News & Events

Saint Paul Institute: Bargaining for the Common Good

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

Last week, SPFT hosted to eight NEA locals as part of the first ever Saint Paul Institute Three Day Training. These locals sent teams of educators and staff who want to change the way they bargain and organize to focus on the needs of their community and their students, while also increasing member engagement and leadership development.

Participants in this training learned from SPFT members and staff about SPFT’s successes in bargaining for lower class sizes, less standardized testing, and educating the whole child. They also heard about our organizing to take on systemic racial inequities in our communities and predatory lending practices by big banks.

Teams which attended this February training included:

  • Colonial Education Association (DE)
  • Fall River Educators’ Association (MA)
  • Federal Way Education Association (WA)
  • Fort Wayne Education Association (IN)
  • Hillsboro Education Association (OR)
  • Manchester Education Association (NH)
  • Steamboat Springs Education Association (CO)

We were delighted to get to know the educators and staff who are taking on this important work!

The Saint Paul Institute is a partnership between NEA’s Center for Organizing, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers.

TD&E Focus Groups

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

In addition to the TD&E survey, focus groups are scheduled to capture more of the nuanced view of what is an is not working and to hear your ideas for how to improve TD&E programming. If you’d like to further discuss TD&E, four different times are available. (All focus groups will be held at SPFT’s offices.)

  • March 1 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm
  • March 1 from 4:30pm – 5:30pm
  • March 9 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm
  • March 9 from 4:30pm – 5:30pm

If you have any questions, please contact Holly Miller with the district’s Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Department at holly.miller@spps.org or (651) 767-3476.

Professional Day of Learning #2

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

Join us for a day of learning. Teacher-led, research-based professional development that will meet teacher re-licensure requirements.

Break-out sessions include:

  • Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies,
  • English Language Learners,
  • Reading Seminar,
  • Accommodations/Modifications,
  • Student Mental Health,
  • Technology/Digital Learning Strategies, and
  • Strengthening School-Home Partnerships.

Participants will be able to register for three break-out sessions.

Light Breakfast, Lunch and Clock Hours included in the non-refundable registration fee.

Register here! 

Registration fee for full members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Metro Area Council is $15.00.

Registration for all others attending the Professional Day of Learning is $59.00.

For more information, view the flyer for the event here.

Apply to be a PAR Consulting Teacher

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

SPPS and SPFT are currently considering candidates for full-time PAR (Peer Assistance and Review) coaching positions available for the 2017-2018 school year. The job posting opens today. We are seeking educators with licensure in high needs areas including the following: Spanish Immersion, Spanish Bilingual EL, Spanish, Science, Special Education, Montessori, English Language Arts

A little about PAR:

Are you looking for leadership opportunities to work with your colleagues, support student achievement and to engage more deeply with equity work? The Peer Assistance & Review (PAR) Program is a collaboration of Saint Paul Public Schools and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers.

The purpose of PAR program is to support the professional growth of SPPS teachers, primarily teachers new to the district. The primary role of a PAR Consulting Teacher (Coach) is to enhance and habituate self-directed learning through coaching, as well as collaborating, consulting and supporting administration in the evaluation process. PAR Coaches use a variety of coaching and equity tools to support teachers in developing reflection skills—keeping equity in the forefront of their work with teachers. PAR Coaches provide coaching and support to teachers around lesson planning, implementing effective instruction, moving towards personalized learning. PAR Coaches support teachers in their work towards eliminating racial disproportionality and predictability of achievement. PAR Coaches collaborate with administrators to provide teachers with quality and useful feedback of teacher performance.

The job description will be posted on the districts job opening site. Once you view the posting and requirements, if you have questions about the application process, please contact HR.  If you have questions about the nature of PAR work, please contact Heidi.Dunlap@spps.org

Professional Development Updates

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities from the Teaching & Learning Center:

All SPFT members are eligible to take these classes. Courses can be taken for stipend, in-service credits (good towards lane change) or for graduate credit through Saint Mary’s University (for an additional fee). Log onto PD Express to register. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Wade at rebecca@spft.org.

Just Added: 

English Language Learners:  Module 1

This course is targeted to preK-12 general educators of English Language Learners.

Participants will gain an understanding of second language acquisition to increase awareness of ELLs strengths and empathy for their needs.  Participants will identify strategies to scaffold and differentiate instruction, increase knowledge of state and federal laws for ELLs, and examine research-based instructional strategies to optimize academic learning for ELLs.

Dates:  April 15, May 6, and May 13 (20 hours)

Managing Behavior in School Communities II:

This course will explore cooperative small group learning, self-control strategies, anger management, designing replacement behaviors, behavior enhancement and reduction, the de-escalation cycle, supporting chronically absent students, and school-wide behavior support practices.  Classes provide time for educators to reflect and collaborate while examining relevant research.  Participants will begin to develop ways to implement new learning and strategies in their work with students.

