AFT Local 1478

Meeting Members' Workplace Well-Being Needs

AFT Connecticut's professional development (PD) department each fall surveys members of affiliated unions to determine the career advancement and labor leadership courses that would be most relevant and beneficial. The feedback drives a program empowering PreK-12 and higher education professionals, nurses and healthcare staff, and state and municipal employees to make tangible improvements in their work lives. Stress reduction and self-care emerged from the latest results as common goals shared by our diverse membership.
 

A National Audience Hears Local Educators' Stories

Educators, families and communities are in a "David versus Goliath" battle against powerful special interests seeking to dismantle public education and rip opportunity from children and families. That was the message delivered last month to more than 1,400 teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff at the biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America's Children) conference. Union members from Connecticut were there — and two local leaders shared their political engagement experience and discussed teacher-driven professionalism.
 

Spotlight: Teaching & Protecting Civil Rights

For the month in which the nation observes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we're spotlighting union members whose work carries on the social justice leader's legacy. Here in Connecticut, attorneys in the state's civil and human rights enforcement agency strive to confront ongoing discrimination faced by residents. At the same time, local public schools' educators teach their students the history of the movement that Dr. King led — and its relevance to struggles for justice and equality today.
 

Grants to Support Civic Engagement Projects

Our national union, along with education and literacy advocacy organizations, earlier this year announced an opportunity for teachers to apply for financial resources for help in resolving community-level problems. When the winning projects in the "Citizen Power Challenge" were announced this fall, a local union member here in Connecticut was among 15 educators who will receive a $500.00 grant.
 

Spotlight: Educators Committed to Attendance "Every Day"

Educators, classroom support staff and school social workers know firsthand that for students, a day lost to absenteeism is a day lost to learning. Their concerns were reinforced by a landmark brief released earlier this month on national chronic absence data that reveals the true scope of the problem. As the month set aside to raise awareness of the issue wraps up, we're spotlighting union members devoted to helping students and families understand how achievement is connected to attendance.
 

Professional Learning Grants to Benefit Educators and their Students

This year's Fund for Teachers (FFT) grants were announced earlier this month and 118 Nutmeggers were selected to embark on self-designed professional learning odysseys this summer. 2016 "Fellows" from our state are set to receive $475,000 in total funding and represent 37 districts, 76 individual schools and include members of seven AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions.
 

Better Choices than Suspending Young Students

The question of appropriate, effective responses for student misbehavior was the thorny issue addressed last week when AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute brought together a distinguished panel of experts. The goal was a conversation about positive alternatives to suspensions or expulsions in early childhood education (ECE) -- approaches that have been shown to be age-inappropriate and highly ineffective.
 
Click here to watch video of the full forum.
 

Cast Your Vote for the Meriden "Miracle"

The unique labor-management relationship that union members have established with administrators in Meriden Public Schools has gained national attention as a model for effectively improving student outcomes. Their story has been selected for a potential presentation at next year's SXSWedu Conference and Festival -- but only if it receives enough votes in their public "panel picker" competition.
 
Click here to vote for the Meriden "Miracle" today.
 

'How-To' Manual on Expanded Learning Time Released

Lessons learned from a successful initiative to expand learning time at schools in Meriden can help other unions work with districts to significantly increase opportunities for at-risk students. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) today released a handbook, "It's About Time" that explains how three elementary schools' use of time was redesigned. 
 
Click here to access the handbook.
 

Weingarten Tour Highlights Partnerships that Work

AFT President Randi Weingarten continued her national back-to-school visits last week with a two-state New England swing that showcased the type of trust, accountability and collaboration that has sparked concrete improvement in local public schools. After visiting two Massachusetts communities, she toured schools in Meriden and New Haven, where she was accompanied for much of the day by Gov. Dannel Malloy.
 
Click here for photos from Weingarten’s visits with Connecticut union members.
 
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