November - December 2021 View online
‘Tis the Season to Be Prepared!

With winter upon us and COVID-19 cases on the rise, FUSE reminds all staff to be prepared for homebound virtual instruction.  

 

Pedagogic members are urged to bring their laptops and any possible materials they may need for instruction to and from school. This will ensure that classes will be able to continue with uninterrupted instruction should we have to go remote.

Inclement Weather = Virtual instruction

As you are aware, this year’s school calendar proved extremely challenging.  There are only 180 school days. This is the minimum required by NYSED. Due to the many holidays that fell on weekdays, there were no available dates to build in snow days. As a result, snow make-up days had to be scheduled during the spring break.  

 

In an effort to preserve the full week of spring break, it was agreed that this year’s snow days will be virtual whenever possible.  If we are able to utilize virtual days for all potential emergency closures, we will not lose any planned vacation days. 

 

Staff will follow the Virtual Learning Plan on days when inclement weather prevents in-person learning. Synchronous instruction will be provided safely from home.  

 

All teaching staff will be expected to facilitate their classes through a live Zoom or Google Meet session for each of their scheduled class periods, according to the CSDNR Virtual Learning Plan. We understand that some students may be helping younger siblings at the same time as their scheduled classes. When a school snow day is anticipated, we suggest that teaching staff schedule their assignments to be posted on Google Classroom.  This will ensure that students who do not attend the class period have access to the work.

Reminder: COVID Classroom Links

Some staff have inquired about sharing the classroom link for students who are absent.  To be clear, Zoom and Google Meet links are only for students who are quarantined due to COVID-related circumstances. 

 

If and when a student is out for this reason, staff will receive email notification from building administration, noting the affected students in their classes.  

 

No one should share links for any other circumstances.

 

If you have any further questions, please contact the FUSE office.  

Get Involved: Sharing Shelf

Generous does not begin to describe the altruism that FUSE members continue to provide to the New Rochelle community day in and day out. 

 

New Rochelle FUSE is partnering with The Sharing Shelf to provide winter clothing for approximately 95 NRHS students. There is a particular need for joggers, sweats, and underwear for high school boys in a variety of sizes.

 

In that spirit, we invite our members to participate. Feel free to shop on your own or simply use the links provided.  Donations can be sent to the FUSE office through the pony or shipped to:

 

New Rochelle FUSE

270 North Avenue, Suite 809

New Rochelle, NY 10801

 

All donations must be received by January 13, 2022. Thank you!

 

Please check our Amazon Wish List. If you don't want to purchase through Amazon, please check it out anyway to see some of the things we need. Linked below are two other sites that have specials going on right now.

 

Old Navy

Target

Kohl's

Costco

 

FUSEdays! Like Tuesdays... only better!

Thank you to our members for showing up on Tuesdays in your gear.  Solidarity matters! Continue to proudly wear your FUSE gear on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. 

 

January 4

January 18

February 1

February 15

 

March 1

March 15

April 5

April 19

                  

 

May 3

May 17

June 7

June 21

 

FUSE Merch is Available Again!
FUSE Apparel

will be OPEN until January 15!
 FUSE is the access code

 

NOTE: The FUSE Fleece, ¼ and full zip,  is one of our most popular items. Currently, it is available in limited quantities. Once the inventory is depleted, however, it will no longer be available. Order soon if you are interested.

Vaccination Updates

Booster shots added to paid leave for COVID vaccinations 


If you are going for your booster, please know that you are entitled to four hours of paid leave time.   NYSUT, working with the New York State Department of Labor, updated the guidance for Labor Law Sec 196-C, which allows paid leave time for COVID vaccinations, to include vaccine booster shots.

 

In the updated guidance (here) DOL states in unambiguous terms that booster shots apply to the existing paid leave law.

Additionally, Mayor De Blasio recently announced that NYC residents who receive the booster shot between now and the new year will receive $100.00. Take advantage if you live in NYC! 

