?  An email from David was sent to all Chairs on Friday to be shared with all members.  The email reads:  The TDES Formal Announced Observation (FAO) is due today, November 18.  If your FAO has not been completed, please make sure you have emailed your evaluator to let them know the event has not occurred. Then send a second email to the TDES Co-Chairs (Lori Ward and Jillian Ahrens) with a notification that the FAO has not been completed.  You can reach the TDES Co-Chairs at  If you have any questions, please contact Jillian Ahrens.


Jillian wants to remind all paraprofessionals that evidence collection for Domains 1 & 4 is due on December 16.


TDES Training for all new paraprofessionals who have not yet been trained will be held on November 29.


Training sessions to learn to use Workday have been scheduled for substitute teachers and paraprofessionals on Wednesday, November 23.  This training is VOLUNTARY to attend, but those teacher and paraprofessional substitutes that do attend will be paid.  There will be additional training available in December for substitutes.  


This is a message from Mark Baumgartner:  It is never too early to start thinking about the Ohio State Tests (OSTs)  that are happening in the spring of 2017. With Safe Harbor going away next year the results of these tests will produce a Value Added score for the students and will also be used as the 35% of a teacher's evaluation for next school year 2017-2018.  

One of the things the district and CTU are teaming up on is the sharing of tips and tools for teachers and students starting now and going until the beginning of the OSTs.  This week is the first one and it deals with just getting the students familiar with the computer and how to navigate for the state tests.  There are two tutorials and each one lasts about 7 1/2 minutes.  They deal with signing in and navigating the test itself.  The link is at the bottom of this message and it takes you to the Outreach tab of School Net.  In the middle of the page is "The Bulletin Board".  The first item is an update on the new SLO timeline for teachers and school teams.  The second item is the OST Tip #1.  This is where the two tutorials are found.  This should help our students so the OSTs in the spring aren't a test of a student's computer ability but rather a true test of a student's grasp of content and knowledge.

Contact Mark Baumgartner if you have any questions about this or anything else related to testing and growth measures.


On the school calendar that was approved by the Board of Education, schools are open all day on December 23.  You may have noticed that the CMSD calendar that was distributed to families at the beginning of the year states that all facilities will close at noon on December 23.  That is in the calendar but is not what was approved by the Board.  At the next Board Meeting (November 22) the Board will vote on a Resolution to close schools early on December 23.  IF the Resolution passes, then students will be dismissed at the same time that students were dismissed for Open House.  Michelle Rzucidlo will send an email to all Chairs with the outcome of the vote on this Resolution.



Mary Moore wants to make sure everyone is aware of the new Grievance forms that are available on the CTU website. On Monday, a slight change was made to the wording at the bottom of the new Step I Grievance form.  New forms were sent to all Chairs and are posted on the CTU website.  The new forms have an improved layout with instructions and include an email address that should be used to submit forms:


REI (Removal for Educational Intervention) Forms were sent to all Chairs from Jillian Ahrens to be shared with all members.  These forms can be used should a child be consistently or flagrantly disruptive or disrespectful, or one of the other listed offenses on the form (Article 15, Section 5).  Every school has the right to use REI.  If you have any questions, please let Jillian Ahrens ( know.


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 (


The district and CTU negotiations teams continue to meet in the month of November.  After members of the CTU and the Board rejected the TA – that allows for all areas of the CBA to be open for talks.  In addition to the items that were identified as members as a priority for continued discussion – the district has also identified additional areas as negotiations topics.  Talks will continue for the foreseeable future.


A huge thank you to all of the voters in Cleveland that voted yes on Issue 108!  Issue 108 passed in all wards throughout the city.  Thank you also to all of the teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, and family members that came out to the CTU and CMSD sponsored walks on Saturdays.  Being able to talk face-to-face with voters and address questions and concerns was important to voters and lead to the passage of this critical issue in the Cleveland community.  This levy expires December 31, 2020 and will need to be renewed in November of 2020.


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.


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.


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!


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.

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