DeKalb Schools has a new concept called the “Professional Development Institute”. It will be deployed this Wednesday – Friday (Aug 5-7). The goal of these 3 days is to learn how to teach virtually effectively.
There are a lot of questions. Hopefully we can figure out some answers here. This is what we know so far.
ProDev Rate: Certified staff $35/hr & Classified staff $18/hr
The administration tells me professional development is “strongly encouraged”, but it is not mandatory.
Mandatory & Choice Sessions
All identified school-based employee groups who attend the full-day professional development sessions will be compensated through a STIPEND process. I don’t believe the stipend amount has been defined yet.
There are mandatory whole team sessions each AM. AM Mandatory whole group virtual meetings will be guided/facilitated by the local
school principal via a staff TEAMS meeting.
SAMPLE AM SCHEDULE
Although sessions in the PM are primarily choice, there are sessions that are required for certain employee groups based on guidance from a particular DCSD department (e.g., Exceptional Education Dept., etc.) and/or the local school principal.
SAMPLE PM SCHEDULE
The sessions may either be asynchronous (pre-recorded) or synchronous (LIVE). There are no session/course capacity limits which would require pre-registration. It seems like attendance will be determined by virtual monitoring and/or uploaded lesson work.
In other News …
Middle School Sports – Note from DeKalb Schools Administration,
“In coordination with other Metro-Atlanta school districts, an abundance of caution and the best interest of our children, staff and community, DCSD has elected to postpone all middle school sports activities for the 2020-21 school year. The rationale for this decision was based on
- the assessment of other Metro Atlanta districts with middle school programs and
- primarily on the data provided by the Georgia State Board of Health regarding COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and mortality rates. ”
DeKalb Schools Sports – Town Hall
Join DCSD Athletics on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. for a virtual town hall to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on school sports. Watch here: https://t.co/dI9T6qqTGJ pic.twitter.com/WNIDgxds1E
— DeKalb Schools, GA (@DeKalbSchools) August 3, 2020
Since the professional developments are in the place of the previous furlough days shouldn’t we get paid at our daily rate as opposed to 35,00 per hour?
@Just Asking. There are 185 fully paid work days. There are 5 “work reduction” days. Work reduction days are exactly like furlough days, but have different TRS and/or tax implications than furlough days. Last I heard, the administration didn’t know how much the stipends would be for the Professional Development Institute days. Please let me know when you find out.
Any idea when we will be told the stipend amount, and any idea when we will get official confirmation of our salaries for this school year?
Is this for paraprofessionals too?
Gevertz made an interesting inquiry this weekend. Marlon Walker a the AJC published an article about teachers working from the school. Many teachers have reached out to me saying they don’t have an adequate office and/or environment from which to work. Apparently, DeKalb Schools is the only Metro Atlanta school not allowing teachers to work from school
APS: Remote (teachers can work from classrooms with principal approval)
Decatur: Remote (teachers can work from classrooms if needed)
Clayton: Both (teachers must check with principals for individual school plans)
Cobb: On site
DeKalb: Remote Only
Fulton: On site
Gwinnett: On site
Stan I’m going to get you your own bitmoji for your blog post!
@Stan – I’m an advocate for both! People should have the option to work from school if they communicate with their principal, limit the # of people per day, follow safety guidelines, etc. Everyone who is able to (or needs to for medical reasons) can still work from home.
Let me just say the terminology is very confusing . Since we are only furloughed 1 day then my salary should only be reduced by one day . So those professional development days should be at our normal daily rate in order to compensate for the missed days. I hope I am explaining it correctly.
Well as a board member what questions did you or your colleagues ask in relation to this PD? Also, how are teachers and the community to be held accountable to pay for illegal conduct by the board? No were not there; the hand of one.
Are you sure these learning institutes are mandatory? How can they be mandatory work sessions outside of our contract hours? Furthermore how can they be mandatory when we haven’t even been told how much we’re being paid or how soon we can expect that pay? In the past I have had to wait as long as 60 days to recieve stipend pay. What if I don’t want to or can’t attend the learning institute? Quite honestly I’m not interested in doing an 8 hr a day professional development for less than $20/hr. I just don’t see how we can be told to work on our days off for less money.
I’ll need to one the pay before committing. Not happy to have 5 furlough days. Pretty sure most of my teacher friends are not being furloughed at all.
The fact other counties didn’t have “this” occur to them. The option to “opt” out is not an option. You will not get paid. I can’t play around with my livelyhood. I hope we do better in the future.
Dekalb is the worst. Why would they not allow teachers to teach from class? This is somewhat irrelevant to this topic but as a parent, I will NOT print the amount of stuff they asked for in the spring. The very least the school can provide is the paperwork the kids need. Not allowing them in school to teach is ridiculous. There isn’t a better place to socially distance than a school with no kids and only a teacher in a classroom. Give me a break.
@Just Asking, terminology has to do with taxes and or TRS contributions. A work reduction day is basically a furlough day (with TRS implications).
@Manus Caldwell, You can see the video of the 7/20 meeting on PDS 24 – videos on demand if you would like to see what everyone said.
The administration tried to sell the PD as furlough buyback days. Commenters on this blog helped me sniff that one out during the meeting. The furlough days went from 10 to 9 to 4 plus 3 PD days with stipends.
Illegal board conduct should be reported to the authorities. I can help you with that if you can go into more detail.
@Warrior 1, Some of these classes are referred to as mandatory. I’m not sure how the district can require you to do PD if it’s not in the contract work hours. When they say mandatory, perhaps they mean expected and highly recommended.
@WhyTheStupidity, I’ve asked the administration a number of times about allowing the teachers to teach from the classroom to no avail. I don’t see how a school with no children is more dangerous than a grocery store. Perhaps I can get some traction on this over the next couple days.
