If you are currently employed at Atkins, Woodlawn, Midway, Fair Park, Mooretown, Caddo Heights, Sunset Aces, Caddo Middle Career & Tech, Cherokee Park, JS Clark, Westwood, Pinegrove, or Queensborough, you NEED to read this.
Dearest Educational Professional,
As you may be aware, at the close of this school year your school will undergo one of three processes, reconstitution, reorganization, or closure. While the Caddo Parish School Board has experimented with these processes before, experience tells us that the process is seldom smooth and without casualties. I am writing to ensure you understand your rights and that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your professional future. The most important step is to join Red River United. I have enclosed a membership application and return envelope for your convenience.
Safeguarding your future, step 1. Recent changes by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) have resulted in a postponement of the Value Added Model (VAM) until 2015. This means that all educators will have a score based upon their Student Learning Targets (SLTs) and administrative observations. It is critically important that your SLTs are realistic and achievable. At the mid-year mark you have the right to modify or revise your SLT to account for changes to your student population (such as students leaving your class and excessive absences) and changes to your teaching assignment. Be proactive about revising your SLTs and utilize Red River United’s expertise in this area. Revising your SLT is a right and is a safeguard to your professional future. Please refer to the enclosed literature for additional information on revising SLTs.
Safeguarding your future, step 2. Make sure that at the mid-year mark you go into CIS and verify your student rosters. It is important that the only students you are held accountable for are the ones you personally instruct.
Safeguarding your future, step 3. Your evaluation this year carries extra weight because you will either be reapplying for your job at your existing school or looking to transfer to a different school. Red River United offers free, personalized, one-on-one tutoring for our members. Right now, we are encouraging all of our members to come in the office and review their lesson plans with one of our experts prior to their evaluation/observation (all evaluations must be announced). After your evaluation, we are encouraging everyone at a school that is reconstituting, reorganizing, or closing to submit a rebuttal. A rebuttal, in its simplest form, is your side of the story and it is permanently attached to your personnel file. All eyes will be on what’s in your personnel file and your job placement may depend on it. Red River United has a positive track record of assisting with rebuttals and grievances. In fact, we have had scores increased and in some cases nullified. Protect your profession and let us help by writing a rebuttal.
Safeguarding your future, step 4. Your personnel file is very important. Red River United can assist you in pulling the file and ensuring that only official Caddo Parish School Board documents are enclosed. We have a history of purging personnel files of rogue Principal memos, unofficial write-ups, and superfluous materials. Request your file from the school board and bring to our office at 1726 Line Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101.
Safeguarding your future, step 5. You have until March 1, 2014 to put in for a transfer. Submitting transfer paperwork does not necessitate that you change schools but it does offer you additional job placement opportunities. Furthermore, when a school is reorganized you need to protect yourself against a possible involuntary transfer. Red River United can assist you in this process, but do your due diligence and submit transfer paperwork before things come to a head. A transfer form has been enclosed in this letter for your convenience.
Red River United is concerned that the upheaval of so many schools due to reconstitution, reorganization, and closure will have unintended consequences on the stability of professionals’ careers. In order to avoid potential problems, it is critical that you follow Steps 1-5. We have the expertise to assist you in this process, but you need to meet us halfway and join Red River United. Where else can you get a full time staff, local office, in-house attorney, and dynamic president? There is no 1-800 number to dial, no gimmick, and no waiting for assistance. If you have questions, call us on our local line, 318-424-4579. Red River United is the largest organization in Northern Louisiana because it takes a stand on important issues and passionately advocates for its members. Join us!
Red River United, President
P.S. Because of the district wide upheaval there is always the chance of a Reduction in Force (RIF). Red River United will make sure the school board strictly adheres to policy. Policy states that RIFs (layoffs) shall be based solely upon demand, performance, and effectiveness. Evaluations/observations matter! Teachers operating on a temporary certificate or special funding source (Title I) are statutorily more vulnerable.