LAST UPDATED: January 26, 2015

  • Topics on the this page:

    1. Fundraiser for our school nurse
    2. The governor has made a huge mistake
    3. The Deferred Compensation Plan (457)/shield money from taxes similar to a 403B.
    4. Free professional learning opportunities
    5. Reaction to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address and budget presentation
    6. State of the State Address
    7. Governor Cuomo has declared war on public schools. Join us in fighting back
    8. We have until Feb. 2 to comment before the department goes into the process of writing the final regulations.
    9. Interview: SkillsUSA event at Rockland Community College
    10. Professional Training for Educators - Register today
    11. Don't forget about the WINTER COAT DRIVE
    13. New membership cards to be mailed soon
    14. Food collections at Shoprite
    15. Minutes

    Dates to Remember:

    January 30/31 – Local Presidents Conference Connecticut
    February 24th or 25th – BOCES Lobby Day in Albany
    March 2nd & 3rd – Committee of 100 in Albany
    March 19th- Bowling Extravaganza to benefit United Hospice of Rockland
    March 20th & 21st – SPR Conference in Connecticut
    April 30th – may 2nd – Local Presidents Conference an RA in Buffalo
    June 4 - Celebrate With the Retirees
    July 20th – July 24th –LAP Saratoga
    August 11th – 13th – Summer Leadership – Parsippany NJ


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    Fundraiser for our school nurse

    Rockland CTEC will be holding a Fundraiser for our school nurse, Diane Scarazzini.

    You many not know, Diane's house was totally lost in a devastating fire.
    (See Picture)

    Our goal is to raise $2,000 to help her financial needs. Although there may be other fundraisers, this is specifically from the Rockland BOCES family. We are rooted in our community and this is our time to help one of our own.

    The Car Wash Fundraiser will begin on Tuesday, January 20th, and will continue for three weeks.

    Donations of $20 to $25 dollars are suggested, but all are welcomed.

    Location: Building #2 Auto Body Shop
    Call for an appointment: 845-627-4700 extension 4423

    Ask for Sal Cappiello

    BSA Members: The Deferred Compensation Plan was approved.

    In the coming weeks a presentation by Tom Migliano will be made to inform the staff about a new savings option.

    Mr. Migliano will discuss the Deferred Compensation Plan (457) which allows individuals the ability to shield money from taxes similar to a 403B. Please look for future details.

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    Help us fight back! .

    The governor has made a huge mistake.

    With a budget proposal that favors hedge fund billionaires over needy children, rich contributors over working families and private education profiteers over public school teachers and staff, the governor has declared war on teachers, public schools, and working men and women across New York.

    Help us fight back!

    Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!
    Sign up for MAC text alerts and get breaking news, legislative updates and critical action alerts that will help you help us win this war!

    If you haven't seen the governor's budget proposal yet, let me give you just a few lowlights:

    - Testing Instead of Teaching. The governor calls for a radical increase in the reliance on high-stakes student testing in teacher evaluations, from 20% of the evaluation to an absurd 50%!

    - Threats to Collective Bargaining Rights. The governor wants to give state bureaucrats the power to seize control of local school districts and invalidate collective bargaining.

    - Higher Education Shortchanged. The governor again grossly underfunds public higher education and adds insult to injury by subjecting our campuses to ill-conceived pay-for-performance schemes designed to hide his lack of support for our campuses and our students.

    - Tenure Under Fire. The governor wants to weaken and effectively end our tenure protections.

    And, as a bully would, the governor is planning to hold school funding hostage in order to get his way.

    Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!
    Sign up for MAC text alerts and get breaking news, legislative updates and critical action alerts that will help you help us win this war!

    Please help us fight back. Together, we can stand up to the governor and win this war!