Maybe the PD days are mandatory meaning if you don’t do them you won’t get paid which is equivalent to a furlough day. Do it and get paid. Don’t do it and it’s a furlough ( NO PAY)
Stan, the sample schedule for high school shows each course will only have 1 hour (2 * 30 minutes) of teaching each week. Each course meets twice per week. Teachers are not allowed to spend >30 minutes teaching live even though the class period is 45 minutes. So first class is < 1/2 of what it would normally be, and then "live time" can be only 2/3 of that at most. Why??? I'd appreciate anything you can share about the thinking behind imposing this limit when it's already going to be such a huge struggle to get through the curriculum. Thank you.
Stan, I know the Board and Administration have said they do not intend to employ substitutes during the Virtual Learning portion of the school, but there will be teachers who get COVID 19, have children who get sick, or will have babies. These teachers absolutely cannot work during those situations, legally speaking. Are substitutes who are proved for the 2020-2021 school year allowed to attend the PD and learn about the technology they will use if called upon to work? How can substitutes sign up and receive professional development hours? All substitutes who are certified teachers need PD coursework to renew their certificates. The requirement to renew is 20 credits (Each credit is 10 hours of course attendance, a total of 200 hours) over the previous 5 years. A three-day, 8 hours a day, PD earns 3 credits of PD for all the DeKalb employees who attend. Generally, only those substitutes who are on a long-term assignment at the time of the PD are able to sign up and receive credit for the course. It has taken me 4 years to get this information, and I missed 3 opportunities on a long-term assignment during whichbI could have earned some of the credit I need to renew. Besides earning credit, without more knowledge of the technology being used, I will not feel prepared to take on the role of substitute.
Another relevant point about teachers having the option to work from the classroom is that it would allow another teacher to assist a teacher who is on leave. Certainly, the Board does not expect teachers to pick up another class when their teacher is sick.
I am guessing the Board does not want anyone in the buildings so they can save money on heat and air, lights, water, etc. This decision is short-sighted.
How much is the stipend and when will we receive it? Also do you have to attend all 4 days to receive it? Since the last day of the training is in January then should teachers expect pay upon completion in the January date? I think it’s absurd that they will not communicate the amount of the stipend pay. Teachers should know if it’s worth their time. I guarantee the pay won’t come close to my daily rate of pay. Absurd that it’s being presented like it’s mandatory. Teachers are only being paid for 185 days of teaching this school year which is FIVE days less than every county in the state of Georgia. Dekalb is the only county to furlough teachers and they can’t or won’t divulge the stipend pay. If it’s less than $300 a day then it’s certainly isn’t worth my time. I’ll see y’all on the 10th of August which is my first paid day of my contract for the 2020-21 school year.
Stan- “Many teachers have reached out to me saying they don’t have an adequate office and/or environment from which to work.”
Oh pity. Figure it out like anyone else working from home.
Stan- “I don’t see how a school with no children is more dangerous than a grocery store.”
Because teachers aren’t following social distancing, mask wearing, etc…see Gwinnett teachers. Because teachers are afraid of the other adults in the building, oh my. Teachers should be required to be in their classrooms for the entire day and not allowed to bring their children with them. Fulton and Gwinnett are allowing teachers to bring their own children to work with them.
Where’s that $19M of PPE in budget going in addition to what the governor sent DeKalb in PPE. Since we know teachers will not return for the entire year.
SUCK IT UP TEACHERS.
Oh, another good one from TOD blog for you whiny teachers.
One really shouldn’t rubberneck. Everyone knows it. And whenever there is a fiery wreck everyone does it anyway. So it is with Stan The Man’s Actual Factual blog which covers a wreck that is never-ending and yet so compelling. It is the crack cocaine of stupidity. The irony is the greatest stupidity is concentrated in the teaching corps, or at least those willing to put it on public display. Perhaps that is a harsh assessment. Maybe these folks live in a bubble and have lived there so long they have lost any clue they may have ever had regarding How Things Work in The Real World. So. Let’s clue up.
Let’s wrestle the 800 pound gorilla: compensation. Tenure may not have an identified cost but it certainly impacts compensation. From a practical point of view any teacher that clings to the job for three years cannot be removed. You’d have better luck trying to scrape a barnacle off a battleship with a salad fork. Guaranteed job…guaranteed pay. Then, and this is really hard to believe, teachers not only enjoy a guaranteed paycheck, they expect and demand a yearly raise. Yep, they expect a raise for simply staying in a job from which they cannot even be fired! Needless to say this is not How Things Work in The Real World. OK. Fine. Let’s say it anyway. In The Real World folks don’t get tenure, they don’t even get furloughs, they get laid off. In at-will states your boss can, on any given day, let you know that YESTERDAY was your last day on the job. COLAs disappeared decades ago so in the absence of a merit raise, which means you, your work and your contribution are measured and evaluated, you get an annual pay decrease equal to that year’s rate of inflation.
Tenure and guaranteed raises have negative operational impact. If you cannot fire a lemon what’s the point in even looking for them? Perhaps that is why there are no meaningful mechanisms in place to evaluate teachers other than longevity or degrees, often from very questionable diploma mills. Tenure makes these schools veritable lemon orchards and guaranteed raises are potent fertilizer.
Then there is the incessant chant of “we’re professionals–pay us like professionals!” Well, you are certified. Fair enough. But just not enough. In The Real World professional are responsible and accountable. A doctor screws up and faces malpractice charges. An engineer signs off on a hotel walkway that collapses and we’re talking civil and criminal charges. What are the consequences when a rising junior cannot read at the seventh grade level? Nothing. If this happened in The Real World every teacher that child ever had would be run out of the “profession” if not indicted on criminal charges. But the “teaching profession” doesn’t work that way. So is anyone surprised there are no consequences when a teacher sets a student on fire?
