LIVE BLOG: Teachers Demand To Be Heard; Want Fair Contract [VIDEO]
Framingham Patch is live blogging at the Framingham School Committee meeting. Members of the Framingham Teachers Association spoke for almost 90 minutes at the start of the meeting - including some very loud chants highlighted in the attached video.
Framingham Patch is live blogging at the School Committee meeting. It is a packed house as the Framingham Teachers Association had asked its members to attend. The Association also encouraged parents to attend and support the teachers.
Editor's Note: Wi-fi is spotty. I only have two bars at the moment.
7:35 p.m. School Committee chair David Miles has called the meeting to order.
30 minutes of speaking allowed said Chair David Miles
You can come to any SC meeting. If you don't speak tonight -- you can speak at the next meeting, says Miles
Public comment period begins:
Bob Bolles - Precinct 6 Town Meeting members speaking - quick statement about this contract - I know I can not afford anymore tax increase SC should be holding the line. Teachers got a big raise when Dr. Thayer left. We are heading for a bigger recession that we had before. ... taxpayers can't afford this anymore. We have to hold the line.
LLoyd Kaye - Town Meeting member Precinct 10 - member of ways & means committee - want to thank Sam for doing such an incredible job (applause) wish the room was filled like this every night ... I'm not going to speak about the contract .. this is an investment in this community .. investment in the schools, investments in the teachers... no will want to come here if you don't invest in the teachers and the schools. (applause) ... grew up in the 60s .. didn't have to pay for sports didn't have to pay for music ... didn't have to worry about the school bus ... we didn't have to worry about any of it .. it was paid for .. and now many of the parents have to pay double, triple, quadruple tax .. have to worry about bus, music, athletics, that they have to pay extra for .. it's insane .. hope you support as much money as possible for the parents, the teachers and the staff.
7:44 p.m. Herb Chasan - Town Meeting member Precinct 4 -- I was here a couple of weeks ago asking you to settle the contract .. it the same plea .. want to thank the teachers so much for being here (applause) ... for me it is a lot about respect ... it is one of the toughest job I know of ...
Sam Miskin -- President of the Framingham Teachers Association -- speaking very important time as we are facing as an association and as a town .. challenges facing in the classroom never been greater .. asking for respect ... time for the committee to say thank you for the teachers. looking for 3 major items - class size issue, length of the day and language on a cost of living raise.
teachers can do a better job with less kids. .. we are asking for the SC policy in the contract ... language in a contract something that is valued by both sides of the table ..valued by the community...
length of day - study show teachers 14-16 hours per day and 60+ hours a week - teachers are not asking for hours in a contract to work less -- asking for some gratitude ...asking when is it okay to show up and when it is okay to live
finally a COLA -- cost of living allowance -- understand financial issues -- teachers did furlough days - now asking for a little bit of respect back -- we are not asking for 15% over 3 years -- we are asking for a modest amount...
teachers and students and parents are here to speak ....
Amy Pearlman from Hemenway School speaking -- mother of 2 elementary-age children --we value our teacher, we respect our teachers and we need our teachers ... they are critical to our school system .. asking Framingham SC and FTA to work together to resolve this matter in a timely matter
Raissa Reis - senior at Framingham High speaking -- class president since freshman year ... in mentoring program at FHS -- by life as I know it would not be possible with out the support of my teachers ... talking about how math was a struggle in middle school and how a teacher inspired her -- Mr. Banks in her junior year. It is because of my teachers that I was able to grow in the person I am today - 18 year old. She reads a list of her teachers - they're my role models and my inspiration... it pains me that what they do goes unnoticed ... good teachers create good students ...and good citizens ... (applause).
Gina Fishman - parent of two girls at Brophy Elementary School -- the hours are long .. ask you how can all parties focus on the task at hand -- education our children -- if there are contract negotiations lingering over head - I'm not here to throw stones or point fingers .. both sides need to work together ... priority #1 this contract need to be settled -- no more drama, no more games .. we need to finalize this contract ... (applause)
Cristina Donovan speaking - Barbieri teacher and PTO president - parent of 3 children - two children at Barbieri and youngest at BLOCKS. . not finalizing the terms of this contact fear our children and our schools will pay a price ... if we are in this room that we care about this town .. our goal is the same best education for all children ...go back to focus efforts on what matters the most -- the kids.
