12/17/21 – JCEA members, we can do this!

JCEA members, we can do this!

Dear JCEA Brothers and Sisters,

First and foremost, I want to wish you all a restful and wonderful winter break. Every single one of you has worked so hard this last year and a half. Please use that time to take care of yourself and your families.

I’m thrilled to see that nearly HALF of JCEA members found time to participate in our working conditions survey. However, I am also disheartened by the results because (to no surprise) it is clear that educators’ current workloads are unsustainable and stress is at an all time high.

It is important that we remain united for our students’ future by fighting for the things you need: time, workload relief, and better supports to address student behaviors. Bottom line, Jeffco students have a right to the best public education possible BUT in order for that to come to life, educators need to be guaranteed the bare necessities to deliver high quality instruction: time to plan, workload relief, and support for student behaviors.

I believe that if we stand together, ready to take action with firm demands to those who have the power to make change, WE CAN WIN! Through organized, collective action we have the power to stop the current system from continuing to burn out valuable educators.

JCEA leaders, staff, and I are currently working on an action plan to address these issues and implement ideas that you continue to provide us through the working conditions survey. We are a member-driven, member-led organization and your input on this issue drives our plan. Stay tuned after break for updates on what collective actions we will take to affect change on not only these pressing issues, but to our profession as a whole. Go, Fight, Win!!

In solidarity,

Brooke Williams

Art teacher & JCEA President

State of Jeffco:

report on working conditions survey

The State of our District Survey Report

Right after Thanksgiving we asked our membership, “How are you doing?” Not surprisingly, for many of our members, the answer was “Not so good.” We want to share some of the data with you, outline what JCEA leadership has been doing to push the District on these topics, and make suggestions as to what we can do together in solidarity to improve the situation.

Stress: 

  • 46% report their stress level as “extremely high” with another
  • 44% as “somewhat high”.
  • Only 11% said their stress is normal and a few people reported “lower than normal”.
  • Almost 70% say their current workload is not sustainable.

When members were asked how they were managing stress:

  • 74% are “letting some work things go”.
  • 44% have taken days off and
  • 20% are seeing a counselor.
  • In the ‘other’ category, there were a variety of coping mechanisms from yoga to alcohol to prayer and crying.

The top solutions cited to lower stress are, ranked in order:

  • more time to get work done
  • removing some work from my plate
  • better supports to address student behaviors
  • not having to cover for absent colleagues

What actions should we take in light of this data? 

The District is asking schools to do a ‘reset’ of student behavior expectations after break, building-wide and in individual classrooms. Secondary principals have been advised to not overdo evaluation processes. We will be pushing for EVERY building to identify ways to take things off teachers’ plates and find more time for core duties.

To learn more about the JCEA action plan and see additional survey results, CLICK HERE

If you haven’t taken the working conditions survey yet, here’s the link to do so: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2FG6JFT 

Special message to Early Career Educators:

YOU GOT THIS!!

Recently, nearly 100 Early Career Educators took our survey regarding their experience in Jeffco as a new educator. Not surprisingly, ECEs reported the same top level concerns that other members reported in the working conditions survey: time/sub shortage, workload, behaviors.

As the Chair of the JCEA Early Career Educators Action Team (ECEAT), I want you to know that WE HEAR YOU! And please DO NOT FORGET that you are a highly qualified professional and you are doing a great job! For those of you who are just entering the profession, please hear me when I say that there is NOTHING normal about this school year or last. Reach out for advice when you feel stuck or overwhelmed. Myself and JCEA staff are here to help you.

Congratulations to Julia Blechar at Campbell ES, she won a Starbucks gift card for taking the ECEAT survey! We’ll reach out to get that to you!

Thank you to all ECEs who took the survey, and for those who have not, CLICK HERE to do so.

We will do another drawing in early February for those who take the survey.

I would also like to invite any ECE who is interested to join us at our next virtual ECEAT meeting, Thursday, Jan. 27th from 4-5pm where we will go over certain provisions in your contract that can help you advocate for the relief you need. CLICK HERE to register for the Zoom link.

Hang in there… Jeffco needs you, your students need you, and so do we! We want you to be successful in your education career, and we are here to help.

In Solidarity,

Candice Steinke

2nd grade teacher, Foothills ES, ECEAT Chair

candice311@gmail.com

Grub Club:

Relief for homeless & emancipated Jeffco students 

Fliers with information on how to donate and which physical items are needed will be rolling out in January! Last year’s virtual donation collection was SO successful, The Action Center would like to continue with that model and will likely be requesting personal hygiene products for physical donations. More info on that will come in January

2021 results: $18,000+ in donations and 6000 items!!

2022 donation goal: $20,000 and requested items

Even though we haven’t rolled out fliers yet, people can start making donations NOW! Please share far and wide! Share with family, friends, educators and BEYOND!! ‘Tis the season of giving!

https://bit.ly/2022ActionCenterGrubClubDrive

Your COVID student loan forbearance will end on

January 31, 2022… Are you ready?

The COVID related forbearance that was granted to all federal student loan borrowers will be ending on January 31st, 2022.

Are you ready to resume payments? Did you know that recent changes to available loan forgiveness programs have made it EASIER for educators like you have part of their loans CANCELED?!

Please join our virtual, informational workshop, Degrees Not Debt!, on December 20th from 5-6:30pm. Because of the recent changes and our commitment to educating members about loan forgiveness options, this workshop will be FREE to BOTH members as well as non-members! Registration is required, CLICK HERE to get the Zoom link and share with your colleagues!

JCEA office is hiring!

Sadly, Chanda Reyes, the JCEA Program Assistant, is transferring to another CEA unit so that she can be with her family in Salida. Though we are very happy for her, we are also very sad to lose her as she has been an integral part of the JCEA staff team for the last three years. That being said, we would like to let members know about this job opportunity either for yourself or someone you know. CLICK HERE to access the job description and necessary qualifications, and CLICK HERE to apply.

Recognizing Jeffco’s Talented Teachers

Every month, educators are nominated by their colleagues for the Jeffco Talented Teacher Award. Congratulations to the most recent winners!

  • Jefferson Jr/Sr  
    • Rachel Hafer, English & Bionic Program
  • Molholm ES
    • Carol Tisdale, Counselor
    • Melissa Martinez, 5th Grade
    • Sarah Manos, 5/6 Dual Language
  • Lumberg ES
    • Miranda Cutting, 3rd Dual Language
    • Bill Jordan, 4th Grade
    • Kaitlyn Knutson, 2nd Grade
    • Jennifer McCabe, 3rd Grade
    • Suzanne Wawra, 1st Grade
    • Amy Campbell, 5th Grade ELE
    • Lucia Reyes, Kindergarten/1st Grade Dual Language
    • Juanita Jacobo-Garcia, ESL Resource Teacher

The Good News Coalition

The idea for this unique countywide celebration originated in 1989 when a handful of community members decided that too often the only news they heard was negative. They brought together a coalition of people from churches and synagogues, service and professional organizations, businesses and schools to celebrate the good in Jeffco. That group became the Good News Coalition.

Every year, community members can nominate individuals or groups for a Good News award. For more info and if you’d like to make a nomination, follow this link

Dates to remember

  • Dec. 20th, 5-6:30 – VIRTUAL Degrees Not Debt! workshop
  • JCEA office CLOSED for winter recess Dec. 24th-Jan. 3rd
  • Jan. 11th @ 4:30 – JCEA Operational Board meeting
  • Jan. 18th @ 4:30 – JCEA AR Council (virtual, registration link sent after winter break