And what other “profession” excuses incompetence? Deflective references to the 20-60-20 rule are just that: deflective. This rule was derived from The Real World when employees were evaluated and either earned raises or their walking papers. Under this constant grooming of the workforce there may be “only” twenty percent deadwood. If you do not clean out the deadwood, and schools do not because they cannot, then you will accumulate deadwood. And in The Real World the 20-60-20 rule has been superseded, at least anecdotally, by “the dumbbell” curve which acknowledges the mythical mean. Under the influence of tenure that dumbbell curve is heavily weighted toward the low end. In The Real World employees are often stack ranked with the lowest performers kicked off the island resulting in a dumbbell curve that tends to be more skewed towards the top end. Maybe that is why those who can, do and those who can’t, well…
Teachers incessantly threaten to quit as if that is a legitimate threat. In The Real World you will threaten to quit exactly once because Real World employers will take you up on the offer and use the opportunity to improve their team. Malcontents are not welcome and not tolerated for long. Maybe teachers can get greased by being squeaky wheels but in The Real World these wheels get replaced.
And this constant complaining is quite odd as it seems one of the key characteristic of a teaching schedule is the frequent breaks. In fact, should the administration present a calendar that removes a break, as has happened recently, teachers will squeal like a three year old who had their crayons taken away. Real World jobs most often come with something called PTO: Personal Time Off, which you accrue by working and which has replaced both vacation and sick leave. And while teachers may be able to accumulate a dozen weeks of sick leave, many Real World employers have a use it or lose it policy limiting PTO to as little as four weeks. Let’s not even go into the “teachers get summers off” rat hole.
Perhaps more baffling to folks in The Real World is this odd notion of “professional development” as Real World professionals enter the profession capable (giggle “Disgrace of the GACE”) and are expected to maintain their knowledge and skills at a professional level. Often on their own time and dime and no matter what they will not get a pass on their work commitments. And if they don’t maintain their skills they will be replaced with someone who has those skills. If they don’t maintain their marketability they remain unemployed.
Then there is the whole management-mismanagement trope where teachers complain that they suffer at the hands of incompetent administrations. Perhaps. So what? Do you really think employees in The Real World don’t suffer when managers, executives and boards make bad decisions? Or is it that you just don’t care? Seems as if you only care about yourself, often not even fellow educators and certainly not the public or their children. You complain that teachers’ opinions aren’t solicited by management. Do you really think Real World managers let the inmates run the asylum?
Hopefully this has burst your little bubble. Maybe you now have a bit of a clue why you’re not getting an outpouring of support from a public suffering layoffs, salary compression and who work 250 days a year to your 189. Maybe if we didn’t have a BOE member who correctly identified your enterprise as a “jobs program” and if you actually enjoyed the same employment conditions as the rest of us you might get a little more sympathy. But that’s never going to happen, is it?
What does the phrase, “ all identified school-based employee groups” mean? Who is eligible for this stipend (teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, assistant principals, administrative assistants, parent liaisons, social workers, etc…)
@ Beyond frustrated
My sentiments exactly! Whether you call them furlough days or calendar reduction days they both equal 5 days less pay and I highly doubt this stipend pay will cover that loss. I feel the stipend was just a way to soften the blow. But to me what’s done is done, my check is going to reflect the loss of those five days of pay either way. I considered the fact that in the past stipends can take a while to receive, but I never considered the possible stipulations of completing the whole 4 days before receiving any pay, which I really wouldn’t put past DCSD. Not to mention it’s coming from Title 1 funds which usually has lengthy and strict release dates. We might not see this pay till spring! Without knowing how much it is, I just can’t say it’s going to be worth my time. And I’m really struggling with calling it mandatory??? How can I be forced to work for an undisclosed pay on my day off! It is insulting and demeaning!
@Demographics – that TOD blog was written by a crybaby panicking because he/she will have to spend the entire day helping their child learn.
Stan, When the board made the decision to only furlough /work reduction for 1 day that means my check should only be short 1 day in the 2020-2021 calendar year. Am I correct? I hope they remember they made this public and hopefully they aren’t going back on their word!! Dekalb needs to regain trust !!!
@Clarify – your paycheck will reflect 5 furlough days. The compensation for the professional development will be a separate stipend of an undisclosed amount.
@demographics, is TOD satire? It was quite enjoyable to read about the “issue” plaguing Dunwoody. Not quite “The Onion” funny but maybe in time… Thanks for the suggested reading.
@Dcsd teacher that’s the confusing part.
This was in the news DEKALB TEACHERS SPARED UP TO NINE FURLOUGH DAYS; WILL HAVE TO TAKE ONE! That’s why I don’t understand why my check will reflect 5 furlough days .
@confused Yeah, it was presented that way in the Board meeting and they’ve been running with it ever since.
Teachers, realize this:
(1) You will be teaching virtually all school year long.
(2) Your TKES observations will have to be based upon how well you teach virtually.
(3) The Professional Development Institute will be the only training and assistance you receive on how to teach virtually.
Yes, you are being screwed over by the retirement settlement, yes you are not going to earn your normal pay rate for attending the PLI, yes it will probably take a long time for you to received your stipend., etc, etc., but it is still in your own self-interest to attend the PLI.
It sucks but that’s the world right now.
DSW2Contributor (August 2, 2020 at 10:05 PM)
You are very correct. And you may have well summed up everything that is immoral and unfair about this situation. Like you, I think we should tuck our tails between our legs, be as docile and as compliant as we can be to avoid these TKES observations.
I just hope the general confusion of teachers and administrators on this blog regarding the Professional Development Institute does not compel another generation of Elayne Ann Gold’s and Amy Jacobson Shayne’s to present themselves in the parlor of the Barnes Law Group thus causing future problems for DCSD from past problems. In the spirit of clarification, it may be prudent for every classroom teacher to have an unambiguous answer to the following questions before the start of the Professional Development Institute:
–Is it correct that the terms “Mandatory” and “Choice” qualifiers ONLY APPLY to classroom teachers freely participating in the Professional Development Institute?
–Is it correct that participation in any part the Professional Development Institute is not mandatory?
–Is it correct that both DCSD and local school administrators cannot require any classroom teacher to participate in the Professional Development Institute?
–Is it correct that both DCSD and local school administrators cannot coerce any classroom teacher to participate in the Professional Development Institute?
–Is it correct that both DCSD and local school administrators cannot intimidate any classroom teacher to participate in the Professional Development Institute?
–Is it correct that both DCSD and local school administrators cannot unfairly treat any classroom teacher solely because he/she did not participate in the Professional Development Institute?
–How much money in stipend will a classroom teacher earn for each completed Professional Development Institute day?
–How much money in stipend will a classroom teacher earn for each completed Professional Development Institute half-day?
–In what month and year will the stipend be paid out to participating classroom teachers for completed Professional Development Institute days?
–Is the stipend proportional to each classroom teacher’s individual annual salary?
–Is the stipend fixed regardless of each classroom teacher’s individual annual salary?
–For classroom teachers unable to participate in any or some of the Professional Development Institute because of personal and family commitments, what are the DCSD and local school provisions to allow them to complete (without stipends) the 18 hours of modules during the contracted teaching day on 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 August since these modules are deemed critical to learn “how to teach effectively” starting 17 August?
In your previous response you stated “The furlough days went from 10 to 9 to 4 plus 3 PD days with stipends.” Just to be clear isn’t it actually 5 furlough days with 4 PD days with stipends?
@TOD is right on! I just spent $100 on CE for an insurance license I am not using to $100 to renew that license– just to keep them active– if I do not perform– I am out of a job– I have been fired, laid off, etc in my career– and relying on Social Security to pay for my older years…
DSW2Contributor: IIRC I heard from a friend of a friend of a neighbor that the family of the primary TOD author home schooled. I’m pretty sure the child ended up with a STEM terminal degree, Math methinks, from an R1. Probably now out there doing whatever folks with a PhD in math do.
ConcernedToo: IMHO Dunwoody (and other newish cities) share a common problem with DCSD-the folks we elect to represent us have very little input in the day-to-day operation of these organizations and oversight is limited to what the administrators put before them. It would be nice to believe that a specific BOE member is or could be crucial but it seems a former governor made it clear that when BOE members get too engaged they will get “schooled.” It seems as if the BOE are merely observers, much like the rest of us, except they get better seats, though Stan could speak to whether up close and personal is the best vantage point.
@Warrior1, You are correct there are 185 contract days for teachers with 4 PD days with stipends. –Stan
You can’t be serious?
Students have no school on Wednesdays for this very training. In fact, you can listen to the board meeting and hear Stacy Stepney speak about not waiting until those Wednesdays. Of course what we now know is that there was little to nothing ready for these Wednesdays.
The school district is succeeding in confusing and upsetting teachers and parents before school even begins.
Thank you for asking about this institute during the board meeting. If you hadn’t, we might not now these are unpaid, non contractual days.
Can you find out why the district hasn’t announced the stipend amount or dispersion, and when it will?
Some of us have previous commitments arranged before this 9th inning announcement of the institute. For those of us who were around when the district yanked the TSA rug out from under us, we’re understandably weary of signing up for something with no explicit contract or communication about payment since it seems that the district could get away with paying us as little as the penny raise people received last year for this stipend.
I see 5 furlough days for the next 5 years until the TSA money is paid back
@dekalbteacher – ” Of course what we now know is that there was little to nothing ready for these Wednesdays.”
Exactly — as I said above, the Professional Development Institute will be the only training and assistance you receive on how to teach virtually.
@Henri – “I think we should tuck our tails between our legs, be as docile and as compliant as we can be to avoid these TKES observations. ”
No Henri, I disagree with you on that.
SMART teachers realize that this year provides new opportunities to get a Level IV rating under TKES/ TAPS. Pull up the TKES Handbook and read the standard for a Level IV rating. You’ll see that it includes the line “Teachers rated as Level IV continually seek ways to serve as role models or teacher leaders”….so to be rated at Level IV, you need to be teaching other teachers. You can have the best run classroom in the world, but you’ll never get a Level IV rating unless you also step out of your classroom and start teaching other teachers.
So learn all you can about teaching virtually, then throughout the year help your peers with their virtual teaching, and — most importantly! — make sure your Principals and APs know you’re doing that work of leading your peers and you’ll be on your way to a Level IV rating.
DSW 2 Contributor,
I laughed out loud when I read your post. Thanks. I’ll take this as satire, even if you’re serious.
Level IV rating ranks high on my list of needs and concerns this year, especially since the TKES system is so legitimate and important to my students’ and all students’ success.
I’d love for our profession to be treated like the “real world” because, if it were, I’d be able to charge overtime for the hours I work outside of my contract hours. I’ve been in meetings since 8:30 this morning, and I’ve been working non-stop since then (I decided to take a quick break to each lunch when I saw your comment). I’d love to be treated like other, “real world” professions when I’m at my school until 7, 8, or 9pm working on things that can’t be completed during a regular school day, or when I’m at the school on the weekends to get work done. I’m glad you and TOD blog are advocating for this. Teachers being paid overtime is long overdue!
@Real World Profession, I appreciate your dedication to your job, but I think the real world would disagree with you. Signed, The Real World.
I saw on a FB post/PTA that all middle school sports are not happening this fall and the virtual meeting tomorrow is for HS sports only— is that correct (both)? My local MS has cancelled football, which likely means all else will follow, although have not seen that in writing yet.
Middle School Sports – This is the only note I have received from the administration about MS sports, “In coordination with other Metro-Atlanta school districts, an abundance of caution and the best interest of our children, staff and community, DCSD has elected to postpone all middle school sports activities for the 2020-21 school year. The rationale for this decision was based on 1) the assessment of other Metro Atlanta districts with middle school programs and 2) primarily on the data provided by the Georgia State Board of Health regarding COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and mortality rates.”
@reinothernews middle school sports have not been cleared. The district cancelled middle school football. I don’t see middle school sports happening, but my principal did encourage the middle school coaches to attend the town hall.
Why is everything so secretive? Never have I worked and not know what the salary or income was going to be. Stan who can we contact to find out about the compensation prior to the professional development? You don’t work and find out about the income later. With all of the education in Dekalb County you would think they would treat us with more dignity than the do.
Nurse Question – Good question. I imagine the administration and principals are trying to figure out how to utilize a number of different positions that may be under utilized in the virtual learning environment. Email your principal with your suggestions and let them know where you believe the students could use some support.
Why So Secretive – I wouldn’t call it secretive. I believe the administration just doesn’t have answers for you. I was pushing for extra days of pre planning, but not many people liked the idea of rolling back programs to pay for it. The administration has agreed to the ProDev before pre planning, they just aren’t sure exactly how to pay for it or exactly how much the stipend will be.
Stan – maybe they don’t know how much, but how can we pretend it is appropriate to ask us to work without providing the details of our compensation? I’ve asked HR, Compensation, my subject coordinator in district office, and my principal. No one knows how much, when, or how this will be paid. My coaching stipend is broken up and included in my check throughout the year, but my curriculum writing stipend is paid out at once (once by paper check and once by direct deposit). As others have said, stipends for summer PD were $35/hour, but has anyone seen it paid? Not I!
Additionally, the Organization of DeKalb Educators just informed me that non-participation in the Institute during the 5th-7th will result in completing the Institute during pre-planning without the stipend as compensation… that’s a good way to trap us into working without disclosing the pay.
I’ll stop blowing up the comments now. Just wanted to share what I knew.
You’re right. Don’t call it secretive.
Call it misleading. 4 paid days.
Or lying. 1 furlough day.
The fact that the administration of a billion dollar organization doesn’t know how much it’s paying for or how it will pay for mandatory training for its teachers should scare everyone.
I expect that high school sports will be cancelled — I just don’t know how many players will have to get sick before the GHSA will finally do the right thing.
Major league baseball, with all its money and resources, cannot keep the virus from spreading to MLB teams, so high schools have no business playing football!
Teachers were supposed to receive in depth information today related to the calensar-reduced, stipend days this week. We have yet to receive anything,including stipend amount, and are expected to work on Wednesday. Can you look into this?
@No Information. Can you email the communication that said you were supposed to get in-depth information today? Thanks.
The stipend is $35/hr. Stepney just emailed me back.
@Real World Profession states, I’d love for our profession to be treated like the “real world” because, if it were, I’d be able to charge overtime for the hours I work outside of my contract hours. I’ve been in meetings since 8:30 this morning, and I’ve been working non-stop since then (I decided to take a quick break to each lunch when I saw your comment). I’d love to be treated like other, “real world” professions when I’m at my school until 7, 8, or 9pm working on things that can’t be completed during a regular school day, or when I’m at the school on the weekends to get work done. I’m glad you and TOD blog are advocating for this. Teachers being paid overtime is long overdue!
Nope. Teachers are exempt salaried employees. You work until your work is done. That is the real world.
Our principal said today that the Learning Institute stipend will not be paid until after the 4th day, which is in January.
@DeKalbTeacherToo Stepney said it will be paid after artifacts are due on 9/9.
I forwarded to your Dekalb account. I will send to your gmail as well
Got it. Thank you. It says, “Additional information with actual schedules and content will be shared with principals and via Newsflash on Monday, August 3, 2020.”
Have there been any related news flashes?
That was the last one I received related to the trainings. The News Flash today was related to the athletic town hall tomorrow.
$35/hr x 8 hours = $280, which is less than my “contract pay”, so the stipend will not “make up” for 4 “calendar reduction days”. The fact that several people have said they have not received their stipends from this summer is not encouraging. I am feeling inclined to do the “mandatory” hours (12) next week during pre-planning…….I do not feel valued and I do not feel “part of the team”. I feel discouraged.
Dekalb County School District—-Don’t go around touting only 1 furlough day! There are 5 furlough days and training at the pay rate of a beginning teacher. The idea that this institute makes up for 4 days is a travesty. This is just plain ole lying! A total sham…Shame on you.
$35/hr is roughly $70K a year annualized for people in the real world. Some teachers have no concept of how much they really make.
@I have answers
$35/hour for 190 days is $53,200…… what is your point?
Have fun teachers, it begins tomorrow. Go earn that $35/hr. Enjoy the next three days.
You scoff at $35/hr and call it entry level wages. I think you made my point for me. How much an hour do you think the average person with an average job makes?
Dear Strange, teachers should not have to pay for the lawsuit compensations, but I fear you are correct. The lawsuit is only the fault of those in the administration who decided to “opt out”of the social security by promising the federal government and teachers they would make payments into a different, mandatory system and then stop making those payments without notice. Instead the school system kept the money and spent it. It is not the fault of the teachers who came forward on the behalf of all teachers. It is not the fault of current teachers.
Stan, have any Board members pointed out that teachers need the resources at the school buildings to address the needs of the students. Resources paid for by the District, because they would benefit the students should be used to provide virtual instruction and support to the students. Is keeping teachers out of the building about saving money? It doesn’t seem beneficial to the teachers or students in the school system’s mission to educate the students.
When did tantrums become an acceptable form of expression?
We understand that you want in-person instruction for your child. Unfortunately, that is not currently the reality due to the level of spread in the community. The pandemic has been difficult on all of us, but honestly, you need to find a hobby. Your juvenile name calling, passive-aggressive demeanor, borderline obsession with teachers, and constant negativity because you didn’t get your way are honestly unbecoming and likely unhealthy. Hopefully this is just your internet persona, because otherwise I know that maintaining such energy must be draining. What is your aim?
I am a solution-oriented person and take issue with those that just harp and pile on, while offering nothing productive to the conversation. If you are so unsatisfied with Dekalb and teachers at-large, why are you still here? If it is within your means, withdrawing your child and taking on the full responsibility of homeschooling seems as though it may be in your best interest. This will allow you the full reign to educate your child to your standards. No more whiney teachers – just you. I hope this assists you with moving towards a resolution and helps you to free up some energy to do something productive – because this isn’t it.
By this time tomorrow we’ll be professionally developing.
No information about stipend. Private emails don’t count.