Reminder: Retirement Deadline

Under the new contract, pedagogic staff who intend to retire must submit their letter to the district no later than January 1, 2022 in order to be compensated for unused sick days. 

 

The retirement requirements for Staff Related Professionals have not changed.  They can retire at any time but must provide four months notice in order to be compensated for unused sick days.

 

Click on this link for additional information that you will need to help you with this process.

Meet Our Leaders
Ann Marie Manganiello

Trinity, Grade 2 Co-teach
Treasurer

I am a longtime resident of New Rochelle.  I am married with one daughter who is now living in NYC and of whom I am most proud.  My mother is a New Rochelle business owner and I have three sisters and one brother.  I attended Ursuline HS and graduated from Iona College for both my undergraduate and Masters degree.  I am a WIPRO/Mercy College STEM fellow and have served as a Union rep and mentor for my colleagues for over 30 years.  I enjoy walking and exercising while listening to music.

 

How long have you been working in the district?

 

After completing my student teaching and substituting for the CSDNR, I began working full time in the district in 1987. I have been teaching for 34 years.  I did my student teaching at Trinity and I have never left! 

How long have you been active in the union? 

 

I have been active in the Union for most of my career, first as a building rep and for the last 10 years as a member of leadership.  I have served as a delegate to the Representative Assembly, been active in Vote Cope and in Community Outreach.  Additionally, prior to COVID, I served as a representative to the Retirement Convention and have brought back much information to the Union regarding retirement.

 

What other positions have you held?

 

In addition to the above,  I have served for over 10 years on the negotiations committee and I am the treasurer for FUSE.

 

 What encouraged you to become involved in the union?

 

Not what, but who!  My friend Diane Delgado encouraged me to get involved. I was very vocal at the building level and had many relationships with people at City Hall, so it was an easy decision to step up and advocate for our members. We were fortunate enough to be surrounded by many strong women who encouraged us to listen and learn and become involved.  We saw early on how fortunate we were to be a part of a strong bargaining unit, and we continue to fight for safe and equitable working conditions.

 

What made you decide to go for a leadership position? 

I was encouraged by then-President Martin Daly who thought I would be an asset to the FUSE  leadership.  He trusted me and gave me the confidence to speak about the things that were important to me - especially as an elementary school teacher.

 

Additionally, I enjoyed being a part of the Negotiations Committee, and I felt like I wanted to do more.

 

 Can you tell us a little bit about the position you hold in leadership, what you do in it and why it’s an important position for our members?

 

I am the treasurer for FUSE.  It is my fiduciary responsibility to oversee the fiscal affairs of the Union, periodically report to the membership and the Executive Committee on the Union’s finances, and act as a signatory on all financial documents. I review bank statements and confer with the accounting firm for the Union when we are audited each year.

 

I needed to become familiar with EDlaw as to what our union can and cannot use our dues for, what constraints we must adhere to regarding VOTE COPE funds and what we needed to do to ensure that we remain current with our NYSUT dues and membership.

 

I must keep accurate records of the Union’s finances, assist in the preparation of the Union’s budget, manage finances, and countersign checks.

 

Being part of leadership  entails attending monthly meetings and being a part of member and community outreach initiatives. It is also part of my responsibility to attend ED meetings. 

 

 What do you think is the most serious issue facing our union today?

 

I think our Union leadership faces many challenges today dealing with new central administrators and preserving our contract. My goal is to help educate newer members as to the importance of knowing our contract and how important it is.

 

What is the most difficult and the most interesting part of your work for the district?

Working under COVID conditions has been a challenge for us all!  I work with very young students, and I worry all the time about their health, their progress, and their well-being. I find it interesting to work with the building administration as we look to solve the issues unique to our population.  I am also very passionate about continuing my work with bringing STEAM experiences to all our students - especially those who are historically underrepresented.

