Friday, November 9, 2012

Special Education Teacher Evluation

Recently released by the Council for Exceptional Children is their "Position on Special Education Teacher Evaluation," which you will find by following this link.

EAA FOIA Request Result, November 2012

The document linked here is the result of an EAA Freedom of Information Act request for the recipient and amount of any bonus, deferred compensation or payment in lieu of insurance paid to Alexandria School employee in Calendar Year 2012 and 2012-2013 School year for a list of 21 ACPS employees, primarily executive staff.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ask a VEA Attorney

Question:  I've got serious issues with my principal, but I'm not an Association member. Can I join the VEA and get help immediately?

Answer:  By joining, you benefit from VEA advocacy for public education and public school employees. Your compensation, benefits, retirement, license requirements, work conditions and employment rights are shaped by VEA participation in public debate and presence at political votes. We'd love to have you-the more members, the stronger our voice. 

You need to be a member to get VEA advice and assistance. As a member, you can call on a VEA-employed UniServ Director (UD), who's familiar with your school division but not a school employee, and can help you go over events and records, understand expectations, and make an appropriate response. The UD's perspective and support may be all you need to deal with your demanding principal.
VEA members are covered by liability insurance, based on membership on the date of the "occurrence." The occurrence is not the day you are arrested or sued, but the date of the events for which you are prosecuted or sued.

VEA also provides legal representation to members who must defend themselves in employment matters such as dismissal or accusations of child abuse. If you didn't join in your first 30 days of Virginia public school employment, you will not be eligible for VEA-paid legal assistance for the first 30 days of your membership. You will not be eligible for VEA-paid legal representation in a retirement case until you have been a member for at least one year.  

Late may be better than never. But waiting until you know you are in trouble costs you valuable benefits and assistance.

Obtain a PDF version of this by clicking here.

(SOURCE: Virginia Journal of Education, November 2012, page 24.)
Copyright © 2012 by the Virginia Education Association.  Used with permission.

Friday, September 28, 2012

NEA Member Benefits - October 2012

The following are communications from NEA Member Benefits Products and Services (MCA) for the month of October 2012:

  • Hot Deals and Discounts - October 2012  Link
  • Reach Your Personal Weight Loss Goals with Nutrisystem Success!  Link
  • Grants for High School Athletic Programs  Link
    [Note grant application period of September 15, 2012 to January 15, 2013]
  • "Who Do You Love?" contest from the NEA Members Insurance Trust  Link
    [Note deadline of October 15, 2012]
  • Special Interest Article: Refinancing Checklist  Link

Special VEA License Plate

Wouldn't you enjoy having an official VEA License Plate riding on your car?  Promote public education while showing pride in your Association.

Delegates to the VEA convention approved a process for making VEA license plates available from the DMV.  To make it work, however, we need to collect at least 450 applications!  Follow the steps listed on the this flyer to make VEA license plates a reality and to reserve your plate.

You can also find the flyer, application form, and an FAQ document posted on the VEA website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Voter Registration

New voter identification cards are being mailed from the State Board of Elections to your address of record in Virginia. If you have not received your new card by October 10th, then you need to check with your county/city Voter Registrar before October 15th.

The Alexandria Board of Elections is located at 132 N Royal St (across the street from City Hall). Their telephone number is 703-746-4050 and they can be found on the Internet at .

October 15th is the voter registration deadline in Virginia to vote in the November 6th general election.

Check your voter registration status now with the Virginia Board of Elections at

Possible reasons you need to check today:
  • You've moved since you last voted
  • You got married and changed your name
  • You're in college or temporarily living in another lcoation

People have died to guarantee your right to vote.

Get out and VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6th!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Be an ESP Advocate for Public Schools

Education support professionals (ESPs) are significant contributors to the education, safety, and success of public school students.

Learn what other NEA colleagues are doing to improve their schools and their work places. Click here.

Resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 – October 15

San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement in North America. It was founded in Georgia in 1526, 81 years before Jamestown. St. Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565 and is the oldest city in the United States. Hispanic Americans have been making contributions to life in the U.S. ever since.
Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month with the following lessons, activities, videos, and more.

Protect Your Digital Identity

Learn how to clean up and identify personal information about you online from this article on NEA Today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Political Endorsements Made

APACE, the political action arm of the EAA, has interviewed candidates for City elective offices and has announced its endorsements.  The questionnaires submitted by endorsed candidates and other information are listed on the APACE website.

No membership dues are used in the activities of the Alexandria Political Action Committee for Education (APACE).  APACE is registered with the State Board of Elections (PAC-12-00083).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ACPS Email Exchange

I’ve reproduced the following emails so that members can see the attitude that Kevin North exhibits in dealing with a support professional’s concerns about “being bumped down 2 steps.” 


From: Kevin North
To: Gina Miller
Cc: Mort Sherman
Sent: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: Reply to emails??
I don't have time to acknowledge emails when we think we can have the complete response and resolve the issue in a reasonable time. As I stated, I don't think a 24 hour response time is unreasonable particularly knowing that in this case, the concern is about her compensation for the next school year. Also, multiple emails and phone calls within a few hour period on the same question does not help our ability to be responsive.
It doesn't matter if you are teaching children, driving a bus, serving food or whatever role our employees have, they all deserve a prompt response to their concerns. We work very hard to provide a high level of service and Ms. [redacted] will receive a resolution to her concern in a reasonable amount of time.

From: Gina Miller
To: Kevin North
Cc: Mort Sherman
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Reply to emails??
Dear Mr. North,
I am saddened that a simple email or phone call to even acknowledge an email over-taxes your staff. I guess we assume that those of us tasked with teaching children might deserve a simple response of any kind. Perhaps we can meet to discuss this unless you are too busy. I think Dr. Sherman should also attend.
Gina A. Miller
EAA President

From: Kevin North
To: [redacted]
Cc: Beth Cooke
    Gina Miller
    ThuHang T. Nguyen
    Morton Sherman
Sent: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: Reply to emails??
Ms. [redacted],
Your first email to us on this issue was late yesterday afternoon and you have sent several since then and Gina Miller called us also. I understand that this is an important issue to you and it is to us as well, but we need some time to research it and find out what is required to resolve it. We are serving over 2200 employees and I receive about 80 emails a day, so we need adequate time to take care of your request along with all others. I do think a response within 24 hours is reasonable.
I know Beth Cooke is looking into your request and will have some insight shortly.
Kevin North

From: [redacted]
To: Beth Cooke
    Kevin North
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 2:22 PM
Subject: Reply to emails??
I am just wondering if you reply to very serious emails from ACPS employees? Your lack of interest is very troubling. My question about being bumped down 2 steps is very serious. I will contact my principal Thursday morning with my problem if you do not reply to my question. [redacted] cc's Dr. Sherman on every email he sends out.
Special Ed. Para