No detailed schedule. Someone forgot about yesterday’s news flash?
As a matter of principle, if I don’t know how much I will be paid and when, I will take a hard pass on this “training”. If the district cannot manage this effort competently, it seems like a very bad omen for things to come.
@I have answers is obviously of the mindset, like many others, that teachers work 10 months a year and get summers off with pay. We are 10 month e employees and get paid for 10 months and our salary is divided over 12 months so that we don’t go hungry or without during the summer. And I understand why you have issues with teachers. You and @demographics were obviously hurt by one. Both of you need to go sit on someone’s couch and move on from that hurt. You will feel better.
To “I have answers”, that’s what you don’t understand…teaching is NOT an “average” career. Yes, it is a CAREER, Get it right.
No matter if you call teaching a “job” a “career” or an “occupation” it is not “average”!!!
Everyone wants to tell teachers how to teach; until “you” and especially “demographics” walk in the shoes of a teacher……stay quiet because you sound ridiculous!!!!!
How about the two of you: show up to parent conferences, make sure your child studies and does his/her homework correctly and turn it in on time, have his/her schools supplies daily, have exemplary conduct and you all, as parents, stop trying to get excused absences for your Disney World vacation and cruises during “actual” school time!!!! So don’t throw stones when your own house is made of glass!!!!
Imagine if we came to your “average” job not knowing the in’s and out’s of what you do day to day and tell you what you need to do and how to do certain things and suggest how much you should get paid !!!!
In case you didn’t know when school does open correctly after this…..what are we in….oh, a PANDEMIC; you know there are plenty of substitute jobs out there. You are more than welcome to apply to get an up close and personal view of what you speak of and know nothing about. So, until this….shush!!
~So, until then…shush!!!!
You actually have to be a certified teacher to sub, so I doubt that parent qualifies. But maybe she can be a volunteer?? If the parent thinks teaching is so easy I’m sure that person would have no trouble with 20-30 children all by herself for almost 8 hours a day in a tiny room, it’s so easy ;)! Oh, and you only get about 20 minutes a day to plan for 20-30 students for almost an 8 hour day. Oh, and Dekalb never has supplies, so you will need to spend $1000/year to be prepared. Oh, and most parents don’t buy supplies either, so you’ll have to use your money to buy students supplies too, because it’s your job to make sure they have everything they need. And I promise, they all do everything you ask them to the first time. The volunteer will have no problems all day, it’s sooooo easy what teachers do!
I Have Answers Too – You didn’t answer my question. How much does the average person at an average job in DeKalb make?
Teaching is a job like anything else. We have trash collectors, grocery store clerks, doctors, nurses, police and such. Teachers aren’t special and they are not essential workers. If teachers were that important, they would be asked to come to work like trash collectors, grocery store clerks, doctors, nurses, police and such. Using my example, proof is in the pudding, grocery store clerks are more important than teachers … sorry. And everybody knows it except teachers. You don’t see grocery store clerks whining about going to work.
Parent conferences? Good point … how do you do it?
Many people don’t make $35/hr and a majority of people can’t afford Disney World vacations … FYI (real world).
Not knowing the ins and outs … hello real world.
We all have our selected jobs. As long as I’m paying your salary with my taxes, I’m going to have a say in how the government operates.
Do grocery workers pay for people’s groceries when their card is declined? Do trash collectors walk around your house to get your trash bin when you don’t put it on the street? Do nurses and doctors work overtime for free, perform medical care for free, pay for your prescription when you can’t, etc., etc. As others have told you here I Have Answers, teachers go above and beyond for children and families in a way that no other profession does. It’s sad when people in the community show teachers disrespect and say it’s because you pay taxes. I pay taxes too, so what. You still don’t have the right to treat anyone disrespectfully. Especially those who are overworked and underpaid for having a college degree. We help the community like no other profession. If it wasn’t for the teaching profession, there would be no other profession. I don’t know anyone who wants to be a teacher anymore. You and people like you may have actually succeeded in destroying the teaching profession with low pay and disrespect. Teachers are leaving the profession and spreading the word to stay away. I have no idea what communities will do when they can’t fill teacher vacancies. It will be too late because what once was a good profession has been destroyed.
@ I have answers, I am not here to answer any of your questions.
If teachers weren’t important, I’m sure you wouldn’t be where you are today. Wherever that is. I would assume you attended……let’s say……a school with “teachers” in order to learn a trade, a skill or attain some type of degree to earn a living.
Well….since you think you have all the answers. You should do just fine assisting your child(ren) with virtual learning. So, why complain? Your response is so nonsensical and out of touch with the “real world”!!!
Everyone’s job, occupation and career is important because everyone plays a part in making the world function.
You act as if by “you” saying you “pay” my salary with your taxes scares me……it doesn’t. You aren’t the only one paying taxes as you aren’t the only one with a “say of what goes on”. Instead of complaining, help out to make things better; we are all in uncharted waters with this PANDEMIC. If you have such a problem with teachers; you know there is something called home schooling.
Again, stop speaking on subjects you know nothing about.
Wow such a bitter person, boy, do you spew some hate. Sorry you must have had a bad experience in a school or with a school. With that attitude ……….I see why, though.
I Have Answers,
Teaching is not an “average” job because you cannot teach children with an “average” education. I can work at a grocery store, as a sanitation worker, at the post office, etc. with a high school diploma. I cannot teach children without a degree. In fact, many of the teachers who teach your children have advanced degrees. Teachers also pay taxes. Were you under the impression that we have tax-free income? That shows that you clearly do not know anything about this profession. Since teachers pay taxes, have children who attend schools in the district, AND actually do the work, we absolutely have earned the right to have a (loud) voice in all matters regarding our profession. You do not own anyone simply because you pay a few thousand dollars in taxes every year (if that). Teachers are not at your beck and call, and we don’t have to bend to your will simply because you pay taxes like the rest of us. I’m sorry if you don’t feel like you have any power or control in your life-which causes you to try to exercise some sort of power over teachers-but that is a personal problem. Like someone else suggested, therapy or counseling might help with those feelings of inadequacy.