8 p.m. Chris Hauck speaking - business owner in the community - chiropractor -- talking about teachers' health .. next year they're going to have a 13% increase in their health care premiums ...why using more health care .. stress - creates disease ... as disease goes up productivity goes down .. there are a physical cost to these policies ... it is the right thing to do ... these people work hard and they deserve their salaries .. they should be paid more (applause).
Marilyn Machowski speaking -- I've taught in Framingham for 28 years -- currently at Hemenway -- speak today as a parent and a taxpayer -- nothing I wouldn't do to make my children the best and the brightest -- greatest gift to give my children an education .. having qualified teacher in front of my children for 6 or more hours a day .. should never say we can't afford best practices ...we don't want our talented eager teachers leaving for higher salaries .. I speak now as a teacher in the FPS -- we are givers -- we give hope, empathy, money ...and we give knowledge... zero % salary raise not once but twice in my career ... the townof Framingahm needs a competitive salary schedule ..parents see our value on their MCAS results and parents see our value on their students faces every single day .. the salary structure needs to be more than a yearly exercise .. where children's needs come first and the first person on that line is we the teachers.
Student speaking - Peter Tosti (I think he said was his name) ... I'm here to raise awareness - noticed every Friday teachers wear FTA red shirts ... Framingham educators are the best in the commonwealth - senior at FHS ...teachers in this room know more and care more about the students in this town than the committee themselves... the teachers at my high school deserve a fair contract not soon but now ...teachers mold young minds -- they do this during school hours and after school ... priorities in this town and the state put education at the top of the list ... we are the future ... and we are being hurt ..and will continue to be hurt by this contract negotiations ...
8:08 p.m. Alyssa Almeda -- senior at FHS -- everyone hopes for progress ... aspirations, ingenuity and education ... progress success ... teachers and educators do not hold the same level of respect they once held ... every teacher becomes apart of someone's personal history ...how the heck had I survived or learned anything if not for my teachers ...
Editor's Note: Updating the system.
8:11 p.m. Jae Goodwin - 5th grade teacher - Dunning Elementary School -- attended a funeral of a teacher who died recently ..over and over his colleagues and administrators, parents and members of the community stood up and talked about how much they valued him .. every day all of us teach .. we have high expectations for our students -- we want them to achieve and to grow...make sure students have materials they need .. we respect them. You have heard us say so many times we became teachers for the position and not the money .. asked us up to give us two days of pay .. we agreed .. health benefits have changed and we pay more out of our won pockets .. we shouldhave to work for less and less every year (applause) ..teachers are givers and nurturers .. but also homeowners, taxpayers and parents .. please come to the table and have respect for teachers....
Lisa Zanella - third grade teacher at McCarthy and chair of the negotiating tea speaking -- spend many hours outside of the school spent $1000s of dollars on students needs ... clothing and even band-aids ... we don't do all of this for the rock star salary .. or even for the superintendent's salary ... we expect acknowledgment and appreciation for accepting an increase in our health care expenses ..(two day furloughs, etc)... overwhelming turnout ...tonight none of us are feeling value by the School Committee right now .. we are not feeling empowered .. we are far from energized ...
One of your own school committee goals ..is to give major stakeholders to hear from than teachers, students and parents .. regret having to come hear again ... here we are again ...
hope you will let everyone who wants to speak tonight to do so tonight .. we have always come to the table .. we have given back a lot .. now it is your turn ...(applause).