What is the most difficult and the most interesting part of your work in leadership?

 

Working with the many personalities who all have the best interest of our membership is both interesting and challenging. We are all so passionate about our members, and we all have so many ideas to improve work for our members.  I come at it from an elementary standpoint and I always try to remember that as leaders we have to listen and represent ALL the positions that make up our very unique bargaining unit.  It is interesting to see how we are able to come together and meld compromises.  

 

What advice do you give to members who are thinking about becoming involved in union leadership? 

 

Just take a small step and get involved.  Come to a Board of Reps meeting or come to one of the many community events when they are held and lend support.  At the very least attend your bBuilding meetings and listen and contribute your ideas.

 

What or who motivates and/or inspires you personally?

 

I am most inspired by the  people who came before me and who left us with a well-established and strong union.  People like my friend and colleague Sandy Annunziata who we just recently lost too soon.  There are so many men and women.  I actually have started to go through the archives to create a document and pictorial history of our Union.  I am hopeful that I can inspire more people to fill the shoes when we leave.

 

Do you have a story of something that has happened in your work or in your life that we could share?

 

The one that comes to mind occurred coming back on the train from an RA in Washington, DC.  Not being one to ever sit still, I realized that one of the passengers was the President of the Mt. Vernon union who had spoken at the convention about Vote Cope.  I sat next to him, and we struck up a conversation. By the time we pulled into the New Rochelle Train station, I had the name of the NYSUT Vote Cope representative and a plan to have him speak at our opening day ceremony.  As a result, we collected more contributions of Vote Cope dollars.  We were later recognized by NYSUT for our work and presented an award that is now displayed at the FUSE office.

 

Is there something that you’d like to share that not everyone knows about you?

 

I am older than I look!



News from NYSUT
Struggling with Student Loan Debt?

We are pleased to announce that new webinar sessions are available for one of NYSUTs most popular programs: Student Loan Debt Assistance. Read on for more information on this program.


Student Loan Debt Assistance

These webinars are led by Cambridge Credit Counseling and offer our members the following: 

  • Presentation from a student loan counselor to help you better understand the various student loan repayment options with a focus on Teacher Loan Cancellation and Public Student Loan Forgiveness programs.
  • Opportunity to schedule a free counseling session with a certified student loan counselor.
  • Free access to a student loan portal that will quickly identify all of your options and provide a detailed action plan that you can then discuss with a certified student loan counselor.

Upcoming webinars are free for NYSUT members and will be running:


 

NYSUT Wellness Seminars

These are indeed very stressful times.  Many of us are dealing with pent up anxieties and frustrations.  To help NYSUT members dealing with these issues, NYSUT’s Education & Learning Trust and the Tarrytown Learning Center, are offering three free virtual seminars and one, no cost, online seminar highlighting the need for self-care; how to help students succeed emotionally and academically; and practical tips for working from home.  The registration link is at bottom of page.

 

Virtual Seminars:

The Airplane Oxygen Mask Principle

Seminar for Teachers and SRPs (January 25, 2022)

The Airplane Oxygen Mask Principle seminar provides a forum for staff to engage in structured conversations around how to manage their well-being amidst the anxiety, preoccupation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus.  This seminar highlights the importance of taking care of yourself before you can effectively take care of others, providing practical mindful strategies that can be used at home or at any location.  (1 hour)

 

The Juggle

Seminar for Teachers and SRPs (January 13, 2022)

Working from home can have its challenges.  Some of us juggle work, our children, the phone ringing, cooking, interacting with loved ones, interruptions, the list can go on and on.  How can we manage all these distractions and still complete all the demands put on us?  This seminar offers some practical tips to help you get organized.  The seminar will provide you time to create a schedule for your demands at work while providing tips to manage your selfcare.  (1 hour)

 

Workplace Wellness

Seminar for Teachers (January 20, 2022)

