Your NTA Newsletter

January 2016

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President's Message


January is a time of reflection. As we celebrate and embrace 2016, we consider the expectations, challenges, celebrations and joys that await us. As we do this personally, we must also do it professionally. With the new year comes a new round of state testing, submission of evaluation materials, assessment of goals and eventually a goodbye to students and a welcoming of new ones. It is also a time for your union leaders and representatives to consider how we can best work together to achieve our goals. As you may be aware, leaders in the MTA are asking us to weigh in on this very question as we participate in the most contentious election in recent history with three strong, prominent candidates running for president. As I reflect on how I will vote and read letters, talk to and meet with the candidates, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that I like the direction we have been moving in. I think that you should too because in the last two years the MTA has changed the way we talk about issues that impact us. The organization has dedicated more time, effort and resources into educating and activating members and has worked to clearly send the message that teachers have a strong voice that will be heard.


In Norton, there are many ways, we have played our part in this change, but we are still only doing a fraction of what we could. Throughout the next few months, I will be working with MTA and NTA leaders to develop a more efficient system of action for Norton educators, putting us in a better position to fight for the best for our students. My hope is to provide a way for teachers to focus their attention on issues that matter to them individually and to task groups of like-minded individuals with keeping the rest of us informed and connected regarding the issues that impact our lives and the lives of our students every day.


The MTA has made some ambitious strides under the leadership of Barbara Madeloni, and we have to fight to keep it going. We have been fortunate here in Norton because we have an administration that is sympathetic to the hard work and dedication of our teachers. We know from experience that this is not the case everywhere. Since we no longer need to focus our time, attention and resources on fighting constant battles within the district, we owe it to ourselves, our colleagues and our students to engage the battles that threaten the very existence of public schools as we know it. It is the battle to keep our schools bastions of democracy, joy and hope.


It is going to be hard work, but I hope you will join me. Together we will be heard.


Joe Spremulli

Vice-President's Message

As I was looking out the window, last weekend, at the snow falling, I could not help but compare it to our jobs in Education. Each snowflake that fell is unique and it reminded me of our students and all of their abilities both in and out of the classroom setting. Now, that the state has announced that the elementary levels with no longer have The Long Composition, it made me realize that maybe DESE is now understanding what we have been saying and seeing for a period of time. Students should be recognized, regardless of their educational background, on their successes. This could be seen whether they have improved in Academics, Social, or extra curricular settings.


I will be curious to see, now that they have done away with NCLB, how Education will be viewed in the future.


I hope that everyone has a great February Vacation and if traveling be safe. For those staying local, enjoy the time with that extra cup of coffee and your family.


Sara Horton

V-P Elementary Education


Norton Teachers Get Great Classroom Items Thanks to DonorsChoose.og

Several Norton Middle School teachers have gotten some fantastic items donated to their classrooms in recent months!


  • Mrs. Zajac, SLP, has gotten two Hokki stools and six Chromebooks with headsets.
  • Mrs. McGarry, Learning Specialist, has received an iPad.
  • Ms. Skowronek, Learning Specialist, has received two balance ball chairs and eight sets of noise-reducing headphones.
  • Mrs. Breshanan, Learning Specialist, has received three Chromebooks.
  • Mrs. Hart, ELA, has received three Chromebooks.
  • Mrs. Mulligan, ELA, has received an iPad.
  • Mr. Cummings, ELA, has received an Apple TV and fourteen Chromebooks.



As you can see, the site is definitely worth your while. You can have up to three postings on DonorsChoose.org at a time. All it takes is a few minutes to write up your request and a few moments to say "thank you" to the donors after you have received your items.

http://www.donorschoose.org

Joe Spremulli Speaks In Favor of a Moratorium on High Stakes Testing

Joe Spremulli, Norton
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Opting Out of High Stakes Testing

http://www.massteacher.org/issues_and_action/high_stakes_testing.aspx


The MTA offers a lot of information about opting out of high stakes testing.

Red Sox Game!!!

Friday, May 13th, 7pm

4 Yawkey Way

Boston, MA

Save the date! We will have discount tickets available to NTA members and their families for this game. Such a fun way to spend Friday the Thirteenth! Keep an eye on your inbox for more information.

Impressive Student Work!

Check out this video that Katie Micale did for Christa Spremulli's Grade 8 Science class. Katie used the Video Star app to create her presentation.
Chemistry 8th grade
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MassCUE Fall Conference 2015

Several teachers and administrators attended the MassCUE Fall Conference at Gillette Stadium in October. Be sure to check out the SLP and Special Educator MassCUE SIG (Special Interest Group) started by Kim Zajac and Jen Skowronek. http://www.masscue.org/pages/MassCUE/7854002098608615154/Special_Interest_Group/SIG_Descriptions/SLP__amp__Special_Educators_SI


MassCUE is a great organization for teachers and offers many professional development opportunities for educators with an interest in technology. Save the date: October 19 & 20, 2016.

MTA 2016 New Teacher Workshops

Thursday, Feb. 18th, 8am

2 Heritage Drive

Quincy, MA

2016 MTA New Teacher Workshops - Focusing on Classroom Management and Technology. For more information: http://www.massteacher.org/newteachers