Blog

NBEA reaches agreement with District on School Closings due to State Health Shutdown

Dear Members,
I want to update you as to the status of our talks with the District about the closing of schools in New Bedford due to Coronavirus.

The NBEA received word from the District on Sunday, March 15 that Governor Baker had ordered that all schools in the state be closed until April 7. Immediately, I sent a request to bargain any and all changes to working conditions, to the Superintendent. His office and myself began to work on this language at once.

The NBEA’s first goal was to ensure that all educators will continue to receive their full salary and benefits from the District. To this end, the the NBEA has now secured a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the Contract to ensure this in writing.

The MOA was negotiated by the President of the NBEA with the assistance of First Vice-President Fred Pearson, Vice President of Unit A Chuck Lapre and Vice President of Unit B Jeff Longo. NBEA also consulted with MTA for direction and advisement.

The negotiated MOA was sent to the NBEA Executive Board for review and approval this morning. Do to the inability to hold an emergency meeting in person, the Board was given until 1PM to vote by e-mail. The Board voted unanimously to approve the MOA. A ratification vote was not possible, due to the unforeseen need for this measure, the lack of time, and most importantly, the inability to have a meeting of the membership both for logistical and health concerns. Because of this the NBEA Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the signing of the MOA without ratification.

The MOA, as well as an FAQ, is available in the members section of  the NBEA website.

The MOA states:

1.     Effective March 23, 2020 through April 6, 2020 all Unit A staff are expected to be available for remote work during their normally scheduled hours.  Remote work may include, but is not limited to grade entry, communication to families/students, data analysis, providing remote instruction/remote instruction assistance, professional development, and other activities related to the Unit A job descriptions. Any disagreement as to what constitutes remote learning for any professional employee will be addressed in a meeting with the NBEA and the District.
2.     All staff are expected to check their email frequently, throughout the workday, and respond to/acknowledge emails in a timely manner.
3.     All Unit A staff working remotely will be paid their full salary, including ELT stipends.  No Additional hours or stipend payments connected to clubs and/or spring athletics will be paid.
4.     Those serving as mentors and mentor coordinators will continue their mentoring activities and receive their mentoring stipends as scheduled.
5.     This agreement shall sunset at the close of business on April 6, 2020 unless an extended closure of schools is required.  If an extension of school closure is required, the District and the Association will meet to discuss the terms of that extended leave.

The NBEA office is closed during this time of school closures in New Bedford. However, I will still be working remotely to support any members concerns on this or any other matter. Please address questions to nbeducators@yahoo.com and I will try to answer them in as timely a manner as possible.

In Solidarity,

Christopher Garcia
President
NBEA

NBEA Summer Office Hours 2020

June 27, 2020 thru July 14, 2020 – Office Closed

         OFFICE OPEN WEDNESDAY’S ONLY   8:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

         7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12 and 8/19

         The week of August 24th thru August 28th the OFFICE IS OPEN 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Starting Monday, August 31, 2020 the office will return to normal business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“Whaling, Japanese Culture and the Whitfield /Manjiro Story Part 1”

Local Summer 2019 Course Offering for teachers as well as interested community members!!!

 Monday-Thursday July 8-11, 2019, 8:30-4:00

-30 PDP’s (37.5 PDP’s with project) $350 (or 3 credits/67.5 PDP’s from LMU additional cost is $235*) Participants will engage in hands-on activities based on the math, science, social studies, and language arts Massachusetts Pre-K-12 frameworks and Common Core Standards.  Activities include: the history of Captain Whitfield and John Manjiro with regard to Fairhaven’s whaling days; Japanese culture including language, calligraphy, art, music, cuisine; ELA, science, geography and math related to whaling; a tour of Captain Whitfield’s house, the Whaling Museum and the Manjiro Trail; creation of a Kamishibai box theater; and much more!

-Each participant will receive 5 complimentary books; Japanese Traditions, Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms and Matsuri, A Year of Seasonal Japanese Festivities by Setsu Broderick; Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus; Shipwrecked, The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy by Rhada Blumberg; Essential  Japanese Grammar by Everett Bleiler; Kamishibai Man by Allen Say. Recommended readings:  Manjiro: The Boy Who Risked His Life for Two Countries by Emily Arnold McCully; note there may be  substitutions of book titles due to availability. Participants will also receive reproductions of primary source documents.

-Teachers will create Japanese cuisine for their lunch each day in lieu of bringing their lunch featuring yakisoba, vegetable sushi, tempura, and delightful dishes!

-Class is limited to 10 participants and will be held at 11 Cherry St. Fairhaven, MA, the site of the Whitfield Manjiro Friendship House Museum.

Instructors: Debra H. Almeida, EdD tel. (508) 997-7923 / (508) 642-2158; Ayako Rooney, Japanese language teacher and cultural advisor; Gerry Rooney, President and CEO; (508) 858-5303

*Project for graduate credit is due 4 weeks after the last class. Payment for LMU graduate credit is due the first day of class.