Nicole Kapierz - McCarthy Elementary teacher speaking -- telling story of why I became a teacher -- listening to Jeff Thayer while a student at McCarthy Elementary .. I wanted to stand in front of a classroom and show that learn is fun .. to teach isto show the joy of learning . it is not about the money - it never will be about the money -- more than a $1,000 a year for supplies ...I'm not complaining .. have not come to terms that I have to teach the School Committee with what I do .. always been my believe that the school committee should stand my its teachers ..worried for my family ...can I really afford to teach in a town that want to cut my pay ... makes me fear for the success of my community ..wondering where the investment in education is in this town? makes me sad that this is overshadowing the education ... what you are really saying to the community .. if we continue down this path is that we don't support our teachers .. shame on you ... (applause) we are in the process of making decision that will affect every future in this town .. this is about doing what is best for our kids ... what is best for our kids? -- this is not about winning or losing ... al we are asking for with this committee is put forth you best effort?? have you done that? think what is best for the kids in this community.
Miles cuts off public speaking...
Chant of LET US SPEAK, LET US SPEAK In the room...
8:24 p.m. Miles -- I have the right to have this room emptied ...and i will do it.
Audience yells - DO IT! DO IT!!
Miles asks Miskin to control his Association members...
Teachers continue to chant ... FAIR CONTRACT FAIR CONTRACT
More chants while Miles & Miskin have a private discussion in the front of the room.
Teachers continue to chant (Video uploaded from one of the first chants... I will upload more video and photos later)
Miskin after a 5-minute discussion with Miles announces 10 more people will be allowed to speak
Editor's Note: Missed 2 speakers while uploading the short video...
Eric Hanson - 17 year employee .. come here tonight to speak to parents, teacher and school committee members - teachers disheartening battle between teachers and the SC has become an almost annual ritual... disagreement on how to address class size ... not interested in discussing ... state current policy on class size is sufficient -- why will you not enforce your policy - why not put your policy in the contract?? We have asked for a modest COLA ... teachers received no COLA thesepast two years -- cut in heath care costs -- teachers stepped forward and gave 2 furlough days to save $600,000 - for several of you SC members it was the last time you met with us ..have met 14 times over -- only Phalen and Hugo have bothered to attend ...
(Editor;s Note: Adam Blumer can not attend as his wife is employed with the FPS and is or was a member of the FTA)
I thought that the SC's primary objective is to advocate for the schools - instead you have worked against us ... your unwillingness to look beyond the numbers and unwillingness to lead us .. we bring us to failure ... tonight I ask you to remember what inspired you to be on the SC .. all of us are committed to Framingham's future I hope you will do the right thing..
Kathy Kenney-Marshall - teacher 3rd grade at McCarthy speaking -- she has decided not to read the speech she wrote. mentioned getting acupuncture... You don't care .. there is one of you -- of which I can't name -- I have miles to go before on Route 128 before I sleep ... my speech is about the out of pocket monies I have spent ... it doesn't matter what I was going to say -- you are going to do what you are going to do -- I wanted to be here in solidarity with my pals and my colleagues (applause)
Andrew Sullivan speaking -- teacher 18 years - taught in Framingham for 8 years -- you are not making a lot of money forbeing on SC -- we are all committed to the town -- this dog and pony show is not good for the town ... I fee for the gentleman who spoke about his taxes going up -- I hope his taxes don't go up -- I don't want my taxes to go up ... disparity of pay compared to other town .. slow gradual decline of Framingham Publci Schools - let's get a reasonable contact and settle it soon.
8:48 p.m. Deb Nazzaro - 5th grade teacher at Hemenway -- have taught at all 9 elementary schools -- my own children went through the FPS ... believe me no one is more invested in this school system than I am .. taught here formore than 20 years -- first point class size, each student has his or her individual goals are met -- class size does matter - it impacts how education is delivered every day .. less is truly more ...
second point - work day hours -- no language in contract that definers when our work day begins and ends -- teachers do not work a mere 6 hours -- I put in 9-10 hours per day .. plus take work home ...
please note I am not alone - for teachers we all sigh up for that assignment - the rewards - our children's success far out weigh the hours we put in -- what are the expectations? is it too much to ask that the contract have specific language??
fair COLA ... no one in this room that is not aware of the difficult times -- in good faith framingham teachers have made significant concessions -- last year agreed to a 0% raise .. and cuts in heath benefits. In 2010 we gave back 2 days play -- we are team players ... ask SC to negotiate a fair equitable offer. .. we are doing our part... will you do yours???
