West Haven Public Schools

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 

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.
 

Spotlight: Retirees Demonstrate "Senior" Activism

Retired members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions do not fit easily into popular, preconceived notions of life after employment; particularly those who remain engaged in the labor movement. Tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day, and we're taking time to spotlight a few who not only defy stereotypes, but who exemplify "seniority" in both knowledge and experience.
 

Building the Movement to Reclaim Our Schools

Nearly 3,000 delegates to our national union's convention last month heard advocates share their conviction in the value of building community-level coalitions to achieve true educational justice in America. It's an approach long-embraced by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions — which will again be demonstrated in October during coordinated local actions to "reclaim our schools" across the state.
 
Click here for more on the October 6 "walk-ins."
 

Comments on Lawmakers' Action to Decouple Standardized Tests from Teacher Evaluations

AFT Connecticut leaders made the following remarks on passage in the General Assembly’s education committee of legislation excluding student performance data on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) from teacher performance assessments:
 

Spotlight: Members as Mentors

Educators and support staff in PreK-12 classrooms and community college lecture halls work hard to assure positive outcomes for the young people they teach, instruct and help guide. For many of our union members, they see their responsibility to do more than simply educate; they are "mentors," too. As the month set aside to recognize the value of mentoring comes to a close, we're spotlighting members who fulfill this vital role both on and off the job.
 
Click here for President Obama's official 2016 National Mentoring Month proclamation.
 

"Green Cleaning" for Safer Schools

The state's environmental protection and public health agencies have teamed-up to create a tool to help educators reduce their students' exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins in our schools. A new video campaign, "Wastebusters," was last month launched to debunk green cleaning "myths" and help teachers, school support staff, administrators, and parents avoid using hazardous cleaners, sanitizers or disinfectants.
 
Click here for the first "Wastebusters" video.
 
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