Hello FCFT Members!
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, I would like to open the newsletter today with an expression of gratitude. Thank you to my colleagues at Lake Braddock Secondary School who welcomed me with open arms when moving from elementary to secondary, particularly the middle school math and special education departments. Thank you to the wonderful teammates I have worked with over the years, including my fifth and sixth-grade teammates at Lorton Station, and my third-grade colleagues at Keene Mill Elementary. Teaching is a hard job, but collegial teammates make the work doable. Thank you to the staff at Fairfax County Federation of Teachers who work so hard for me and the members of FCFT in our fight for collective bargaining. Thank you to all the activists who attend meetings, work on committees, and engage in conversations with colleagues on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly though, thank YOU! Thank you for the work you do every day. As teachers and educational staff, the future of Fairfax County is in your hands. Thank you for the work you do to provide the best possible education for the students of Fairfax County.
Collective Bargaining Update
There are no public updates at this time, however, I want to assure you that there will be big, positive public updates soon! In the meantime, if you want like to encourage the school board to uphold the promises they made to staff, here is a template you can use to phone bank or email members of the board. Their contact information is included!
Joint Listening Sessions
Throughout the first semester, we are holding listening sessions, co-hosted by FEA, around important issues in the workplace. In November, we are meeting about support staff issues on November 15, and substitute issues on November 29. Come share your experiences and hopes for a first contract with us!
Register for our next listening session by going to bit.ly/AFEUvoice
Virginia Board of Education Updates
Where even to start here! Some of you may have seen the draft revisions to the History and Social Studies SOL standards from August. Upon the new governor having the opportunity to replace the majority of the Board of Education over the summer, a new draft was presented at yesterday’s Board of Education meeting. I have some concerns about these changes, and told the board about them yesterday during the public comment portion of the meeting. You can view my testimony here. For an administration who speaks of taking politics out of education, these new standards seem to include a heavy injection of politics.
Please see the statement released by FCFT President David Walrod
The FCFT Executive Board is currently doing a deeper dive into the standards in order to release a more detailed statement. At yesterday’s Board of Education meeting in Richmond, the board voted 8-0 to reject the first review, and the board will be working to address the concerns from the public comment period.
Additionally, the Board of Education is considering changes to the accreditation system, including raising the cut scores for passing the reading and math SOLs and generally making it more difficult to achieve full accreditation.
If you are interested in learning more about potential avenues for state-level advocacy, please consider joining our legislative committee, which will be starting up after Thanksgiving Break! If you are interested in participating in this committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Message from NoVa Labor
The Northern Virginia Central Labor Council is asking educators not to request Starbucks gift cards as gifts this holiday season. We are standing in solidarity with the workers of more than 250+ Starbucks Workers United (SBWU) locations who have democratically chosen to unionize. The corporate bosses at Starbucks have directly retaliated against dozens of SBWU members. We will not be rewarding them for violating federal labor laws and mistreating their employees.
Again, please remind students not to request Starbucks gift cards as gifts this holiday season.
Member Specialists' Corner
Important information and dates from our Member Specialists can be found here!
Did you change schools? Job Titles? Let us know!
We want to make sure you are connected to our staff who can best support you. If you changed worksites or job titles, please email email@example.com with your new school or job title.
Are you a building representative in your school? Are you interested in becoming the building rep at your school? Are you not sure your building has a rep? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
David Walrod, President of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers