Mideastern Region PSEA
Our region represents the 15,168 public school educators across the 35 school districts and two intermediate units of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Your hard work and the power of collective bargaining help to bring an exceptional education to the 195,426 students in our buildings.
It's an exhausting time to work in our public schools.
"But you should be thankful for all that you have!"
Absolutely. We can be thankful for all of the good in our lives AND admit that we are struggling.
Thank you for showing up for your students, colleagues and communities - it's more than half the battle. On days when you are overwhelmed, know that those in your circle are so thankful for you - and that your true cheerleaders will not begrudge you setting boundaries.
When something is added to your full work plate, ask: "what will you be taking off my plate so that this fits?" Push back isn't rude. It's appropriate and one of the first steps to creating a sustainable work environment for the remainder of the school year. Is your push back not working? Reach out to a local association rep or leader to coordinate larger, coordinated advocacy.
I know that this is easier said than done. If you need support in any way with this important work, please don't hesitate to reach out. My hope is that we all continue to believe in the power of our collective voice to be treated as professionals and human beings.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday,
Bill Senavaitis, Central Bucks EA
Mideastern Region President
National ESP Day
Who is on your school board?
"Thank god the election is over and we don't have to think about candidates ever again!"
School board elections will be here before we know it. NOW is the time to begin recruiting community members who support our values. A simple, "hey, did you ever think about running for school board...?" could mean a world of difference in the future as your local works to do what's best for students and members.
Reaching for Better
The podcast “Nice White Parents” largely focuses on the story of one Brooklyn middle school that opened in 1968 - and how white parents have influenced the trajectory of this school over and over, even when their children didn’t attend it. But the issues the podcast raises via this one case study make it a meaningful opportunity to explore the complicated realities of race, privilege and power across all American schools. Mideast Region and Division members are invited to listen to the five-episode podcast, complete a discussion guide, and participate in an Act 48/Chapter 14 opportunity on Monday, November 30th at 5pm via Zoom. A total of nine (9) professional development hours will be awarded to participants.
Steps to engage in this event:
- Register for the discussion scheduled for November 30 at 5pm
- Complete the pre-listening questions on this study guide
- Listen to the five-episode podcast
- Finish the study guide and email it to the address on the top of the document
- Participate in the discussion on November 30 at 5pm
Honors and Elections at our Mideastern Region House of Delegates
We had a busy night at our first-ever virtual region House of Delegates! Perkiomen Valley EA member and president Bill McBill was recognized as the recipient of our Region Service Award for his kind, noble, and dedicated leadership in the region throughout the years. Bill's term as Region Vice President will conclude when the outcome of our election is determined on December 14.
We also recognized our outgoing region treasurer, Council Rock EA member Kathy Hornberger, for her commitment to the region.
Congratulations to members elected to positions at our event:
MER PACE Director
Theresa Prato, Bucks County Technical High School EA
Deleah Archer, Lower Merion EA
Sue Brown, Wissahickon EA
PSEA Instruction and Professional Development Committee (one position)
David Curry, Council Rock EA
PSEA Instruction and Professional Development Committee Alternate (one position)
Aaron Bell, Upper Merion EA
PSEA Legislative Committee (one position)
Dave Diehl, Council Rock EA
PSEA Resolutions Committee (two positions)
Mike Hermann, Pennsbury EA
Bill Gerhauser, Council Rock EA
PSEA Resolutions Committee Alternate (one position)
Colleen Mroz, North Penn EA
There are two members running for region Vice President: Brad Pawlikowski (Bristol Township EA) and Debbie Lee (Abington EA). This contested election will be conducted via paper ballots in accordance with our Supplemental Elections Procedures Adopted by our Executive Committee on September 30.
Congratulations again to our award recipient, new officers, and new committee members!
Donations to our Communities
AAA Discount - Existing and Potential Members!
Your Clearances Will Soon Expire - FBI Deadline Extended
Good news - you have until December 31, 2020 to obtain (not apply for) your FBI clearance. For complete information on this deadline extension, please take a look at this document from PSEA.
As your retirement nears, it's time to consider which PSERS monthly income options to choose as well as how to handle your contributions and interest account. Our workshops are designed for members who are within five years of their retirement date. Mark your calendars: Our 2021 dates are January 12, February 11, and March 2.
To register for upcoming workshops, please click here. Two reminders:
- Please be sure to click "check out" at the end to finalize your registration.
- A link to join the Zoom will be emailed to participants on the day of the event.
$25 Gift Card
Go to www.readyforquote.com/tara to get started today!
FREE for Educators
2021 Scripps Spelling Bee
With so much uncertainty about this school year, we wanted to remind you that the Scripps Bucks-Mont Regional Spelling Bee, sponsored by CAPS, will take place once again in 2021. We are happy to advise you that Scripps has extended the early enrollment price of $175 per school throughout the entire 2020-2021 school enrollment period which concludes on December 20, 2020. If your school would like to participate but might have trouble with the enrollment fee, please reach out to Bill Senavaitis.
Scripps has developed a new online testing platform that allows you to conduct classroom- and school-level competitions through a virtual spelling exam regardless of whether your students are learning in the classroom or remotely. For many schools, this virtual tool could make the spelling bee one of few extracurricular programs available to their students this year.
No matter how a school chooses to determine its spelling bee winner, all champions from enrolled schools will participate in our Regional Bee. While it is our hope that we can host an in-person competition for school champions this year on Saturday, March 20, we will act in accordance with public health guidelines and make that decision in late January. Either way, the champion of our local competition will represent our region in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee (which may also be held online or in person).
If your school has not enrolled yet, we hope these additional options for administering a school spelling bee program will encourage you to sign up. To register, visit spellingbee.com
We are proud to continue offering the Bee program in a time when many student recognition opportunities are on hold, and we look forward to providing this wonderful opportunity to your students. Please join us!
Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program is the ideal way to expose students in grades 3–5 to the exciting and powerful art form of orchestral music. School Concerts familiarize students with the environment and traditions of a concert hall, equip them with fundamental musical vocabulary, and cultivate a lifelong interest in classical music.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will offer a Virtual School Concert experience with unique distance learning materials. This virtual experience will be in place of our in-person school concerts that usually take place in the spring, to ensure students and teachers can experience the orchestra from the safety of their homes and/or classrooms during these uncertain times.
In order to receive access to the preparation materials and other updates, please visit this website.
This and every Monday evening you can enjoy a FREE performance of the The Philadelphia Orchestra! Tomorrow's virtual event will take place at the The Franklin Institute and will include the first and fourth movements from Beethoven’s Septet, as well as Halloween-themed arrangements by Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa in celebration of the museum’s upcoming Franklin Fright event for families. To get your free e-ticket, visit this website.
If you are retiring soon (within the next year) here are steps that you should be taking with your district and PSERS:
- Carefully read your contract for information about when you need to provide notification to your district.
Request a retirement estimate from PSERS. You can ask for up to two different scenarios (ex: retirement date of June 2021 or December 2021.)
- Call the Southeast Regional PSERS office in Warminster (215.443.3495) to schedule Exit Counseling.
You can also sign up to be a PSEA-Retired member if you are in year one or year 35 of your career - or anywhere in between! The earlier you sign up, the more money you will save on dues. You can enroll in PSEA-Retired FOR LIFE with a one-time dues payment of $774, or break that into four payments of $193.50 over a two-year period. This is a great way to continue to stay involved and engaged with the work of the association as well as continued use of our member benefits. For more information and to enroll, visit this website.
Virtual Social and Racial Justice Opportunities
We spend a lot of time talking about how much our members earn - and maybe not enough time talking about how those earnings are spent. PSEA Member Benefits can save you and your family money on everything from insurance to hearing aids. Spend some time browsing our website today!
PSEA Hardship Grants
The PSEA Education Foundation provides financial assistance to PSEA members who are experiencing dire hardship through illness, disability, and/or financial need. Applications are submitted to the PSEA Retirement & Welfare Committee, which reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the PSEA Education Foundation. For more information or to apply, please scroll to the bottom of this page
Mideastern Region PSEA
Bill Senavaitis, President (email@example.com)
Alan Malachowski, President- Elect (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sue Brown, Treasurer
Deleah Archer, Secretary
Theresa Prato, PACE Director
Kevin Deely, NEA Director (email@example.com)