Thursday, November 14, 2013

Site Level Actions, Next Bargaining Session, Superintendent Search, Teacher of the Year, Applause

Work to Rule & Other Site Level Actions: You may have heard that some sites have decided to do some form of work to rule or other actions to show unity and resolve for a fair, competitive contract settlement. About seven sites are now doing an action where they walk in together at the beginning of the duty day and walk out at the end. Some are doing a once a week work to rule action where they drop voluntary duties on that day. Other sites are doing activities like sharing pictures of their site in red, having a "party in the parking lot" on Wednesdays, door prize drawings for those who attend a bargaining session, and more.  Visit our Facebook page to see pics from around the district:

As a democratic, member driven organization, know that you have the power to create the kind of activities that fit your site.  Of course, we will continue to ramp up district wide actions, but you are not limited to those. Want to do something where you are? Talk to your colleagues and building representatives and we will help provide the infrastructure to make it happen.

Next Bargaining Session: Our next bargaining session is Thursday, November 21st, 4:45 pm at the ESC (the exact room is still being determined). As always, you are welcome to see the process first hand and discuss it with your negotiators afterward.

Superintendent Search Survey: We've heard a number of members say they didn't realize the superintendent search survey was something they can fill out too. If you'd like to give input on what you want to see in our next superintendent, visit

Teacher of the Year: You have until Friday to nominate someone for Teacher of the Year.  The form is very simple and whether or not the nominee chooses to participate in the process, they will appreciate the pat on the back from a colleague. Take (literally) five minutes to fill out the form at and make a colleague's day.

It's time to give each other an APPLAUSE for the outstanding efforts we see each day. Take a moment to recognize a teacher/member who makes a difference. We'll draw five members to receive a $25 gift card and let all of those mentioned know their great work has been noticed.  Look for APPLAUSE forms coming soon in your P.O. Box.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bargaining, Veterans Day, School Board Election, Calendar Survey

Bargaining Update:  We did see clear evidence of a response to our wearing red and statement to the school board. We still have a lot of work to do, but your efforts are having a positive effect. Check for the details and keep up Red for Ed on Wednesdays.

Veterans Day:
On Monday, we honor the contribution of our military veterans. We want to thank all of our colleagues who not only serve our students as educators, but serve(d) our country in the armed forces. One way we as AHEM members support our troops is to support the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program that supports military connected students and families. If you are a Vet or have military dependents within our school district, please contact the Anoka Beyond the Yellow Ribbon team at with questions or concerns.

School Board Election Results: Congratulations to incumbents Jeff Simon & Bill Harvey and newcomer William Fields on their election to the Anoka-Hennepin school board on Tuesday. To see the specific results of this or any of the other races held Tuesday, visit

Calendar Survey Questions on Staff Planning Days: We heard a number of concerns about the first two questions on the District Calendar Committee Survey. They ask whether you would support using staff planning days for staff development and/or collaborative team time. There are those that believe teachers would be in favor of moving away from the current practice of not using that time for anything other than independently directed work time for teachers, and others who believe that teachers are very against changing the use of that time. We need you to settle that argument by completing the survey and telling us what you think. Here is that link: use of that time. We need you to settle that argument by completing the survey and telling us what you think. Here is that link:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Calendar Survey, Bargaining Session Wednesday, Teacher of the Year

Calendar Survey: The process has begun to set next year's calendar. Please respond to the survey you heard about in an email from Hattie Leary a couple days ago. You'll see questions on issues ranging from when you'd like to see breaks to whether you want your some of your staff planning/grading days to be used for staff development or collaboration instead. The calendar committee, which has representation from a number of groups including AHEM, will use your responses to build a proposal the school board will vote on in January. We can better represent your interests if you give your feedback – so fill out the survey today! Here's the link:

Tomorrow's Bargaining Session: We meet with the district for the tenth time tomorrow. Join us Wednesday, November 6th, 4:45 pm, at the AHEM Office (3200 Main Street, Suite 360, Coon Rapids – top of the Wells Fargo Bank Building in the Riverdale Shopping Area). You're attendance helps all of us stay focused on what matters – hope to see you there! For an update on where we are, you can always visit

Red for Ed on Wednesdays: This movement is growing. We are wearing Red for Public Education on Wednesdays to show unity around our bargaining, but it's more than that.  Red for Ed is a national movement to support the students and professionals in public schools. So, dig out that favorite red shirt, scarf, and/or your AHEM button and join movement every Wednesday.

Teacher of the Year: Take a moment to honor a valued colleague.  Anyone can nominate an educator for Education Minnesota's Teacher of the Year program. Our district has had a number of nominees honored through this program, and we'd love to see more. Not only will nominating a colleague give them a lift, you'll feel good about it too. Visit here for the short online nomination form: