Friday, August 10, 2018

Superintendent Message Aug 2018


New Bedford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Anderson and Asst. School Superintendent Karen Treadup welcome students and parents as they gear up for the new school year. August, 2018.

New Bedford students cannot afford charter school expansion plans


Public schools across the state, including in New Bedford, are in the fight of their lives to secure the funding they need to meet the needs of every student who comes through our doors.

The Legislature’s formal session ended July 31 with lawmakers failing to pass any legislation that would have addressed the major shortcomings in education funding identified by the Foundation Budget Review commission. In 2015, the FBRC determined that public schools in Massachusetts were underfunded by about $1 billion annually — and that amount would just meet students’ basic needs.

In June, the state’s highest court ruled that a proposed ballot amendment seeking a surtax on annual income above $1 million, which would have raised revenue for public education and transportation, would not go before the voters this November. The Supreme Judicial Court came to this decision even after the Fair Share Amendment had already passed muster twice in constitutional conventions with lawmakers and separately with the state Attorney General’s office. The SJC’s unfortunate ruling effectively wiped out the possibility of raising much-needed revenue for public schools and colleges.

Against this backdrop, it would seem completely ludicrous to propose a massive expansion in the number of charter school seats here in New Bedford. As was demonstrated during the 2016 campaign to keep the cap on charter schools, voters do not want hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned away from students attending district public schools every year in order to fund charter schools — which do not even attempt to meet the needs of every student.

Yet charter operators are descending upon New Bedford with proposals to double the number of charter-school seats in the city. If such an expansion were to occur, the impact on students attending district schools would be devastating.

Alma Del Mar Charter School is asking state education officials to allow it to increase enrollment by 1,180 students. The New Bedford Cheironeum is back again hoping to open a new charter school with 1,008 seats, and Global Learning, which has twice been denied expansion requests, wants to increase its enrollment by 100 seats.

The city’s three existing charter schools, plus three charter schools nearby, enroll 1,175 students who live in New Bedford.  New Bedford’s overall expenses for these privately run charter schools is $14.6 million after a state reimbursement of $1.29 million.

Alma Del Mar, which Mayor Jon Mitchell recently characterized as “not a constructive partner with the school district,” and the Cheironeum are effectively asking the state to double the tuition dollars flowing from the public schools to private interests.

This is not right, and it cannot happen.

As a community, we must pull together and convince lawmakers that every student deserves the opportunity to thrive. To make that possible, the Commonwealth needs to fully fund the public schools that welcome every student.

Improve Our Neighborhood Schools, Don’t Build New Ones

In November, 2016 the residents of New Bedford voted overwhelmingly against allowing more charter schools in the Commonwealth. As did nearly every community across the state.
In 2016, I voted against the charter expansion ballot question. Today, as both a resident and an elected official, I am opposed to the proposal of additional charter schools in New Bedford for the following reasons:
·         The Taxpayer Cannot Afford these Additional Seats
Cities and towns are supposed to be reimbursed at a rate of 100% of the charter school education cost for the first year, and then 25% for the following 5 years. However, this reimbursement plan has never been fully funded. As an example in 2012, New Bedford was reimbursed $2 million on a $7 million dollar charter school assessment. Now in 2018, New Bedford is only going to be reimbursed $2.3 million on a nearly $15 million assessment.
With an estimated cost of $13,000 per student, the proposed additional schools (1,188 seats) result in an assessment of approximately an additional $15.3 million. Assuming we are reimbursed at a similar rate, we are now looking at getting assessed $30 million, with a reimbursement of $4.5 million. Without fully funding the reimbursement plan, the trend, whether it be an additional 100 seats or 1,188 seats is simply not sustainable for the taxpayer.
·         The Perpetuation of a “Separate and Unequal” Education System
It is unfair to build these new schools at the expense of the children who aren’t picked by a lottery choice. Beyond the broken reimbursement system, charter enrollments are more randomized, resulting in no appreciable savings for the public school system. For example, selection of students from across the entire school system doesn’t result in the ability to reduce the number of classes offered, or the associated fixed costs of running a school. The public school must still provide the same level of services, with a significant reduction in revenues.
Further, most charter schools often cannot accommodate children with substantial special needs, behavioral issues, or foreign language barriers. Even when they are offered seats, they are often sent back to the public school system due to harsher discipline polices. This results in the public school system being less financially equipped to serve a student population with higher needs. The NAACP is on record stating that the charter school system results in a “separate and unequal” education for our students.
·         Accountability to the Public
There is no doubt that our public school systems have struggled in recent years. That being said, the answer to these problems is not restricting the system’s access to resources. Rather, we must provide adequate resources and insist on accountability. Last year, I joined my colleagues in approving a school budget that for the first time in recent memory exceeded the state’s net school spending requirements. We must recognize that our schools are being asked to do more for our youth than ever before, this includes after school services, social and emotional support, and dietary aid. This was a prudent investment, improving the quality of education for all. This charter school expansion will divert a substantial amount of our City’s budget, to benefit a select few, with no local oversight.
Simultaneously, as a city we must insist on accountability. Our public schools are overseen by a School Committee, chaired by the Mayor, these are elected officials. If they fail to make progress, the residents and voters of the city have a mechanism to hold them accountable, by voting. There is no such mechanism for charter schools. Further, charters are non-union, this is not a benefit. The MTA, and our local New Bedford Educator Association members are first and foremost, teachers. I believe that the vast majority of teacher’s want what is best for our students. Schools without teachers being adequately represented in the conversation on how our youth are educated isn’t innovative, but perilous. The education our students are offered is a public good, and should not be run like it is a business.
·         Obligation to our Future
We as a City have a fundamental, Constitutional, obligation to adequately fund public education for each of our students. Expanding charter seats in our city at best might improve education for some, while leaving everyone else behind. It would cede control of important public functions and public dollars to private or non-profit boards.
Simply, absent operational reimbursement, the financial implications are too dire on the taxpayer and the public school system, and the negative impacts on the youth at our neighborhood public schools cannot ethically be permitted.
Rather than supporting a tiered education system, we should be looking to increase the quality of education for every young person in our city.

Sincerely,

Hugh C. Dunn, Esq. 
Ward 3, City Councillor

Guest View: Charter school funding formula hurts public schools and city and town services

Guest View: Charter school funding formula hurts public schools and city and town services: Statewide impact To be sure, New Bedford, with about 1,175 students in its charter schools, is hardly the poster child for charter school-driven budgetary impacts. Even after accounting for state reimbursements, Amherst loses about a quarter of its Chapter 70 aid to charters (26 percent), as do Northampton and Randolph. Marlboro and Plymouth each lose 27 percent. Barnstable loses 28 percent, Salem and Pelham each lose 29, and Melrose loses 30. Medford and Saugus each lose more than a third — 38 percent. Somerville loses 40 percent, and Newburyport loses a bit more than half of its Chapter 70 aid to charters (53 percent). Hadley loses 58 percent, and Boston loses a whopping 69 percent. Across the state, 72 municipal and regional school districts lose at least 10 percent of their Chapter 70 aid to charters, even after

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

CURMUDGUCATION: What Kind of Teachers Applaud Janus?

CURMUDGUCATION: What Kind of Teachers Applaud Janus?: I told you they existed, and here's one example, writing out the argument that I've heard before: Some may call me a freeloader, b...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Statement on Janus decision

The New Bedford Educators Association is angered that the U.S. Supreme Court sided with right-wing billionaires in their attacks on workers and unions in the Janus v. AFSCME case. But we are neither surprised nor intimidated.

We know that our ability to organize and to bargain fair contracts means that our students have access to the best possible education and that our community’s public school employees are treated fairly. 

The forces behind the Janus case do not want educators and other public employees to have a voice in the workplace or in the community. But we will not be silenced. We will continue to organize and advocate on behalf of our students, our schools and our communities.

We know that with strong unions: 

● Workers benefit because they are able to protect and maintain their quality of life through collective bargaining, which leads to fair compensation and equitable treatment.

● Families and communities benefit because unions fight for a just society. Unions advocate for laws and policies concerning health and safety, retirement security, health insurance, due-process rights, equal pay for equal work, paid family and medical leave, and racial and economic justice.

