FEBRUARY 2016 - Volume 19 Issue 1

2016/17 Staffing Information

While it is only February, the GPEA and HR hope that lay-offs will be kept to a minimum again this year. While layoffs are certainly not new to our field of education, the manner in which they are now done still feels very new to many. As of 2011, the ELECTED legislature passed reforms that mandated that teachers could not be laid off based on seniority alone. GPEA leadership and Human Resources are in discussion now about how layoffs might work if all teachers are "effective." Due to the ELECTED legislature, layoff/recall is a prohibited subject of bargaining so your GPEA leadership does appreciate that human resources is consistently inviting us to the table for this discussion. That important point should not be lost on the membership. The other important point is that ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

GPEA leadership cautions the membership that as we approach 2016/17 staffing NOT to make any early assumptions about possible classroom or grade openings, transfers, closed sections, etc. What happens in the district between March and September keeps an ongoing revolving door of possibilities and it is impossible to predict where the chips will finally land in the fall. That is true for both the GPEA and HR. Put in your wishes by March 1, watch for postings on your email and apply accordingly. If you know or suspect of a possible opening - certainly you can contact that principal. Further speculation about all of that is going to make you crazy. Rest assured that GPEA Leadership remains in close contact with HR all summer. We will continue to do our best!

Transfer/Job Share forms can be found after you log into the GPPSS webpage: under Staff Resources --> Human Resources --> Common HR Forms.

If you are currently happy with your FTE status you do not have to notify HR. You only need to notify HR if you wish to change your FTE status for next year. Please be sure to notify your administrator of your FTE desire as well.

For the 2016-17 teacher staffing process the deadline is March 1, 2016 for the following:

Teachers Requesting Part-Time or Increased Time:

In order to be considered for part-time or increased time assignments a teacher must notify HR by this date.

Teachers returning from leave or requesting a leave must notify the district of your intentions for the 2016-17 school year by this date.

Teachers Requesting a Job Share for 2016-17 Notify HR:

If you would like to request a job share for the 2016-17 school year you must notify HR by this date.

Voluntary Teacher Transfer Requests Submitted to HR:

If you would like to be considered for a transfer for the 2016-17 school year you must submit a Transfer Request Form to HR by this date.

Teachers Planning on Retiring:

Notification prior to March 1st in writing of your intent to retire between June 30th and August 31st, 2016. This will qualify you for a one-time payment of $2000 paid directly to your 403B fund paid out at the time of your last paycheck.

Additionally, any balance on your Roll Bank days will be paid out at $50 per day and also deposited in your 403B fund.

Re-election campaign for John Austin, President Michigan State Board of Education

The GPEA has been invited to a fund raising event on March 2 at 6:30 at 1017 Balfour in Grosse Pointe Park. John Austin is currently the Michigan State Board of Education President. He is a champion of public schools and of public school educators and higher learning.
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Grosse Pointe Teacher/Administrator Effectiveness Ratings

Here are the Grosse Pointe Public Schools "Effectiveness Ratings" for the 2014/15 School Year.

GP Teachers:

Highly Effective - 193 (32%)

Effective - 402 (68%)

Minimally Effective - 0 (0%)

Ineffective - 0 (0%)

GP Administrators:

Highly Effective - 2 (7%)

Effective - 26 (93%)

Minimally Effective - 0 (0%)

Ineffective - 0 (0%)

Below is a graph of why teacher test scores are "ineffective" for "effectiveness ratings."

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Educator Effectiveness Dashboard

Click the button above to browse the effectiveness ratings of teaches and administrators around the state of Michigan.

GPEA ELECTIONS - April 19, 2016

The following two year positions are up for election:


Vice President - Negotiations


High School Liaison

Elementary Liaison

RA Delegate

Per GPEA By-Laws: All members in good standing can nominate or be nominated for a GPEA office. Nominations for these offices need to be into a committee of at least five (5) GPEA members. The 2016 nominating committee is comprised of Linda McKinney (Parcells), Cheryl Briggs (Richard), Jack Pertile (Pierce), Caitlin Kefgen (Parcells) or Eric Burson (South) no later than March 18th with candidate biographies submitted to Linda McKinney no later than March 24th. The slate of candidates will be completed no later than April 1st.

Staff Survey Update

Early this month, the four bargaining group leaders reconvened with Human Resources and shared their lists of concerns. After much thoughtful and direct discussion - a list was compiled to be presented to the Board of Education on Monday, 2/29/16. GPEA Leadership will be there to comment and clarify anything that is not understood by our Board of Education. The below list, by no means, is the answer to all of our concerns but it is a start. Dr. Niehaus has expressed interest in surveying again this summer to see if we are improving, staying the same or identifying further concerns. We have made some steps in the right direction and GPEA leadership will continue to voice our concerns about special education/general education, more time for collaboration within the school day (ex; better use of late start Mondays) and evaluating current initiatives to see if they are working. Thank you to Kim Maddalena, Mike Rennell and Laura Mikesell for strongly advocating for all levels of the GPEA.


1. Recognize, respect and appreciate all staff and their input in building and/or curricular decisions.

2. Communication is key - both within each building and across the district.

3. Continue to develop the staff relationships and related professional development to effectively imbed inclusion in our school culture. This relates to special education and general education collaborative classes.

Implementing Initiatives

1. Focus on providing time for all staff to implement new strategies and meaningfully collaborate.

2. Provide the full tools and training to implement the “full working program.” Don't "piecemeal" things together.

3. Seek consistency and best practices across the district regarding programs, offerings, opportunities and resources.

Meeting Student Needs

1. Continue (Improve) addressing the needs of our “kids in the middle.”

2. Implement and develop our district’s Positive Behavior (PBiS) initiative to ensure effective and consistent student behavior

3. Meet the needs of all students, recognizing not everyone is college bound – develop offerings related to skilled trades, vocational programs, alternative high school.


1. Allow GPPSS employees’ children to attend our schools.


Don't forget to register and explore your new GPEA website. If you have anything to sell or advertise - please contact Sheryl Hogan at

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