Why are educators at risk for vicarious (secondary) trauma?  This seminar will engage participants to discuss the unique challenges to wellness found in the education field and understand and practice effective strategies for wellness.  (2 hours)

 

Online Seminar:

Reducing Stress, Cultivating Calm**

Seminar for Teachers (January 10-February 9, 2022)

Research demonstrates that stress has been dramatically increasing in America and it can have an impact on overall health and job satisfaction.  Education is one of the more stressful fields and stress among educators is directly related to absenteeism, burnout, turnover, and early retirement.  Educators have the additional challenge of working with youth who are also experiencing stress at unprecedented levels.  The effects of stress on educators negatively affect the school climate and lead to poor student outcomes, both academically and behaviorally, and become a barrier to learning for students.  In this seminar, participants will explore to effectively manage the increasing demands and stress in their roles as well as how to support students in coping with the stress they are experiencing.  (5 hours)

 

**This is an online seminar.  Participants have thirty (30) days from the day access is granted to complete and upload all the assignments.  An experienced instructor will provide feedback and coaching.  At the end of the thirty days, participants who successfully complete the requirements will receive a grade of Pass and a certificate of completion.  If not, a grade of Fail will be entered.

 

 

The link to register for these seminars is:

Wellness Seminars | (tarrytownlearningcenter.org)

 

 

ALBANY, N.Y. Dec. 1, 2021 — At a time of unprecedented challenges facing public education, New York State United Teachers today released a new report outlining nearly 20 federal, state and local policy recommendations from educators that they say would best support public schools as the institutions that can ensure a bright future for every student.

NYSUT’s Future Forward Report is based on the work of an exceptional group of education professionals from across the state brought together this year to identify some of the greatest challenges facing students, educators and families and bring forward recommendations for how to tackle those issues on the federal, state and local levels. The Future Forward Task Force’s goal is not only to address academic concerns and barriers to education too many students face, but also to address the ways poverty manifests in the classroom, focus on students’ social-emotional needs, fight for racial justice for every student and de-emphasize punitive high-stakes testing.

“Many are striving to return to what we considered ‘normal’ before the pandemic. But just returning to normal isn’t good enough for our students,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Now is the time to redefine public education as a system that truly supports every child and ensures they have the tools to create a brighter future for our nation and our state. Our students deserve better.”

RESOURCES

A sampling of the recommendations includes:

  • Expanding traditional public school offerings to create community schools that provide new academic supports, physical and mental health care services, and family supports that include free school meals for all students.

  • Addressing the social-emotional needs of all students by expanding universal pre-K, reducing class size, requiring that every school employ social workers, psychologists, counselors and nurses, and implementing district-level social-emotional learning plans.

  • Repealing the state’s school receivership law, and implementing developmentally appropriate assessments and alternatives to standardized testing that accurately measure student learning, instead of penalizing children and schools based on flawed exams.

NYSUT’s Future Forward Task Force began convening over the summer to assess the ongoing challenges public schools faced in the 2020-21 school year and to identify possible solutions. Task force members zeroed in on issues that come from well beyond the classroom but permeate their walls daily, including childhood hunger, trauma, racial injustice and economic inequality.

Having the resources to keep up with those issues is essential but, too often, task force members said their districts struggle to meet even basic needs. For example, school counselors, psychologists and social workers report that their caseloads are too high to engage with all students on preventive social-emotional learning. Or where educators say universal free meals for all students have helped students focus on learning, instead of rumbling stomachs, their districts still lack wrap-around services that address the academic, hygiene and medical needs of both students and their families.

“Educators have been there for their students and communities throughout the pandemic, just as they always were,” Pallotta said. “But when children face poverty, when they need help processing trauma, when they don’t have the right tools to further their education, they don’t come to school ready to learn in the first place. What educators are asking for are the federal, state and local supports that every student deserves. Because when students thrive, we all thrive.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

 

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New Rochelle Federation of School Employees    |    View online