 

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Check for the initial fee of $350 is payable to “WMFS” and can be mailed or dropped off to: WMFS 11 Cherry St. Fairhaven, MA 02719     Registration closes for the course June 14, 2019

Part 1  Whaling, Japanese Culture and the Whitfield / Manjiro Story  Summer 2019

Registration information:

Name: _______________________________________________________________ Grade level that you teach: ____________________

Address:_____________________________________________________________ School: ___________________________________________

Telephone best reached at:_________________________________________School phone number:__________________________

Email address best reached at: _____________________________________________________________________

“Whaling, Japanese Culture and the Whitfield /Manjiro Story Part 2”

“Whaling, Japanese Culture and the Whitfield /Manjiro Story Part 2” (including SEI strategies) no pre-requisite needed

 Local Summer 2019 Course Offering for teachers as well as interested community members!!!

Monday-Thursday –8:30-4:00 July 15-18, 2019

  • 30 PDP’s (37.5 PDP’s with project) $350 (or 3 credits / 67 ½ PDP’s LMU, additional cost is $235*) Participants will engage in hands-on activities based on the Massachusetts Pre-K-12 frameworks as well as many SEI strategies interwoven. Activities include: review and continuation of the history of Captain Whitfield and John Manjiro with regard to Fairhaven’s whaling days; a skype visit with Junji Kitadai from Japan, co-author of Drifting Toward the Southeast ; an essay on Manjiro’s attributes; creating a timeline of events; geography of Japan; history of the Samurai; Japanese culture including developing a personal box signature seal, origami, calligraphy, suminagashi (painting on water creating a journal cover/bookmark/scarf), bonsai tree, kokeshi and daruma figurines; whaling crafts including scrimshaw and sailor’s valentines; introduction to common Japanese phrases. New participants will receive: Essential Japanese Grammar by Everett Bleiler.
  • Each participant will receive 5 books: Manjiro: The Boy Who Risked His Life for Two Countries by Emily Arnold McCully; A Carp for Kimiko by Virginia Kroll; a Japanese cookbook; The Bamboo Sword by Margi Preus; and Whales by Seymour Simon. (substitutions may occur due to availability)
  • Teachers will create Japanese cuisine for their lunch each day in lieu of bringing their lunch. A class field trip to Quincy to the Kam Man Marketplace will involve shopping for ingredients, utensils, and Japanese artifacts and creating a photo slideshow.  Participants will create a gravestone rubbing of Captain Whitfield’s stone in Riverside Cemetery.
  • This course is limited to 10 participants and will be held at 11 Cherry St. Fairhaven, MA, the site of the Whitfield Manjiro Friendship House.
  • Instructors: Debra H. Almeida, EdD tel. (508) 997-7923; Ayako Rooney, Japanese language teacher and cultural advisor; Gerry Rooney, President and CEO; (508) 858-5303

*Project for graduate credit is due 4 weeks after the last class. Payment for LMU graduate credit is due the first day of class.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Check for the initial fee of $350 is payable to “WMFS” and can be mailed or dropped off to: WMFS 11 Cherry St. Fairhaven, MA 02719     Registration closes for the course June 14, 2019

Part 2  Whaling, Japanese Culture and the Whitfield / Manjiro Story  Summer 2019

Registration information:

Name: _______________________________________________________________ Grade level that you teach: ____________________

Address:_____________________________________________________________ School: ___________________________________________

Telephone best reached at:_________________________________________School phone number:__________________________

Email address best reached at: _____________________________________________________________________

Message from Merrie Najimy and Max Page regarding Alma del Mar Charter School expansion

Greetings,

MTA members in New Bedford need your help as they fight a charter school expansion plan that will not only harm the city’s public school students, but also set a dangerous precedent statewide.

Please send a message to your legislators right away asking them to oppose HD. 4174, An Act Relative to the Operation of Charter Schools in the City of New Bedford. This bill is the result of a coercive deal brokered by state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.

The bill would force New Bedford to hand over a publicly owned school building and the land it sits on for $0 to a privately run charter school, Alma del Mar. The bill also allows Alma del Mar to automatically draw its students from a newly created neighborhood zone – forcing all students from that zone to attend unless they opt out – rather than using a lottery to enroll students who opt in. If this charter expansion model moves ahead, New Bedford must pay the charter school for the full allotment of seats, not just for the actual number of students enrolled. Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and other proponents of privatization schemes are eager to make this “neighborhood” charter school a model to be used in communities across the state.

If the charter school does not get what it wants, the state will grant Alma del Mar an even larger expansion. New Bedford already loses $14 million to charter schools, and any charter school expansion in the city is unacceptable.

The New Bedford Educators Association and the MTA are part of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools. The coalition has been leading the fight against Alma del Mar and Riley’s intention to defy the will of the voters who, in both New Bedford and across the state, overwhelmingly rejected a 2016 ballot initiative that sought to allow a drastic increase in charter schools.

Please support your colleagues, the coalition, the New Bedford Public Schools and all students by contacting your legislators today.

In solidarity,

Merrie and Max