    In solidarity,

    Andrew Pallotta
    NYSUT Executive Vice President


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    January 21, 2015
    In State of the State address, Cuomo misrepresents reality of public education in New York state
    Source: NYSUT Media Relations

    ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 21, 2015 - New York State United Teachers today released the following statement in reaction to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address and budget presentation:

    NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said: "The governor is misinformed. New York has one of the strongest public education systems in the nation and a professional, highly dedicated teaching force. Gov. Cuomo should be celebrating that excellence. Instead, today we get intellectually hollow rhetoric that misrepresents the state of teaching and learning. Students, parents and teachers, who know better, aren't buying this agenda, which everyone knows is driven by the governor's billionaire hedge-fund friends. The truth is, there's no epidemic of failing schools or bad teachers. There is an epidemic of poverty and under-funding that Albany has failed to adequately address for decades.

    Nearly 1 million New York schoolchildren - including more than one-third of African-American and Latino students - live in poverty. The state's systemic failure to provide enough resources for all of its students and to do so equitably - while giving all teachers the tools and support they need - is the real crisis and the one our governor is trying to sweep under the rug."

    NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said: "What comes out crystal clear is this governor is misguided about what teachers do, what our public schools do and what our students need. We again invite the governor to attend public forums in our schools. Instead of recycling tired rhetoric and relying on ideas from his billionaire contributors, we want him to listen to the aspirations of students who want to excel but don't have art, music, foreign languages or guidance counselors. We want him to hear from parents who want a greater state and local investment in their public schools, so their sons and daughters can have a full range of services and aren't crammed in classes of 30 or 35 with outdated textbooks. And, we want him to listen to the experts - educators and administrators who love their jobs and are dedicated to their students, know a greater focus on standardized testing is wrong and know that 'opportunity' is just a word unless it's backed by enough funding that goes to the right places.

    "The governor's school-aid proposal and his funding agenda for public higher education - SUNY, CUNY and our community colleges - and public hospitals are starting points. Still, in the K-12 arena, the governor's proposal falls short of the $2.2 billion that is needed to begin reversing years of neglect that hit the hardest in poor communities serving the neediest students. There is a lot of fine print in the budget proposal, and we will be studying it carefully and commenting in more detail in the coming days. As always, we look forward to working collaboratively with legislators in both houses and both political parties to ensure that every child gets the best possible public school education.

    New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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    State of the State Address

    On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will present his budget when he gives his State of the State address. It is no secret that we are under attack by the governor. For us to win the public must hear the voices of teachers. And when I say the voices of teachers, I am contrasting that with the voice of the union. Governor Cuomo and the public need to hear from typical members - everyday classroom teachers, SRPs, retirees, and educators in higher education. In short, they need to hear from you.

    That is why I am asking that all of us get out on social media between now and April 1st, the budget deadline, to call out Cuomo and tell him what our schools, students, and communities really need for public education in New York.

    Get Ready!

    Sign up for the NYSUT MAC. You can sign up online for email updates at: or you can download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone.
    Get text blasts. You can get our NYSUT Member Action Center text alerts sent right to your phone by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    Like us on Facebook at the NYSUT Action Center.
    Join Twitter. Looking for messages to retweet? Follow @NYSUT on Twitter

    Help create a social media army by helping other members sign up on social media.

    Take Action!

    Join the debate. As you are getting out of school on Wednesday, Facebook and Twitter will be lighting up with comments about Cuomo's teacher-bashing proposals. Join that conversation on Wednesday!
    #InviteCuomo . Governor Cuomo has rarely stepped foot in a New York State public school so we want to invite him to attend the NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums on Public Education. Let's invite him into the community to hear from teachers, parents, students, administrators and community members about what we need for public education. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include the hashtag: #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    #AllKidsNeed - Highlight the inequities and lack of resources hurting New York State public schools by using the hashtag #AllKidsNeed. Tell the governor and the public what your students need - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. Many of your colleagues around the state have already begun tweeting using this hashtag. Retweet their tweets and write your own!

    Important ground rules for personal social media:

    Don't post photos of your students.
    Don't communicate with currently enrolled students.
    Engage before and after the school day and during your lunch hour — not during your work day.
    Review your district's guidance for using personal social media.
    I know that together we can succeed when we all stand together as ONE union.


