California Educator

April 2014

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Y O U R O P I N I O N S A N D L E T T E R S A R E W E L C O M E ! There is a 250-word limit, and all letters will be edited. If you send photos or other materials, identifications and permissions are required. Letters must include your name along with your address, daytime telephone number or email address. Email Alpine teachers pay it forward Thank you, CTA officers and Board members, local chapter presidents, and fellow teach- ers who walked the picket line with us. You strengthened us and sustained us through our three-day strike. Thank for your incredible generosity! At the January State Council meeting, delegates dug into their pockets and donated $5,000 to our cause. We received hundreds of checks from individuals and local associations. This will more than cover Alpine's needs. It is our pleasure to pass on more than $20,000 to other chapters in need. Our greatest hope is that our actions set a precedent which will strengthen other associations that are facing similar situations. Alpine will be there for you! We hope that other superintendents and school boards were paying attention when this was going down and are very aware and afraid of the unity and power of CTA. So thank you, CTA. You had our back. We could not have done it without you! GAYLE MALONE Alpine Teachers Association president Editor's note: Alpine TA's strike and settle- ment were covered in the March Educator and at Sad we'd need to run, hide or fight I read your article "Run? Hide? Fight?" in the March issue, and it makes me very sad to think that this is what we need to prepare for as teachers in the classroom. Our school has taken some new steps to help in case of a lockdown, but we need to be proactive as your article suggests. The article shows a teacher pushing his file cabinet against a stack of tables. This is unbelievable! Do you really think the average teacher could push a full file cabinet across the room to the door? I'm pretty sure my four-drawer cabinet weighs over 200 pounds. There's also the issue that so much of our classroom furniture is bolted to the walls for earthquake safety. I applaud you for looking forward, but please note, this is not a viable option for almost every teacher I know. NANCY KANEGAI Simi Educators Association Editor's note: The article suggests asking your students to help. The important thing is to be aware of your options if you need to defend your classroom. Sharing haiku I read Helen Ogden's letter (March) offering a teaching tip for National Poetry Month: to use nature photographs from magazines and calendars to inspire student haiku poems. I play recorder alto, tenor and bass with a group of senior citizens, six members of whom are retired or current teachers! One of us published lots of haiku poems, another composed music for six of her haiku poems, and we performed them at a national haiku convention on the Queen Mary. A friend of ours (a computer whiz) selected photos that matched the theme and words of the haiku, and we used these in a slide show along with the words and music. I thought Helen Ogden's Salinas students might like to see our production. MARY WILKINS La Verne (retired) Editor's note: We helped Mary connect with Helen. Correction In the article "Adult education at a cross- roads" in March, we identified SB 173 as the bill that funds the governor's compromise plan for adult education. Actually, AB 86 is the funding bill. feedback The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, plus other valuable LCFF and LCAP resources, are available on the California State PTA website: The standards will also be made available to PTAs and school districts statewide. A summary version of the standards may be downloaded. Additional resources for utilizing the standards and assessment may be found at ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Family-school partnerships guide California's new Local Control Funding Formula offers a historic opportunity to usher in a new era of parent and family engagement in our schools. To support parents, teachers and school districts in the development of family engagement goals and activities in the newly required Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), California State PTA has joined with National PTA in releasing an updated version of the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Assessment Guide. This guide offers a research-based frame- work for how families, schools, teachers and communities can work together to support student success as part of their newly re- quired LCAPs. We know that all parents want the best for their children. They want to be able to know what is going on at their children's schools, and they want to provide informed input. They want to know their input is seriously consid- ered and helps make a positive difference. Teachers want to help students succeed. Our hope is that this guide will help parents, teachers, administrators and school board members to talk more often and work togeth- er even more. The results, when we do, will be amazing for children. COLLEEN A.R. YOU California State PTA President Educator 04 Apr 2014 v2.3 int.indd 3 4/15/14 12:04 AM

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