Town Hall with Naomi Bechtold

Naomi Bechtold invites you to a Town Hall on Education next Thursday.  Naomi is running for Indiana Statehouse District 24 Representative. One of her top platforms is education. She has publicly stated the issue most important to her is supporting public school teachers. Support starts with LISTENING to the needs of educators. Naomi invites you to join the conversation!  The virtual town hall is on October 7th at 7pm.  It is an opportunity for educators in House District 24 to learn about her and an opportunity for you to share your stories so she can better serve you at the Statehouse.  

As an Extension Specialist for Purdue University in the area of personal finance management, she works with educators and students of all ages across varied demographics. Naomi understands the field of education is diverse and complex.  Naomi is endorsed by IPACE because of her support of public education and public school educators. You are the education experts-your voice matters. Your representation at the Statehouse matters. Naomi looks forward to seeing you on Zoom October 7th at 7 pm. Please feel free to share this invitation with your fellow educators.  We will provide the Zoom link on Thursday October 7th for anyone interested in attending.  Invitations will also be sent to teachers across Carmel, Westfield, and Zionsville school districts.  

RSVP to cdoran@bechtoldforindiana.com

CTA is Listening and Working

We understand that many of you have concerns and questions about the process that has been happening this summer in preparation for the return to school. Much of what CTA does is in meetings, phone calls, texts, and emails that is not seen publicly. We have created the document below to share with you and make this work more transparent. Know that we value your membership very much and understand the concerns and anxieties you have. We have been working all summer, and are continuing to work each and every day. Please know that if you have any concerns, we encourage you to contact us. We also encourage you to reach out to your administration in order to voice those concerns so that all of us may work together to create the best possible start to the 2020-2021 school year whatever that may look like. We are here for each of you. We truly believe in and value each of you. In these unprecedented times, it is important that we keep the lines of communication open as we all work together to find solutions.

Click here to view the work CTA has been doing for you this summer.

Respectfully,

Your CTA Executive Team

Reminder of Deadlines

We wanted to remind all CCS Educators of two important reminders:  Academic Credit as well as Safe Schools Course Requirements.

Reminder to anyone who has completed additional academic courses:

 August 1st is the deadline to notify our Director of Human Resources, Tom Oestreich, of any additional college or university course hours you have earned which would put you at BS+15, BS+30, MS, MS+15, MS+30, or ED.  Salary increase due to these additional hours would take affect then with the first paycheck for 2020-2021 contract year.  You also would need to provide your transcripts documenting these hours to Human Resources by October 1, 2020.

Pictured below are the specifics in our contract:

Academic Credit contractAcademic Credit contract2

The deadline for you to complete your Safe Schools courses is September 1st. If you have already completed your courses, thank you! See email from CCS with the link to complete courses.  Contact Shelley Coover if you have any questions.

Thanks for all you are doing!

School in Fall Survey Results

CTA would like to thank everyone that participated in the recent poll of members regarding starting back to school this August.  We had 434 respondents, 57% of members, complete the survey. Below is a breakdown of the results:

  • Overall 62% selected Virtual Learning and 38% selected In Person Instruction
  • Elementary School:  54% Virtual; 46% In Person
  • Middle School:  64% Virtual; 36% In Person
  • High School:  70% Virtual; 30% In Person

Again, CTA appreciates your help in gathering this information.

CTA Return to School Message

CTA understands that there are still many unanswered questions regarding the fall semester, and, despite communication from ESC today, many teachers are still frustrated and anxious. We understand that. CTA has been working throughout the summer with CCS Administration to respond to the changing landscape. We have been working together with CCS through face to face meetings, emails, online meetings, phone calls, and text messages to attempt to create a meaningful plan of action for school in the fall. The reality is that CTA is working with CCS in an advisory role, and, while there has been collaboration throughout the process, CCS is responsible for any final decisions made regarding the opening of school; CTA does not have any official decision making power when it comes to district planning. 

CTA offered a survey to all members in June to allow us to hear your concerns and be able to review them and take them to administration. Those concerns were taken directly to administration. CTA has also heard from members all summer long. We thank all of you who have sent us your input and ideas. It has been invaluable.

A committee of teachers including Elementary, Middle School, High School, Performing Arts, Media Specialists, Wellness, Special Education, Gifted Education, Athletics as well as many other stakeholders including Administrators was formed in June. The committee has listened and met with the Hamilton County Health Department twice to seek the latest guidance. The committee reviewed and read your concerns while working to develop a plan for the fall. Each week the information from the Health Department has evolved, and, as that guidance changes, the plan is adapted to include those changes. The plan you received today was the result of those stakeholder’s efforts. The plan, however, did not answer some of the questions that many teachers have. For example, teachers still want to know what happens if they get sick or must be quarantined. CTA urges you to ask the HR Department those types of questions, as they have studied the law and work with these types of situations daily. There is new federal law that employers will use to answer those types of questions, and we have attached a link below for your reference:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

CTA has fielded many of these types of questions centering on sick leave and pay. Here is the quick answer: New federal law gives an employee ten (10) paid days if that employee must stay at home for a COVID related absence, and those days are not taken from an individual’s sick bank. This includes actual illness and quarantine. So, if a teacher must stay at home, then the teacher will be paid for up to ten days. The catch is that there is a ten day maximum. Let’s say a teacher is quarantined in September and stays at home and then gets sick in October, that teacher will get paid for ten of those days [without touching the individual sick bank], but would have to use his/her own sick days beyond the ten. Teachers will be responsible for creating sub plans just like any other absence. If a teacher is too sick to create the plans, then administration would work through that in a similar way to what is done now. Again, CTA recommends that all HR related questions be directed to that department at ESC.

Another question or concern that you may still have is the language concerning student masks in the classroom. From the COVID document released today: “Masks could also be required for certain classrooms or classroom activities.” CTA has fully and openly supported teacher choice regarding the usage of masks in individual classrooms. This language, which was added after much collaboration, does give each teacher the option of mandating masks in his/her own classroom. Classroom expectations will be communicated to students regarding the use of face masks in class when social distancing is not an option.

We will continue to represent teachers as we prepare for the fall.  Please feel free to continue to reach out to us with your questions, concerns, and ideas for solutions.

CTA Executive Board

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

CTA is proud of each of our amazing Teachers. We hope that you have felt the love this week from your students, parents, staff, and community. As a small token of our appreciation we have awarded gift cards throughout the week to many CTA Members. Winners of the gift cards were notified by email and gift cards have been sent to you. Thanks again for all you do for the students in Carmel Clay Schools! You are tremendous and we are proud to represent you!

TAW All Winners Complete

Changes to School Day Update

As you know the proposed changes in the school day were presented last night by Dr. Beresford at the April 27th Carmel Clay School Board meeting.  If you were not able to watch the meeting live, we encourage you to watch it so you can view and hear the presentation and the discussion that followed. Here is the link for you to view it at your earliest convenience:
https://youtu.be/ynwQcn7ZKyM?t=1871
(This link begins at the presentation at minute 31:10)

The School Board also is seeking feedback on this topic.  We encourage you to take some time and submit your comments to them.
Click here for the feedback form.

They will vote on this issue at the Monday, May 18th School Board Meeting.  Thank you for sharing your insights, knowledge, and concerns regarding this topic.

Respectfully,

CTA Executive Board
Pete O’Hara, Mark Wien, Michelle Foutz, Jill Grimes, Amy Bannister, Mike Meyer, Jason Hicks, Paige Miller, Scott Chelli, Michelle Hewitt, and Dan Patane