Bonnie Will - Framngham High -- started in 2000 - in history department -- three years worked without a pay increase -- have contributed to the success of the school district -- we help your children achieve the MCAS, SAT scores -- we help put Framingham and your children into the AP .. we have given back to you two days without pay .. we have occurred an increase in health care costs -- asking that it is your turn to give back to us...
Christopher Martell speaking -- Asking you to show that local government isn't broken ... asking for class size reduction, set work day ...
Honor to come after so many well-spoken teachers - Judy Levy speaking -- teaches in SAGE program at Barbieri and Wilson .. what a quality school system this community has ... have always done what is right for the students despite growing class sizes and less resources ... we are frequently the last ones out of the building .. one such value is respect ... anyone who walks into a classroom - we see and hear this word -- we respect our students ... we have made concessions the past few years ... I ask for your respect to the job that teachers do .. I have sat in your seat -- and I know itis hard to balance things philosophically and financially ... we have some wonderful news teachers ... contentiousness and low morale takes a toll ... new teachers will seek employment elsewhere ... framingahm's children and their future can not afford it (applause)
9 p.m. last speaker -- Sarah Smith -- Kindergarten teacher at Brophy Elementary -- had a lot of people up here talking about numbers and figures -- math scares me -- I plan to speak from theheart -- we are not an assembly line producing plastics -- make a difference every day in our classrooms -- I am a building rep ... for me I am committed to Framingham - I chose to live here -- diversity anda vitality in this community -- mentor teachers talking about leaving the district ... thinking once they were like me full of energy and vitality ... previous challenges don't even compare to what we have now ... district employees should feel valued, empowered ...everyone of you in the audience remember both good and bad teachers we had as a child -- we come in early, we stay ate, we take home work nightly and on the weekends .. what we are asking for is not unreasonable ... having the people on the other side of the table be willing to listen .. (applause)...
9:04 p.m. teachers giving a standing ovation
Miles -- we have invited guests -- had we known 40 people are going to show up and speak we would have allowed more time
Superintendent Stacy Scott will read a statement --
Always a please to see you -- even this evening - proud of you and proud of you every day ..feel free to leave comments with me if you did not speak -- we too do support a rapid end to the contract .. each year the budget does allow us acertain amount for improvements .. greatest challenge is to raise achievement of all of our students .. recent years there have been a lot fo cost cutting - grateful for your sacrifices -- over the last year -- begun to do some of the rebuilding ... that helps to lighten your load ...hope to continue to rebuild .. faced with a lot of significant challenges today .. does take time ...patience is required .. I know you have put forth patience .. governor announced today -- invoking emergency powers - state has a $540 million shortfall ..planning for contingencies for budget reductions .. we know there is need for continued rebuilding ... new arrival -- see system go forward -- funds are limited -- make system healthy -- pay you what we can -- we can never pay you what you deserve -- I will move us as quickly as possible to resolution ...some of the areas are challenging .. hopefully move to clarity ... (light applause)
9:09 p.m. SC member Beverly Hugo speaking -- we share you frustrations .. lack of contract should not show our lack of respect .. we have in Framngham and Massachusetts this year -- new and over burdensome rules and regulations -- settlement of afair and responsible contract be of the utmost importance to the school committee -- appreciate your patience, support and concern .. andmost importantly we appreciate your passionate commitment ... (shouts from the audience Thank You Bev.)
SC Adam Blumer speaking -- unique situation -- have a family member in the FPS -- and hopeful solve this and hopefully for multiple years .. every complaint is not new ... the only thing worst than a meeting like this is when we were cutting teachers -- don't ever want to see that .. I understand every emotion -- we need parent activism and teacher activism ... we need you to be at 10 places at once .. we are sharing the same goals ... we need you at Town Meeting ... when I finish with this committee I will likely end up there ... we need you to work together .. Thank you.
Miskin tells the Association members in the audience that they are going to assemble outide on the front steps ...
SC is taking a 5 minute break...
9:25 p.m. School Committee Agenda resuming
Barbieri principal speaking --Susan McGilvay Rivet
a program sponsored by the Spanish Embassy -- very briefly described the programs offered ...Barbieri has been extremely fortunate to benefit from the programs -- all at zero cost to the town of Framingham.
International Spanish Academies -- program begun in 2000 to encourage intensive study of the Spanish language ad to promote cultural -- at least 50% of the instruction has to be in spanish - at least at the elementary level
ISA -- status granted every 5 years -- renew every 5 years - only 6 ISA in Massachusetts - barbieri is the only 2-way program.
why be an ISA -- international recogntition -- part of a network of 99 ISA in NAmerica. Annual conference for the directors of the ISA -- principals invited -- get together and learn about topics -- all free of cost -- last one in Utah in October -- 2.5 day event -- speakers nd workshops from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.and even after dinner ...
In addition to that our graduates -- receive beautiful diplomas -- with the Spanish seal .. children finish 5th grade ...
visiting teacher from Spain program -- Barbieri has a visiting teacher now ..
Other embasssy programs
spanish visiting teacher program
north america language and cultural assistants in spain
spanish language and culture assistants in the US
Spanish language and culture resources
"very fast run through -- due to the time,"
Introduce the guests -- visiting teacher -- teachers 2nd grade in the 2-way program.
Hugo - want to recognize the principal for finding these opportunities and bringing them to Framingham
9:46 p.m. Anna Cross/Parent Information Center staff speaking --
Anna Cross - director of student support services
new initiative launching
director community resource development - oversees 21st century program - new hire
class of 2026 -- incoming K class
Staff of the early childhood alliance work with - so incoming kindergartners come to school with the goal to learn.
Projects -- complete review of the district approach -- multi-tiered systems of support - district initiative -- interventions in place, where we have gaps and where we need to improve processes ... first meeting was this week...
first task -- expand the Response to intervention committee work --
take some time to investigate other districts and state models.
expect this to be a year-long process
Focus on -- identified a common set of critical data points -- students review process - including attendance ... used to predict school success.
Brendan Savage speaking -- practice in place .. try to get out to all schools on a monthly basis and review attendance -- identify kis that have a concern amount of absences. .. go through student by student to identify the best approach in regardsto intervention .. to get them to school more consistently... letters of concern to parents -- why student out so often ... bring parents in for meetings ... more severe cases I have to vsit the homes of the more chronic students ... I don't have a whole lot of data tonight -- numbers are trending downward .. program very successful -- absences are down ....
moving forward would like to see us build more relationships with our departments in the community ... often factors going on at home we need to consider .. other agencies involved -- need to communicate better..
9:55 p.m. Miles -- have you approached these agencies? receptive to working with the schools?
Answer - yes
Matter of bringing everybody together -- experience -- everybody wants the same thing.
Connolly -- are there rules -- have to go to school so many hours or days to move up???
Answer -- there is no magic number for elementary. High school is there own entity as they operate under a credit structure.
Cross - talking about afterschool time.
Joseph speaking -- oversee the 21st century programs and the after school programs - only been in the job for a few months -- work thus far -- program startups - 3 programs at Cameron, high school and Walsh and currently working to start one at Wilson Elementary
Numbers of students serving 60-80 students .. ELA learners, students who score warning or failure on MCAS assessments.
Financial literacy program with TD Bank -- theme of buying their first car -- offering them a pathway to that and also teaching them -- program starting -- adding a potential STEM component to that ... how to maintain a car -- oil changes, tire rotation, etc..
Summer clubs created a guide to Framingham High Scool -- handed out to every freshman -- also shown on a DVD -- bilingual department translate into Portuguese and Spanish ...