● Students benefit from educators’ unions. Educators’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. Unions advocate for small class sizes, more learning and less standardized testing, and funding for public schools and colleges, among other issues. Studies show that student performance is higher in states with substantial rates of educator unionization than it is in so-called “right to work” states.

Despite the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in the Janus case, we are confident that the vastmajority of members will remain in our union because they understand the importance of employees having collective power that can be exercised to benefit the public good.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

2018 Summer Hours for the NBEA


The NBEA office will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until June 29th.


2018 Summer Hours for the NBEA

July 2, 2018 thru July 13, 2018 – Office Closed


OFFICE OPEN WEDNESDAY’S ONLY 8:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15

August 20, 2018 thru August 24, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Starting Monday, August 27, 2018 the office will return to normal business hours: 
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


City Council wraps up budget presentations, will recommend cuts

City Council wraps up budget presentations, will recommend cuts

Friday, June 8, 2018

New Bedford Public Schools Summer Programming 2018

Elementary Programming

Power Scholars Academy:  Keith Middle School
June 25th – July 27thth Monday – Friday 8:30 – 3PM
Goals & Objectives:  To deliver small group academic instruction, role modeling, a wide range of enrichment activities and community engagement to struggling students from Parker and Hayden McFadden in current grades 2, 3 and 4. 
21st CCLC – Gomes & Jacobs
Jacobs: June 25th – July 13th Monday–Friday 8-3:45
Gomes: July 9th -August 2nd Monday-Friday 8-3
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic enrichment to our most at-risk students in order to establish better school day experiences and stem summer learning loss for students in grades K-5.
English Learners Program:  Jacobs Elementary
June 25th –July 12th  Monday–Thursday 9AM-12PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic support and language development activities to support English Language Learners currently in PreK – 4th grade, across the district, with ACCESS levels of 1, 2 and low 3.
Special Education Program: 
Carney:  ASD:  July 9th – August 9th
Roosevelt: CBIP & TR:  July 9th – August 2nd  
Monday – Thursday   8AM – 12Noon
Goals & Objectives: Remediate a lack of progress in meeting short-term goals.  Assist students with significant regression/recoupment problems. Continue the unique nature of any specifically designed instruction or related service due to disability.


Site Specific Programming
Trinity Day: Academic Remediation
Grades 6 – 12             July 9th – August 2nd        Monday – Thursday          8AM – 12Noon
Goals & Objectives:  Remediate a lack of progress in meeting short-term goals.  Assist students with significant regression/recoupment problems. Continue the unique nature of any specifically designed instruction or related service due to disability.
Whaling City: Academic Remediation
Grades 6 – 12             June 25th – July 19th         Monday – Thursday          8:30AM  – 11:30AM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide an opportunity for students who are short credit or need specific content based academic remediation to complete coursework in order to advance to the next grade or graduate. 
Community Site Outreach & Academic Support
June 25th – August 24th  
Dates and times will vary by site.
Dennison Memorial, North Star Learning Centers’ Schooner Program, YWCA at Campbell Elementary, YWCA Girls Exclusive, YMCA (students entering K), and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.                                                                                
Goals & Objectives:  Students enrolled in these community programs will receive academic support in ELA and math by NBPS teachers directly at the site. 

Middle School Programming


Power Scholars Academy:  Keith Middle School
June 25th – July 27thth Monday – Friday 8:30 – 3PM
Goals & Objectives:  To deliver small group academic instruction, role modeling, a wide range of enrichment activities and community engagement to struggling students in grades 5 from Parker & Hay Mac and grades 6&7 from the 3 middle schools.
21st CCLC – Normandin Middle School
July 2nd – July 27th    Monday – Friday 8-1PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic enrichment to our most at-risk students in order to establish better school day experiences and stem summer learning loss for students who have attended the school year program.
English Learners Program:  NBHS
June 25th –July 19th  Monday–Thursday 7:30-1:30PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic support and language development activities to support English Language Learners currently in grades 5,6 & 7, across the district, with ACCESS levels of 1, 2 and low 3.
Special Education Program: 
Roosevelt: ASD: July 9th – August 9th
Roosevelt: CBIP & TR:  July 9th – August 2nd  
Monday – Thursday   8AM – 12Noon
Goals & Objectives: Remediate a lack of progress in meeting short-term goals.  Assist students with significant regression/recoupment problems. Continue the unique nature of any specifically designed instruction or related service due to disability.

