Monday Memo – October 31, 2016

MEMO TO: Staff Rep
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, STA President
Date: October 26, 2016

Workshop at the STA Office: Effective School Staff Committees Monday, November 7th, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Are you having trouble getting a School Staff Committee started at your school? Are you finding that your current Staff Committee could be more effective? This workshop offers practical advice on how to establish and maintain a school staff committee that is modelled on effective and democratic decision-making. It makes the most sense for Staff Committee Chairs to attend but Chairs can send an alternate in their place. Snacks will be provided starting at 3:30. The workshop will promptly start at 4pm. Please register using this Eventbrite link –

*Because this is a BCTF workshop, we need to have a minimum of 15 people registered for a BCTF facilitator to be granted. Please sign up ASAP!

IEP Meetings outside of school day
We have been contacted by a number of Integration Support Teachers and Classroom Teachers who have been asked to schedule or attend IEP meetings before school, at lunch, or after school. We have grieved this practice and are now in the process of collecting information. If you are an Integration Support Teacher who has been asked to schedule meetings outside of instructional time or if you are a Classroom Teacher and have been asked to attend such meetings, please, contact Joanna Cerazy, Grievance Officer at 604-594-5353 or

Curriculum Non-Instructional Day – November 4, 2016
Teachers for whom Friday November 4th is a regular workday are expected to work on curriculum implementation activities on that day. They may work at their own school, or another school, but they are expected to be at a Surrey School District site. PD reps have been asked to put out a sign-up sheet so that teachers can indicate their location on the day. Registration has now closed for the workshops advertised in the last two Monday Memos.

Unfortunately, due to low registration numbers, we have had to cancel the EdCamp planned for Fleetwood Park Secondary.

Please note: PD funds cannot be used for any costs related to the Curriculum Implementation Day
We recognize that elementary school teachers are under tremendous pressure at this time to work on reporting and learn how to use the reporting tools provided by the district. We continue to advocate with the district to provide training/inservice on the reporting tools, so that teachers don’t feel obliged to commit their own time, their professional development time, or their curriculum implementation time to working on reporting. We strongly advise that teachers resist the pressure to use November 4th for reporting purposes. We have this day available to us because the BCTF advocated for it. We should not be using the day to relieve the District of their obligation to provide time for teachers for reporting.

BCTF Survey on 10 – 12 Draft Curriculum:
In order to collect feedback on the graduation years curriculum the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has designed the following survey tool:

The focus of this survey is to gather feedback from group discussions specific to the graduation years for the BCTF to review and analyze. It is expected that locals and provincial specialist associations will organize their own feedback processes to gather information for submission.
The survey will ask you to upload three Word or PDF documents containing feedback, one for each of the following discussion questions:

    What are the positive aspects of the revised BC graduation program curriculum (Grades 10-12), and what are you looking forward to in education change?

      What are the concerns?
      What supports are needed from government, your school district, and your union?

    The closing date to submit feedback is December 9, 2016. Teachers may want to consider filling out this survey on November 4th.

    Professional Development Day: November 10th:
    The STA Professional Development Committee and the STA Aboriginal Education Committee are planning some workshops at Queen Elizabeth Secondary. PD reps were emailed last week with details. You can find out more information and register at A flyer describing the “Shining a Light On It” Aboriginal Education event is attached.

    BCFed Convention: November 28 – December 2, 2016
    The STA Executive passed the following motion:
    THAT the STA send as many members to the BC Fed Convention as the BC Fed Convention budget line will permit given that costs will include registration fee, release time, hotel room, mileage, parking, per diem, and child care.

    The 57th Convention of the BC Federation of Labour will take place in Vancouver from November 28 to December 2, 2016. Preference is given to those who can attend all 5 days. Interested members should submit their name and a brief statement to the STA ( by November 8, and must be elected at the STA General Meeting on November 23.

    Speaking out for Public Education:
    BCTF Urges Ministry to delay curriculum implementation for grades 10-12:
    Please find attached the communication sent from BCTF President Glen Hansman to Deputy Minister of Education, Dave Byng. Glen emphasises the need to slow things down as much of the Grades 10–12 curriculum on the Ministry’s website remains in draft form. We know “this is the very material that secondary schools are relying upon right now this month in order to shape their course calendar for the following school year.” Unfortunately, because the 10–12 curriculum mostly still exists in draft form, all the “course calendar work going on right now is simply guess work.”

    Seeds of Social Justice
    Retired Surrey Teacher Seeks Bright Beginnings for those living in poverty
    Read about the progress of retired Surrey teacher Tammy Neuman, who was an active member of our Anti-Poverty Committee. Tammy started the Bright Beginnings Foundation with the goal “to provide deserving Surrey students with tuition, books, accommodation, food and even transportation to and from school through to the completion of their chosen program, to help them gain employment and to break the cycle of poverty.”

    Joke of the week
    Q. What do they teach at Witching school?
    A. Spell-ing

    This week’s joke was submitted by Christine Wozney. If you would like to participate in joke of the week, please submit a short, clean, (but non necessarily education-related) joke to Gioia Breda at If your joke is drawn for publication, your name will then be entered into a draw for a gift card at the end of the month!

    Calendar of Events:
    November 1 – STARA Rookie Training – STA office
    November 4 – Curriculum Non-Instructional Day
    November 7 – Effective School Staff Committees workshop – STA office
    November 8 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
    November 10 – Non-Instructional Day
    November 11 – Remembrance Day
    November 15 – Executive and Committee Chair Liaison – STA office
    November 17-19 – BCTF Federation Leadership Institute (FLI)
    November 22 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
    November 23 – Reconvened Annual General Meeting & Special General Meeting – Bombay Banquet Hall
    November 28 – December 2 – BC Federation of Labour Convention

Sunday, November 27th, 2016. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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