    Your message will be sent to the following recipients:

    * Speaker Sheldon Silver
    * Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
    * Senator Dean Skelos
    * Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
    * Senator John Flanagan
    * Senator Jeffrey Klein
    * Governor Andrew Cuomo
    * Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul
    * Senator William Larkin
    * Assemblyman Karl Brabenec
    * Chancellor Merryl Tisch
    * Vice Chancellor Anthony Bottar
    * Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett
    * Regent James Dawson
    * Regent Harry Phillips
    * Regent James Tallon
    * Regent Roger Tilles
    * Regent Charles Bendit
    * Regent Betty Rosa
    * Regent Lester Young
    * Regent Christine Cea
    * Regent Wade Norwood
    * Regent Kathleen Cashin
    * Regent James Cottrell
    * Regent T. Andrew Brown
    * Regent Josephine Finn
    * Interim Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin
    * Deputy Commissioner Ken Wagner

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    TAKE ACTION: Support NYSAPE and oppose the governor's misguided education agenda

    Source: NYSUT Member Action Center

    Governor Cuomo has declared war on public schools. Join us in fighting back.

    New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of 50 groups statewide, has sent a letter to the governor responding to the offensive, outrageous education questions he circulated in December.

    Now we need to support NYSAPE and let lawmakers and education leaders know that the governor's education agenda is misguided, dangerous and bad for New York students.

    Take action now to tell lawmakers and other education leaders that you support NYSAPE and oppose the governor's misguided, dangerous education agenda.

    The governor's disrespectful questions and his recent actions have demonstrated clearly that, rather than listening to parents, teachers and those who work in public schools each and every day, the governor is taking his education marching orders from the Wall Street hedge fund billionaires.

    Take action now to tell lawmakers and other education leaders that you support NYSAPE and oppose the governor's misguided, dangerous education agenda.

    If the governor wants to stand with the billionaires and education profiteers rather than parents, teachers and public school advocates, that is his choice. But we will stand together and say NO to his dangerous education agenda.

    And we can start today.

    In solidarity,

    Andrew Pallotta
    NYSUT Executive Vice President

    P.S.: Take action now to support NYSAPE's efforts to stand up to the governor!

    Sign this AFT e-Activist petition and tell USDOE that testing and other invalid measures will not work to determine the success of teacher prep programs.

    New proposed regulations would use unreliable, out-of-context data like K-12 standardized test scores and employment numbers to punish teacher prep programs. We have until Feb. 2 to comment before DOE writes the final regs. They need to hear from educators.


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    Tell the Department of Education that testing and other invalid measures will not work to determine the success of teacher preparation programs.

    We have until Feb. 2 to comment before the department goes into the process of writing the final regulations. Who better to tell them what we need than educators like you?

    The proposed regulations bring high-stakes K-12 accountability to teacher prep, dictating that states must use measure-and-punish methods and inappropriate measures to decide which programs will receive funding, in ways that will harm high-needs schools in particular.  This would mean:

    • Double down on testing: At a time of growing push-back against high stakes testing in K-12, higher education will be linked to standardized tests for the first time, and to a test-based accountability system that has not improved K-12 education. Some states will even have to create additional assessments to meet these regulations.
    • Use poor data for high-stakes decisions: This teacher prep rating system is based on K-12 test scores, which are not valid or reliable measures of teaching, and certainly not designed to rate these programs. In addition, the use of employment data will be invalid and incomplete due to factors that programs cannot control, including economic conditions and lack of cross-state data. Measures will favor alternative preparation programs which train teachers on-the-job.
    • Punish programs which serve the highest needs students: Teacher prep programs whose graduates teach in high-needs schools will likely receive lower ratings both on student growth measures and on employment measures, providing disincentives for programs to train teachers to serve in high needs schools. Programs which train teachers of color will be particularly affected, exacerbating our growing teacher diversity crisis.
    • Confuse accountability with improvement: There is no established link between accountability measures and program improvement; there is only an assumption that one will produce the other. Outcomes measures only assess teachers who are already in the classroom, rather than assuring that they are prepared before teaching.
    • Move the US away from the practices of high-performing countries: Other countries focus on building high quality preparation systems and good teacher working conditions, not on building accountability systems.
    • Put unfunded mandates on states: States and programs lack capacity to implement these proposed changes, and their implementation will monopolize precious resources of cash-strapped education systems.