Vision of hope -- Class of 2026 incoming K class
launch of K registration process -- process has started
our favorite time of the year - great to see so many families coming in - very excited - very vested -- infectious.. started in November with the pre-registration info ... collaborate with early childhood alliance ...
so far -- our pre-registration -- already have 2 p.m. - 176 students already in.
process begins fast ...in January will start registration appointment - runs through April vacation. January 29 -- Kindergarten Expo -- talk about choice and registration ...
middleof April -- finalize choices -- middle of May get assignment letters ready for Kindergarten orientation on June 3.
Limeri - who has a child who is the class of 2014 - asked if tours are still offered?
Miles --question on which percentage get first second or third choice ??
Over 90% of people who get their first choice ... before the waitlist ..
One of the trends -- Anna -- first choice is really parents of siblings and sibling guarantee and proximity preference ...
Miles -- interesting analysis of whom choices home school ...
Bower -- first year with the full-day K -- how is that working out -- anyone ask about half-day??
Anna - went into it with 80% thought of interested in full-day.
Supt. Scott speaking -- Cross always been known as a go to person .. lot of changes that are coming - realignment fo after-school programming -- serious of making that connection strong -- needs of younger students coming in - many changes of students not coming to school - CHINS, etc... with decreasing state resources ... important we have services inside the district -- to be able to keep students in school ...
10:15 p.m. Superintendent review -- first reading ...
Limeri -- like to explain to the public at the next meeting
Review of Ann Greenberg ***
Miles - Ann Greenberg and I have sat down and discussed review -- signed, sealed and delivered
Scale of one to 5 -- 4 main categories - Miles
19 questions - in 4 categories - take numerical average -- overall 3.8 which at above expectation.
Office administration -- 3.8
Direct support -- 3.8
Liason to SC & Community -- 3.9
personal factors -- 4.0 range
overall -- 3.8 out of 5 -- above expectation in many categories.
Discuss salary at a later date -- Miles
Miles read the comments in the review --
Ann attended over 100 SC meetings - very busy year
Ann does a lot of prep work for the meetings.
helped with the Superintendent Search
professional, pleasure to work with...
Fills in a lot of blanks for me -- Miles said.
face and the voice of the school committee office - Miles
First contact for the SC -- I appreciate everything she does - Miles
Hugo - as chair last year - you may my life easier. You moved the SC office from Fuller to here .. no matter how stressful, no matter how many meetings you get the job done. you make us look good.
10:25 p.m. FY 14 School Budget
Gotgart - April 30th Town Meeting -- "we'll need the extra time"
SC approve budget on March 19th
Public hearing on March 5th
Hearings -- budget workshop on Feb. 22??
SCOTT speaking -- interest inviting a speaker from MassBudget
jan 16th Supt budget forum -- Scott proposal -- draw stakeholders into the process -- looking forward for opportunities to talk about budget process - federal, state andgrants -- full and open discussion of the resources we have -- making sure we have input ..
Editor's Note: I am the sole person left in the audience as the discussion of the Fy14 budget discussion begins ...
Scott - may ask our staff to do 3 budgets ... identify different contingencies ... put just one budget forth to SC and then to Town Meeting ..confident to get good strong numbers ...
Miles -- worried that we may need to add meetings to the schedule so we an do other SC business.
10:32 p.m. Discussion of the Superintendent evaluation policy
SC member Andy Limeri speaking -- took the idea of a timeline and developed it to work for us ... this year -- evaluation done by the end of August and present by the end of September.
SC in titled to a a full year of data ...
start process in March
May 1st -- school committee chair prepare evaluation
July 1st -- give the evaluation ...
10:40 p.m. Supt report --
made all comments around the fiscal situation - each ofthe changes is more limiting of our funding this year and the next fiscal year...
exciting thing last month -- hosting Anna Cross and leadership program at Boston College here
announce going forward with new programming --
increase number of principal interns at our schools ...
300 hours at our schools .. additional change -- principal intern program --
first school --Fuller Middle School -
start at the beginning of the next year -- Bergeron will be the principal intern...
Juan Rodqriuez will work with the central office --
move fuller farley building forward ... building leadership ...
Scott said he attended the 5th Annual Marketplace able to attend - remarkable success - see all the positive energy ...
Meeting adjourned at 10:55 p.m.