Middle School Programming

Academic Remediation:  Keith, Normandin and Roosevelt Middle Schools
July 2nd   – July 26th   Monday – Thursday 8-12PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide an opportunity for middle school students who need to remediate coursework, in no more than 2 subjects, a way to get back on track by utilizing Apex Online Learning.
Summit Online Learning:  Keith, Normandin, Roosevelt, and Whaling City Middle Schools
July 2nd   – July 26th   Monday – Thursday 8-12PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide an opportunity for middle school students to complete their Summit Learning coursework.


Art, Band, Theatre, and Sports Camps
New Bedford High School
For students entering grades 5-8 as of SY 2018-2019 July 9th   – July 26th   Monday – Thursday 8-12PM

Objectives:  Students will have the opportunity to experience Art, Band (must have prior band experience), Theatre, and Sports during a three week day-camp experience.  Each session will culminate in a display of learning. 


 High School Programming
 STEM Bridge Program
July 9th – August 9th    Monday–Thursday 8-12:30PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic coursework for HS credit to our most at-risk students, specifically those who are transitioning from 8th to 9th grade, in order to establish better school day experiences and acclimate them to the HS.
Academic Remediation
July 9th – August 9th    
Monday – Thursday    8-11AM/12-3pm (2 sessions)
Goals & Objectives:  To provide opportunity for students who are short credit, specifically 11th and 12th graders, to make up coursework utilizing Apex Online Learning in order to get back on track for graduation. 
English Learners Program:  NBHS
June 25th –July 19th  Monday–Thursday 7:30-1:30PM
Goals & Objectives:  To provide academic support and language development activities to support English Language Learners currently in grades 8 - 12 with ACCESS levels of 1, 2 and low 3.
Special Education Program: 
NBHS: ASD, CBIP & TR: July 9th – August 2nd  
Monday – Thursday  8AM – 12Noon
Goals & Objectives: Remediate a lack of progress in meeting short-term goals.  Assist students with significant regression/recoupment problems. Continue the unique nature of any specifically designed instruction or related service due to disability.

Contact: 
Jennifer Ferland, Director of Supplemental Services
508-997-4511 ext. 3396

Thursday, June 7, 2018

English Learners and Students With Disabilities Two-Day PD

This is an invitation to NBPS educators who did not attend this PD last school year. “The English Learners and Special Education Strategies Fair” 10-hour face-to-face PD is designed to provide updated information on services, procedures, and learning activities to work with English Learners and Students with Disabilities in New Bedford Public Schools. It will provide you with the 30 PDPs in Special Education (15) and in English as a Second Language (15) that you will need for your re-certification licensure.  If you are interested in attending on Saturday, June 16th and Saturday, July 14th (from 9 AM-2 PM @ Jacobs Elementary School Media Center) please register on our district SMART PD System. Registration is now open!

For more information, please visit our Smart PD System Website or review the flyer at:http://www.newbedfordschools.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=12254483

Friday, May 18, 2018

Summer Conference Registration Now Open

mta sc logo

The 2018 MTA Summer Conference will take place August 5 through 8 at UMass Amherst- come for a day or stay for the duration to take advantage of all Summer Conference has to offer!  Summer Conference presents opportunities to learn union and leadership skills, engage in professional development, network and have fun.  A list of workshops, online registration, an online conference catalog and other helpful information is posted at http://massteacher.org/summer
This year's Conference keynote event will feature educators from West Virginia and Arizona. They will share their stories from the transformative events in their home states which continue to inspire educators and union members in every sector. 
Looking for professional development?
There are dozens of 90-minute and 3-hour workshops in a wide variety of subject areas, including English Language Learners, Special Education, Literacy, STEM, Social Emotional Learning, Cultural Competency and many more.  For PreK-12 educators, there are also six 2-day offerings to help you earn your PDPs in English Language Learners, Special Education or Media Literacy: 
  • Creating Success with English Learner Students
  • Teaching Tolerance and Addressing Diversity in Schools
  • Supporting Students with Special Needs in Your Classroom
  • Instructional Strategies and Approaches for Students with Learning Impairments K-5
  • Teaching English Language Learners Through Culturally Relevant Children's Books
  • Teacher Training in Critical Media Literacy: Principles, Practices and Case Studies  
Want to enhance your union and leadership skills?
The conference features many workshops related to core union skills including leadership practices, negotiations, organizing, diversity and cultural competence, legal and representation issues, communications, health and safety and more. It also offers sessions designed for specific union roles including building representatives, local presidents and others.  If you're a new educator, don't miss out on MTA's New Member Program, designed for educators in their first five years of practice.  This program provides an opportunity to learn more about your union and other relevant issues that impact your profession and public education.  Apply for this free program here.

