October 5, 2018
The Poland Education Association and the Poland Board of Education reached impasse during negotiations on August 20, 2018. A Federal Mediator was requested. The contract between the PEA and the board expired on August 31, 2018. Teachers have been working without a contract in good faith that a fair settlement could be reached.
Because no agreement could be reached via negotiations between the PEA and the Board of Education, a federal mediator was summoned. Our first mediation session took place on September 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. and concluded at 8:15 p.m. at the Poland Board of Education Office. The second mediation session on October 4, 2018 lasted for a little over four hours. Unfortunately, a fair and equitable agreement was not reached. PEA spokesperson Nichole Blaze reported that, “We are extremely disheartened that there has been little progress throughout the negotiation process. Poland teachers are dedicated to this community and in educational excellence for our children. The PEA deeply resents the fact that, once again, we have returned to another school year teaching without a contract. All we are asking for is a fair and equitable contract. We urge our community to contact the board members and insist that their negotiations be brought to a mutually acceptable agreement.”
The PEA represents 122 teachers who are employed by the Poland Local Schools District.
The teachers at Dobbins / McKinley have seen a lot of change the past years and continue to face it head on seeing each adjustment as an opportunity to improve upon an already excellent foundation. Anticipation of another move and curriculum changes made for a very short summer. With just a little over a week before students were set to arrive, teachers were finally able to access McKinley to make it their new home. While the transition and preparation was time consuming utilizing many early mornings and late nights at the tail end of summer, there is much to be excited about as students begin to fill the halls.
The schools year is in full swing! It’s hard to believe that we are almost seven weeks into the first nine weeks. Poland Middle School teachers are preparing for Teacher Conferences this Thursday. Even though there are 2 conferences a year, PMS teachers are always available to students and parents. Communication is key and PMS teachers can be reached by phone, email or appointment. Our teachers go above and beyond to make sure that students and parents are informed and will continue to do so. Our Scholastic Book Fair begins this Monday-Thursday. It is run by the ELA teachers who understand and emphasize the importance of reading. It takes coming in during the weekend, staying late after school or coming in early to make to book fair a success, so thank you teachers!
The teachers and students in grades 6-8 have had a very busy and productive start to the school year! In 6th Grade, we started a new mentoring program called WEB. In August, 34 8th Graders were trained for ten hours on how to mentor 6th graders. These 8th graders then led the 6th graders through their orientation before the start of the school year. It was a huge success! 8th grade WEB Leaders have invited the 6th graders to sporting events and they are currently writing letters to their 6th graders for Start With Hello Week. Start With Hello Week is brought to our students by our invaluable guidance counselors. This is a week-long event that promotes inclusiveness in our school.
Welcome back to school!
The summer months have quickly passed by and the start of yet another school year has arrived. Here at Union Elementary students are doing a great job adjusting to classroom and school routines.
High school art students are off to a running start. Seniors are preparing portfolios for college admission and scholarships, The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a program for advanced students at the Butler Institute of American Art, and the PSHS art show. The portfolios include up to 12 pieces of art from all four years in the art program and should show a range of technical skill and media. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards requires students to have a theme across 8 pieces of art and submit a 300 word artist statement.