Pre-requisite:  Successful completion of Managing Behavior in School Communities and/or Managing Antisocial Behavior

Dates:  August 7-10, 2017 (30 hours)

Other Professional Development Classes:

  • English Language Learners Module II:March 4, March 18, and March 25 (20 hours)
  • English Language Learners Module III: April 29, May 13, and May 20 (20 hours)
  • Student Mental Health: February 16 OR April 12 (1.5 hours)
  • Thinking Math Grades 3-5: March 18, March 25, April 22, and April 29 (30 hours)
  • Thinking Math Grades 6-8: March 18, March 25, April 22, and April 29 (30 hours)

 

Apply to Attend 2017 AFT TEACH

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

The biennial AFT TEACH Conference (Together Teaching America’s Children) provides a unique opportunity for union members to gather and celebrate education through high quality professional development workshops, overviews of innovative work and best practices and inspiration from keynote speakers. The 2017 conference will be held Thursday, July 20 to Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC.

We are looking to engage a member cohort from all bargaining units with diverse work and union leadership experience. TEACH cohort members must agree to attend two pre-conference meetings scheduled for Monday, May 22, (following the monthly member meeting) and Wednesday, July 12 to get acquainted with attendees and go over details and funding for the conference.

Funding to attend this conference generally covers lodging, airfare and some meals.

Interested members should complete the application form available as a Word Doc or PDF and return it to the SPFT Office by Friday, April 28.

Call for Elections: SPFT Executive Board and St Paul Regional Labor Federation

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

Elections will be held this spring for both the SPFT Executive Board and Officers and for delegates to the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation. Applications for any of these positions are should be submitted to the SPFT office no later than Monday, March 20th.

Read below for descriptions of the positions and to find the nomination forms.


SPFT Officers and Executive Board:

Positions within SPFT’s leadership up for election this year include president, secretary and nine executive board members. The positions are two-year terms and expire on the last day of the duty year.

Voting for these positions will close at 5:00 p.m. on April 24, 2017 at our Membership Meeting.

Nomination forms are available as either a PDF or a Word Doc. Nominations must be submitted with a photo. Please send the photo in electronic format to cheryl@spft.org.

Delegates to the St Paul Regional Labor Federation:

The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation (RLF) plays a key role in uniting AFL-CIO member organizations at the regional level. SPFT is allowed 11 delegates who will support RLF issue-oriented campaigns.

The annual election of St. Paul RLF delegates will be held April 24 at our membership meeting.

Nomination forms are available either as a PDF or Word Doc.

Support the Expansion of Linwood Monroe Arts Plus

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

The following statement of support from the SPFT officers will be read at the Board of Zoning Appeals tonight as they consider the expansion of the Linwood Monroe school.

The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers believes that all students deserve high quality, inclusive learning environments, no matter who they are, where they live, or where they go to school.

This has not necessarily been the case at the lower campus of Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, but we feel fortunate that there is a plan in place to change that. This is a plan that our members at Linwood—teachers and paraprofessionals who are in front of students every day and know what their learning needs are—support and have had input on. This is the plan that parents from around the city who send their students to Linwood want and need for their students. As a union, we have always felt that these are the people who should have the most say in what happens to their school—parents and teachers, the people who know our students best.

Our members are concerned that too many outside interests have had influence on our schools, telling teachers and families what should happen with their school, rather than asking. We feel this has led to racial inequalities in our building and racial discrepancies in outcomes across the district. This plan was put together with input from the teachers and families of Linwood. The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers hopes this board will listen to the people who know our students’ needs best and approve that plan for the Linwood community.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will be holding a hearing on the proposed variances at 3pm today in room 330 at City Hall. If you are able to attend, please show up!   

AFT Resolution to Take on Wall Street

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

The American Federation of Teachers officially adopted a resolution written by SPFT to take on Wall Street. This resolution, initially proposed at last summer’s AFT convention, was officially adopted by AFT’s Executive Council at their meeting earlier this month.

The resolution commits AFT to a Take on Wall Street Coalition and work to:

  • Close the carried-interest loophole that lets billionaire Wall Street money managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or construction workers;
  • Create a Wall Street speculation tax that would discourage short-term bets and generate billions in new revenue to make college affordable, invest in our infrastructure and create jobs in our cities;
  • End “Too Big to Fail” by breaking up the big banks—making them smaller, simpler and safer;
  • Stop subsidizing million dollar CEO bonuses by ending the CEO pay tax loophole;
  • End predatory lending and also expand access to fair consumer banking services through “a public option” like postal banking; and
  • End foreclosures during the school year on families with school-age children.

You can read the entire resolution on AFT’s website.

2/21: Decentering Whiteness in Education Rally and Lobby Day

Written by Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, in News

The 2017 legislative session is in full swing and with this new political climate, now more than ever we must come together to make our voices heard. Join us later this month to send a strong message to our elected state officials: 

  1. Pass the Teachers of Color Act; 
  2. Fund restorative justice practices in our schools; and
  3. Be partners in ensuring our schools are safe for all students and staff.

Join us to respond, resist and reassert our commitment to racial equity and social justice in our schools.

  • What: Rally and Lobby Day: Decentering Whiteness In Education
  • When: Tuesday, February 21 from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Education Minnesota headquarters, then on to the Capitol
  •  To RSVP, please complete this form. Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Education Minnesota’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee.

The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota, Out Front, ISAIAH and SEIU will join Education Minnesota’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, African American Educators Forum, American Indian Education Professionals, League of Latino Educators, Pan-Asian Educators Forum and other community groups to continue the work we began with last year’s Equity in Education Lobby Day.