"Get Ready for Janus" and attend Summer Conference at no cost
The "Get Ready for Janus" Scholarship Sessions include three workshops that are designed to help MTA members understand and prepare for the changes associated with the Janus Supreme Court decision and thrive in this new landscape.  You may then complete your conference schedule with any other workshops-union skills or professional development.  These scholarships are limited, so early registration is recommended.
Don't delay- register for Summer Conference today.  The early deadline for registration is Friday, July 20. After that date late fees will apply.   

We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Diabetes Prevention Program

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in partnership with the YMCA Southcoast, has decided offer the Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost to AN ADDITIONAL 45 eligible New Bedford municipal employees and their spouses.

Right now, 12 participants from varying city segments, including Schools, DPW & DPI have reached their 16 week milestone. Collectively, they have lost an average of 5.5% of their body weight!

Two additional classes, with 19 other employees, have kicked off since then, and those groups are seeing 100% participation rates.

If you think you’re at risk for Diabetes or are not sure, and want to know more, now is the perfect opportunity to inquire.

Employees on an HMO Blue New England, Blue Choice or Blue Care Elect plan through the City of New Bedford who think they could be at risk for diabetes are encouraged to please reach out to see if you qualify.
Contact the YMCA Southcoast at (508)996-9622 ext. 141 or send an email to ymcadpp@ymcasouthcoast.org.

The next New Bedford YDPP Session starts:
Tuesday, May 22nd 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The class will be at the New Bedford YMCA. 

There are still openings at this time and we would like invite the City of New Bedford Employees to join!

Additional class dates and times will be created based on your availability, so inquire soon!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Urgent Notice Payroll

Good morning. 

We have been informed by the City of New Bedford that an error has occurred with the Payroll File.  

The payroll for April 1st - 14th was deposited into accounts today in error.  

The City of New Bedford is currently working with your financial institution to try to reverse and reconcile this accidental deposit.

Please do not utilize these funds as they were sent in error and the City is working to reverse this amount from your account. 

Your regularly scheduled payroll for pay period April 15th - April 28th will be deposited on May 3rd as scheduled. 

We will send additional updates as the City informs us of new developments. 

Thank you,

The Business Office

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Whos of Who-cester: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu...a...

Whos of Who-cester: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu...a...: First they tried the ballot box, and that failed . Then they tried the Legislature , and so far, that's stalling ( Fingers crossed, of ...

ESL Academies Cohort 4 - ESL Licensure Opportunity!

If you have considered becoming licensed to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction or becoming an expert to support our English Learners in your content area class, this is your opportunity to join the ESL Academies (Cohort 4). As our English Learner population increases, our district will need to increase professional ESL teachers for next 2018-2019 school year. For that reason, New Bedford Public Schools will be offering our “ESL ACADEMIES” Program to help teachers to become ESL certified. This is a GREAT opportunity for educators in New Bedford! The program is at no cost for New Bedford educators and school staff and has an application process. The classes will start on June 2, 2018 and has 3 courses: ESL MTEL Test Prep, Building New Foundations in 21st Century (ESL Teaching Part I), Building New Foundations in 21st Century (ESL Teaching Part II- Focus in Literacy). If you are interested, please click on the following links to have access to a brochure with more information, the class schedule, and the application form.



If you are accepted to take this 3 course program you will need to attend all sessions. No exceptions. (There is no make-up sessions!)

Please call Betty @ ext. 3333 if you have any questions.