Fall 2015 Issue

Short Takes

Probationary period extended for new teachers, TAs

A change in New York state's tenure law adds an additional year of probationary employment for educators, including teaching assistants, who are eligible to earn due process rights afforded by tenure.

Teachers and teaching assistants hired on or after July 1, 2015, are now required to complete a four-year probationary period instead of the three years previously required.

NYS educators receive NEA Foundation grants

Professional Staff Congress members Christopher Schmidt and Karen Miller, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, have received a $5,000 Learning & Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation. They will use the grant to facilitate a faculty study group to examine the role of the U.S. in the world during the 20th century.

The study group will help faculty develop a better understanding of global learning to comply with LaGuardia CC's global learning core competency.

Music teachers Jacqueline Best, and Wendy O'Donnell, members of Canaseraga Teachers Association, received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant to fund "Making Practice Perfect," a program integrating technology into music classes. SmartMusic software will provide instruction and instant feedback to students as they practice and master core music skills.

Elementary teacher Karen Cook, a member of the United Federation of Teachers, earned a $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant to become a National School Reform Faculty certified coach. Cook will learn methods to empower educators by supporting collaboration and building communities of practice. Cook will then build an educator support network.

The NEA Foundation awards grants three times a year. The next education grant deadline is Oct. 15. Go to neafoundation.org for an application.

New requirements for food service professionals

NYSUT's latest fact sheet for its 3,000 food service professionals includes information about new standards for state and local school nutrition programs personnel that became effective July 1, 2015.

The regulation includes new requirements for managers to take 10 hours of training per year; staff must take six. The fact sheet lists other changes in the industry, including more school breakfast programs.

To order copies of the K-12 School Food Service Professionals Fact Sheet No. 15-17, members should email Linda Watkins at lwatkins@nysutmail.org listing the title of the fact sheet and the number of copies they would like.

The fact sheet is also posted at www.nysut.org/resources/all-listing/2014/may/fact-sheet-15-17-k12-school-food-service-professionals.

Sepsis fact sheet helps health care professionals

More people in the U.S. die of sepsis than AIDS, prostate cancer and breast cancer combined, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sepsis can be caused by many common infections including those from a simple cut, scrape, burn, bruise or bug bite. The Centers for Disease Control lists the following signs:

S — Shivering, fever, or very cold;
E — Extreme pain or general discomfort ("worst ever");
P — Pale or discolored skin;
S — Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused;
I — "I feel like I might die";
S — Short of breath.

For more, download the new NYSUT Health Care Professionals Council Sepsis Awareness Fact Sheet at www.nysut.org/news/2015/september/sepsis-raising-awareness-of-a-life-threatening-condition.

Men: Know the signs of prostate cancer

More than 2.9 million men in the U.S. have been diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their lives, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), and one man in 38 will die from the disease.

It's important for men to recognize the signs in order to obtain effective treatment. If caught and treated early, the survival rate is almost 100 percent.

Men who suspect anything is wrong should get screened as soon as possible. Men in their 50s should consider regular screening.

To learn about prostate cancer and the early stage signs, visit the ACS website, www.cancer.org.