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    Rockland Reading Council, Rockland Teachers' Center
    and St. Thomas Aquinas College Free Professional Learning Series

    4:30PM - 5:30PM
    St. Thomas Aquinas College
    Lougheed Library

    125 Route 340, Sparkill, NY

    Click on the title to pre-register for these free
    professional learning opportunities.

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015
    "Life, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Content:
    Autism Spectrum Disorders Today"

    Presenter: Barbara Boroson (snow date 1/29/15)

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Physical Activity and Academic Success:
    The Scientific Link"

    (snow date 2/10/15)
    Presenter: Carrie Steindorff, RC Dept. of Health

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015
    "Best Practices to Support Early Literacy Development that Create the Foundation for Pre-K Common Core Standards Success"
    Presenter: Debbie Silver (Snow date 3/9/15)

    In the event of inclement weather, check


    View the Coverage of the Event on News12


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    5 questions for BOCES nursing student Jessica Fray

    Jessica Fray, a BOCES student from Clarkstown North High School, competes Tuesday during a SkillsUSA event in the nursing lab at Rockland Community College.

    A. We had to demonstrate in front of judges that we knew hand-washing techniques and range-of-motion skills, which are exercises that get your blood flowing. In the lab we move the lower extremities around on a mannequin. In a real-life situation, the exercises would help a patient being rehabilitated in a hospital.

    Q. What attracted to you nursing?

    A. With today's economy, I feel like there's always going to be a career available in the health field. My mother is an occupational therapist. I've also taken care of my grandma, who had Alzheimer's, and it's just a wonderful feeling, helping other people. I got interested after I saw health professionals helping my grandmother after she got sick. She passed away last year. When she was alive, I was (studying range-of-motion techniques in class) and I felt like I knew what was going on and I could help her. Her feet would get swollen and I knew how to massage her feet to make her feel better.

    Q. What are your plans after graduation in June?

    A. I'm going to Dominican College in Orangeburg and plan to major in nursing. Before I graduate from Clarkstown, I'll have earned some college credits. Last year I became certified by New York state as a nursing assistant through the Career and Technical Education program and in college I'll work toward a more advanced license.

    Q. Would you encourage other students to get involved with BOCES and CTE?

    A. Yes, definitely. There's so much to do at CTE and so many people you can meet because it (includes) students from all around the county. It's such a wonderful experience to get out of your high school and meet new people. I chose CTE because I thought, instead of sitting in math class or history class and being bored, you know, go do something that you really like



    Visit our Site


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    Free Professional Learning
    for Secondary School Teachers and Librarians

    Echoes and Reflections prepares teachers to teach the complex history of the Holocaust in a way that stimulates engagement, critical thinking and personal understanding among students. Through this comprehensive program, teachers help students gain relevant insight into how to examine human dilemmas and social challenges, and determine their roles and responsibilities in the world around them.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 4:00PM - 7:30PM
    St. Thomas Aquinas College
    Lougheed Library
    125 Route 340
    Sparkill, NY 10976

    Click here to register on MyLearningPlan.

    Click here to view the program flyer.

    Echoes and Reflections is a joint program of the
    Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundation and Yad Vashem.

    This professional training for educators is sponsored by
    East Ramapo Teachers' Center, Nyack Teacher Center, Rockland Teachers' Center and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

    Social Studies: The Core of Teaching and Learning
    New York State Council for Social Studies Annual Convention

    in partnership with
    Learning Forward New York
    March 11 - 14, 2015
    Syracuse, New York

    RTC/I Update - January 2015

    Science, Invention,Technology Exhibition
    April 26, 2015 @ NRHS
    Student registration is open.

    SAT/ACT Preparation for May 2015 Exam

    SAT Preparation: 27 Hours of review in math, critical reading, and writing strategies, plus test-taking tips for the SAT exams. You must register in advance on our homepage at Please bring the additional $30 materials fee (due in cash at first session). Course may be cancelled if less than 10 participants. No refunds will be issued after start date of class.