@Demographics, teaching is not my first profession. I have worked in various industries, and teaching is the only profession where I have not been paid overtime for working outside of my normal work hours. I have friends who are contracted employees in other industries, and they leave work at 5pm when their day ends and they do not take work home or work on the weekends. That’s the reality of working in the real world. I love my job, but I’m not going to be silent about how difficult it is. Since you seem to be under the impression that we kick our feet up all day and have cushy salaries, why don’t YOU become a teacher? There’s a teacher shortage in America, and we can certainly use more people. Since you have so many problems with teachers and the profession, get the education, sign up to teach, and be the change you wish to see in the world.
Digital learning course seems to have been added to my VERGE. Looks like a lot of repetitive videos to sit through
Real World Profession.
au contraire mon frère
505-2-.13 WAIVER CERTIFICATE – A Waiver certificate may be issued at the request of a Georgia local unit of administration (LUA), and at the discretion of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC),
to individuals who have not satisfied all certification requirements.
At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, about 300 DeKalb teachers were on certification waivers.
Teachers and taxpayers have the right to voice their opinions in the operations of education. You’re telling me to “shush” – I’m disappointed that you tell me not to exercise my rights. People should be able to disagree without being asked to politely shut up.
Telling me to shush and not answering my questions, you’re not very good at this communication thing. How much do you believe the average person at an average job in DeKalb makes?
The administration tells me professional development is “strongly encouraged”, but it is not mandatory.
I Have Answers,
Those waivers apply to people who have a college degree, but do not hold a teaching certification. Since you’re clearly confused, I’ll explain it to you. Teachers not only have to take the classes required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree, but we also have to complete additional coursework and take tests to become certified. People who are on a waiver have completed their degrees, but they haven’t completed the coursework or tests for their certifications. People with waivers have a specified amount of time to complete the coursework and tests to become fully certified, or they’re fired. I hope that explanation helps clear up any confusion you have regarding the issue. I find it interesting that me saying that you don’t own teachers makes you feel that I am somehow trampling on your rights. Do you think you have the right to order people around? Do you think you have the right to own other people? Nowhere in my post did I tell you to “shush” or be quiet. I simply (correctly) stated that teachers have the right to voice our opinions and concerns about the profession. Lastly, I have no idea what the average person in DeKalb makes. I do not watch other people’s pockets because it’s absolutely none of my business. Teachers deserve to be paid well based on the amount of education and experience we have. If you’re saying we’re overpaid, why don’t you home school or hire a private tutor? At least then you’ll be able to have your tantrums and order them around as much as you please. Anyway, I’m going back to do more work during my “paid” summer vacation. Have a great day.
@ I have answers….again, I’m not hear to answer your questions.
“Real World Profession” straightened you about and with your “waiver certification” confusion.
And you are right, teachers and taxpayers have a right to their “opinions “, and to bad you are “disappointed “ I told you to “shush” because I’m exercising my right in telling “you” to “shush” because you know not of what you speak. Until you walk in the shoes of a teacher……then yes, “shush”. I am a great communicator; you have seemed to comprehend every word I wrote. Now….you may not or do not agree with what I wrote, but ya surely understand/understood what I wrote, and I stand by what I wrote.
Now, what is “disappointing” is you and others feel teachers should risk their lives and the lives of their family members to open a school in a PANDEMIC! School systems closed the schools with a low number of COVID-19 cases to protect your child(ren). Now, you want the schools to open, and the virus is overly out of control….really? Also, what next when your child attends the now open school and gets the virus? There is no guarantee the child will “be ok”, and if he/she does survive….he/she might have life long medical issues. I don’t want that for anyone’s child, and I don’t want any teachers getting sick and or dying. The school system is a totally different beast than the corporate world. The corporate world should work along with the school systems, so we can all combat this virus.
Again, we are all in uncharted waters….a PANDEMIC. We don’t like it just as much as you don’t. We are inconvenienced just as much as you are.
Look, you need to take your anger out on others besides teachers because we make no decisions. Go to the school’s county office and “exercise” your rights to those that make the “decisions” since you “pay” their “taxes” too.
I don’t know one single person that asked for this PANDEMIC and the headaches that have come along with it.
I said what I said, if anyone’s child gets sick or is hospitalized, first the parents will blame the school and the teachers. Then they will sue Dekalb County. Last, Dekalb will furlough the teachers to pay for the lawsuit. That’s how it goes around here.
Yeah .. I bet you don’t want to answer my question … because I got chya on that point 😉
You said ” Teachers not only have to take the classes required to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree, but we also have to complete additional coursework and take tests to become certified. ”
So, I assumed you were talking about teaching degrees. I didn’t know you were saying that any degree gives you the above average education that makes $35/hr so paltry.
Real World Profession, I see that it wasn’t that anonymous name that told me to shush … it was some other anonymous name. My apologies. I assume that makes the rest of your diatribe moot.
I don’t think I saw anything in the above comments that put students first. Is this a teacher blog or school system update blog? My apologies if its for teachers to vent or share concerns.
It looks to me like a bunch of complaining from teachers about pay. But let’s be clear – schools were not created to give people jobs; they were created to educate society and help those without the means to be educated at home. Teachers – us parents love you – but your roles are also as “essential” workers much like hospital workers. As teachers you are treating the minds of our youth and unfortunately teaching will fail significantly if done remotely over a computer. You are loved. Your jobs should be viewed as “essential” with all the PPE and taught in person.
If you are at risk or feel very uncomfortable, you should sit out the year or find another profession. Thats a tough decision everyone in society faces and the risk/reward of their career/job. Sorry if that lacks compassion. If teachers don’t teach in person it will be like being treated by a doctor/nurse virtually and them talking to you in language they only understand. Its hard enough to diagnose a problem in person let alone over a computer with an 8 year old who is bored looking at a monitor all day.
The social and mental health of our youth needs to come first and nobody anywhere is representing them. Virtual learning will be a colossal failure of epic proportions.
