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Executive Board Minutes September 1, 2020

Executive Board NHFT 9/1/2020



Present: Dave Cicarella, Kirsten Hopes-McFadden, Kara Distante, Jane Roth, Pam Stricker, J. Peter Wilson, Pat DeLucia, Al Meadows, Alissa Levy, Derlene Ortiz, Erica McDaniels-Epps, Iris Festa, Jenn Maselli, Joseph Gonzalez, Joseph Steele, Judith Leach, Karissa O’keefe, Kris Wetmore, Marianne Maloney, Melanie Seeger, Melody Gallagher, Mia Breuler, Michael Mazzacane, Michael Pantaleo, Michael Soares, Orlando Hernandez, Paul Matei-Grysiak, Reginald Augustine,  Richard Cowes, Stephen Siena, Toni Criscuolo

3:35pm Call to order by Pat DeLucia

Motion to accept the June minutes made and accepted without discussion.

Question and Answer concerns of the Eboard

David Cicarella explained that the Contract Extension informational meeting of July was not a regularly scheduled Eboard meeting but to allow members to discuss the contract with our union lawyer and as such and as for all designated general membership meetings, we did not have Eboard minutes to discuss and accept.

The following Q and A emerged from an open forum Executive Board discussion:

Can Teachers serve as substitutes during remote learning?

-Union substitutes have been hired back and on a case by case basis, teachers can fill in for their colleagues, but teachers should not be used as subs as a general rule during remote learning.

-Substitute plans are always five days worth of planning.

Two weeks as a courtesy is fine if you’re out for a medical reason…FMLA leave where a teacher is out on maternity, surgery…they are RELEASED from duties—no lesson plans…the district is supposed to get a qualified person to take their place…

-Substitutes often stay in contact with teachers which is a great professional  practice…but to do grades and lesson plans…no…

Dave and Pat will discuss with central office how passwords for Google Classrooms will be provided in the event a substitute teacher is needed, preventing the editing of a teacher’s Google Classroom.

What can I do if my chromebook or laptop does not work sufficiently?

-Subject supervisors or principals can provide a chromebook if the recording feature for laptops does not work as teachers attempt to carry out their responsibilities for lessons or other activities. Teachers should contact them.

Is TEVAL reinstated for school year 2020-2021?

AFT and AFT-CT are in discussions regarding TEVAL-

The original decision was to drop TEVAL this year; however, it has been decided that TEVAL will go forward albeit in a simplified version.

What technical support is the district offering?

Less tech savvy teachers are trying to figure out technology with Zoom and Google Meet and soforth, and so the district has provided resources via their Remote Learning Page to address questions and issues that may arise.

As a teacher I don’t have a camera or power to use extensions--who can I make aware at the district level?

Dave Low and Tessa Gumbs-Johnson have trained a cadre of folks at a help line that will assist other teachers with technical issues including LINC Spring training.

In terms of access, cameras have been ordered though a state grant.

Will teachers be remote for the duration of ten weeks?

No one is looking to be out ten weeks. Whenever the buildings are safe etc. in terms of the agreed upon checklist and other safety protocols as verified by an independent party, teachers will return.

Recording of Classes and Live Instruction--

Teachers are expected to conduct live instruction with students.

What does this mean? It does not mean live remote instruction for 90 minutes for a block schedule.

Conversely, this does not mean teachers can just turn on a live camera and not teach…

Recorded lessons can be 5-7 minutes long…live interaction and consent from parents/guardians needs to be provided.

Teachers don’t need consent for live lessons with camera solely on teachers….only for situations where the camera will be on students.

Students can participate but should not be onscreen or recorded unless parent has provided consent--passive consent is no longer an option.

Principals and teachers received a memo from the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Ivelisse Velasquez, which offers guidance regarding live instruction.

Suggested amounts of screen time include teaching live for 25-30 minutes and then facilitating an independent student task after live instruction.

Teachers DO want to record themselves (teachers) for lessons, but NOT record students without approval.

SEL considerations, instruction including best practices of engagement and rebuilding community, and formative assessments, but not standardized testing will be encouraged during this remote learning period.

If students appear to need help with stress or anxiety, teachers are encouraged to get counselors or social workers involved…

Calls to DCF will happen and virtual lessons are to be stopped if teachers suspect illegal or unsafe activities on screen or on camera etc…

Will supplies be provided to teachers?

Supplies for cleaning and technology components will be provided for recording the lessons.

What is required in terms of day by day standard start and end times?

Standard start times and finish times (that is to say “pre-Covid 19” start and end times) for remote learning and hybrid learning will vary by school but mirror the actual start and end times for each school’s particular schedule.

The district is striving to find the balance between scripted versus non-scripted, and flexibility versus too much structure in terms of a daily class remote schedule etc.

Can teacher P drives as well as Google Drives be accessed from home during remote learning?

Dave Low--The solution for the P drive access issue: we've been able to access our Pdrives from home for almost two years. Sorry if your Tech person never told you. 

Here is the link to do that:

This is the ONE PLACE (besides adult email) where you actually use your email address and password to get in.


EVERYTHING ELSE should be with your ID if it's for curricular stuff, Google Classroom, Google Meets, you name it.

In any case, once you log into the secureftp site, the folder called "home" is actually your P-drive.

Can electronic recording be used for evaluation purposes for teachers?

No electronic devices can be used in the evaluation of teachers.

Do teachers have to raise their own supplies for art or other subjects?

Teachers do not have to fund their own supplies.

Dave and Pat will address this matter with supervisors and principals.

For specials, can the classroom teachers step away from the virtual lesson as though during regular non-remote instruction for their prep periods?

Yes…the special teacher can come into the virtual space and teach for specials instead of the regular instructor. Of course, students should not be left unsupervised.

Can teachers monitor breakfast at 8:20am if this is part of their original extended time plan?.

The NHFT wants to be reasonably flexible during remote learning, but it’s not an “anything goes” situation.

There is a tradeoff between things teachers were required to do pre-pandemic vs things post pandemic in a virtual remote learning paradigm.

How 30 min extra time plans work for remote learning needs to be further discussed.

Is Wednesday PD time during Hybrid Learning to be principal-decided?

Flex time for PD can be district-related etc such as support for technical PD.

Some time will be flexible for principal-discretion…but generally 75% will be

district time PD as the year gears up.

Can teachers use other platforms remotely if accessibility becomes an issue?

-We await an answer from the district related to whether we can use Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Are we operating under the new contract extension now?

Yes, we are in the new contract extension now through 2023…

In terms of the new salary schedule related to the issue of the new contract extension…

The 2019-2020 schedule for last contract  is THIS YEAR’S (2020-2021) schedule… this is the freeze year.

No involuntary transfers at this point can occur based upon our new contract.

No layoffs at this point either.

Dave and Pat will ask that the district provide necessary time for preparation in their announcement when we transition for the downshift to hybrid from remote.

Motion to adjourn made at 5:05pm and accepted unanimously.