    Test date is May 2, 2015. NYS Learning Standard: ELA, MST. Cost is $545, plus $30 materials fee.

    Saturdays - RTC# 858-01 - Dates: January 31, February 7, 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, April 11, 18, 2015
    Snowdate-April 25, 2015.
    Times: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Place: North Rockland High School, 106 Hammond Road, Thiells, NY 10984
    Instructors: Math Lori Arduini/English John Joyce Click here to register.

    Sundays - RTC# 858-02 - Dates: February 1, 8, 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, April 12, 19, 2015
    Snowdate-April 26, 2015.
    Times: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Place: Outdoor Education Center, 135 Convent Road, Nanuet, NY 10954
    Instructors: Math Lori Arduini/English Kathleen Landy Click here to register.

    ACT Review: This course will review English, Math, Reading, and Science, plus test-taking tips for the ACT exam. Bring a bag lunch. There is no food available on site. NYS Learning Standard: ELA, MST. Test date is June 13, 2015. Cost is $275, plus $40 materials fee.

    Saturday and Sunday - RTC#868-01 - Dates: May 16 and 17, 2015
    Times: 9:00 am-3:30 pm
    Place: Outdoor Education Center, 135 Convent Road, Nanuet, NY 10954
    Instructor: Lenore Gavigan Click here to register.
    You should register in advance at Look for courses on our homepage.

    Payments made by check must be made 2 weeks before the start date of class., unless otherwise instructed.
    The fee for materials (paid in cash/money order) will be collected at first session.
    Class size is limited to 20 students, but courses may be canceled with less than 10 participants.
    No refunds will be issued after course start date.

    For registration information, contact: Rockland Teachers' Center Institute 845-553-9516 or e-mail
    For specific program content information contact Lenore Gavigan at 914-629-8600 or
    Rosanne Citarella at 845-638-1486.



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    When: till February 28th

    • Needed: New or gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves for all ages.
    • For Who: Coats will be distributed to B.O.C.E.S. families in need
    • Where to donate: You can give donations to your building rep or drop it off at the collection box in Bldg. 3 (CTEC).
    • Where to pick up a coat: Joan Raynor at the Family Resource Center


    If you have any questions please contact
    Elena Temple
    845-627-4800 or

    Please follow the link below and complete the survey ASAP. Very important!!!!!!!


    RBSA Negotiations Survey

    Thank you,

    The Negotiations Team


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    New membership cards to be mailed soon

    Dear NYSUT Members:

    All NYSUT members will be receiving their new membership cards this month as part of a special mailing that will include information pertaining to the core benefits that NYSUT provides to its membership. This mailing will also include a letter from Martin Messner, Secretary-Treasurer of NYSUT and Chairperson of the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust.

    Click the following link to view Martin's letter -- To view this document in page reader mode after clicking the link, click on the third button from the right in the black menu bar at the top of the page.

    I encourage you to take the time to read Martin's letter and learn how you could potentially save significant money by participating in NYSUT Member Benefits-endorsed programs & services. Find out how much Martin saved when he called to inquire about a number of services, including auto & homeowners insurance, life insurance, home heating oil, vacation plans, movie tickets, and much more.

    The true merits of being a union member include better contracts, safer working conditions, fair pay, political activism, etc.; however, many members may not realize that there are additional benefits to being a union member. I encourage you to consider the many programs & services endorsed by NYSUT Member Benefits and inquire about your future potential savings.

    Thank you for your time.

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    Food collections at Shoprite

    Food Drive:
    • Tentative dates for food collections at Shoprite are as follows:
    • February 28th, March 21st, April 11th
    • To volunteer or if you have questions please contact Elena Temple at

    Contribute within your building!

    When: January 8th-April 11th

    Needed: Canned foods and non-perishable food

    Where to donate: You can give donations to your building rep. or place in designated drop off locations

    Locations: Kaplan Bldg. 6 & 10, Hilltop, and BERC

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