I read about people complaining about $35 an hour. Maybe it is important to go back to your roots (before any pension or benefits made you stick around) – why did you get in to teaching to begin with? Your hearts and compassion for teaching kids! Please don’t let them and the future of society suffer because people fear the risks of Covid more than the risks of significant damage done to our youth by not being taught in person.
We do love you, btw and thank you!!
*Find another profession
@what about the kids? Why all the money talk- I’m not a teacher but I know many teachers, and my parents were teachers. Generally they spend a lot of their own money on their students, spend a lot of unpaid time on their students, and care deeply for their students. Therefore caring for the kids is a given for many, dare I say most, teachers. Pay is the question, and one that must be answered for them to pay for food, housing, etc.
If your experience is that teachers stick to only their contracted hours, don’t spend money on their classroom or students, and don’t care about their students I would love to know what schools you’ve been to, and I feel sorry that you have experienced this.
My biggest concern is the fact that none of this is in writing anywhere to make it legal and binding. I do not want to work the days now and an additional day in January if the district has the ability to say they no longer have money in the budget to pay us. Is there a way to make this legal and binding to ensure that teachers are going to actually be paid? The last thing I would want to have happen is a bait and switch or some type of deniability on the part of district.
@Concerned Educator. I don’t think the employees will get anything legally binding. I don’t see this as something the administration would change their mind on.
Thank you for the quick response. This made the decision for me and my family much easier.
Okay, so let me get this straight. Teachers are going to get paid $35/hr ($18/hr for classified staff) for non-contracted furlough “institute” days, which is significantly less than their hourly rate, and they have to work until 5 (or later) each day, which is past their normal work hours?! Wow. And to add insult to injury, they won’t get paid for these days until after the 4th “institute” session in January is completed?! What a joke! Teachers, you all need to enjoy the last few days of summer, complete/make-up whatever is needed in pre-planning (at your hourly rate) and live your life. I’m sure that’s what they want you to do anyway. DCSD obviously doesn’t give a flying flip in space about you. They don’t respect you, your time, or your dedication to this profession. As a DeKalb resident and taxpayer, I’m so disgusted and embarrassed that you are all being treated this way!! And I just saw that you’re NOT receiving any official or legally binding documents that you’ll actually get paid?! Uh, no.
@ What about the kids? Why all the money talk? “ We do love you, btw and thank you!!”
Sure sounds like you do. Your advice is for teachers at risk to quit. I’ve seen numbers showing 30+% of teachers are considered at risk. If that number took your advice, schools would be shut down for lack of teachers. We struggle as it is to fill positions. Please, come join us. Everyone complaining about teachers not caring, become certified. We welcome you!
To be clear, our complaining about hourly pay here has nothing to do with children being taught. Day 1 we will do what we always do, teach.
Concerned educator and Pulling out my hair,
I share your concern and disgust. As Stan’s post recognizes, there is nothing that binds the district to paying us the $35 rate. These are calendar reduction days, so there is no contractual work. Heck, we don’t even know if the district has actual permission to redistribute the funds to use for these stipends. Nothing stopped the superintendent and the board from falsely claiming these institute days replace furlough days. Nothing stopped the district from refusing to fulfill its legal TSA obligation, and the lawsuit has resulted in a settlement, not a full reimbursement of the funds, that is paid for by us teachers through the use of these calendar reduction days. Of course I don’t need to repeat the bait and switch of last year’s salary schedule either.
The district is now setting a precedent, so I predict stipends for future planning or professional development, especially since finances will be worse next year and the TSA settlement still needs to be paid. Too many people will sign up for this institute because they’ve effectively been coerced or intimidated into doing so or duped into thinking they’re actually getting something, and that participation can then be touted as a success and as reason to do this again.
People like demographics and I have an answer don’t understand how few teachers work in the school district, how little say teachers have in the day-to-day and big picture planning and how few rights teachers actually have, so they can continue to think it’s those “teachers” who deserve less and less without ever realizing the impact this mindset and practice has on all students. People in higher paid positions and out of classroom positions aren’t going to complain because they know they’re making out well in this district. As an earlier blogger implied, even the Organization of Dekalb Educators seems to be ok with this if it’s telling teachers to go ahead and do it without knowing pay or having anything in writing.
I would not want to be our new superintendent. This is not a good beginning. All of this has the same feel of Johnny Brown’s teacher field trip to Hallford stadium in the sweltering summer heat and Green’s gaudy pep rally in Gwinnet.
Meanwhile in Gwinnett:
“Gwinnett County Public Schools #GCPS is putting signs on the entrances to their buildings saying all persons entering said building do so at their own risk, that, under GA law SB 59, GCPS is not liable if a teacher becomes sick or dies while doing her/his job.”
(Click the link to see a picture of the sign.)
There’s supposed to be another stimulus bill passed by the federal government and I’m just going to assume that Dekalb will give us back the 5 furlough days with the $ they receive from that bill when it’s passed. We will be watching for that.
The virtual PD has a video with a pause point for a Solutions for Success handbook to be shared. The handbook is not yet completed and will be shared at a later time. This is just Day 1 of modified pre-planning, so I wonder what else is in progress with 12 days until school begins virtually.
Thanks for that info, been searching high and low on Verge to no avail. This whole PD is a perfect lesson on how not to run virtual learning and counter to the best practices the district is telling us to use.
@What about the kids? Why all the money talk?
It was in the TOD blog. Such a good read.
Stan is on his way out, he only responds to the teachers.
It’s all about teachers and the entitlement. That is all they care about, how terrible it is for them. Moaning about pay, how their system mistreats them. Playing victim.
Not many other constituents left here posting. Keep up your posting.
Ask to see the content and presentation of today’s professional development institute and then get back to us about these “teachers.”
You seem to think that the same people responsible for the day-to-day instruction and well-being of our district’s children should have no say and should be treated as volunteers. If that works for our students, fine. I see no evidence that it does.
Your focused on the wrong thing.