Thursday's Thoughts

PSTA Weekly News

Voter Registration

Click the graphic above to register online.

PSTA Virtual Candidate Town Halls

Next week, PSTA will continue hosting virtual town halls with candidates for the General Assembly. We have a town hall scheduled for every afternoon next week from 4:00-4:30 PM. The schedule for this week includes:

  • Monday, September 28th- Dick Harpootlian, Senate 20, Richland and Lexington Counties, Zoom Link, Passcode- 245098
  • Tuesday, September 29th- Brad Jayne, House 114, Charleston and Dorchester Counties, Zoom Link, Passcode- 501831
  • Wednesday, September 30th- Joe Bustos, House 112, Charleston County, Zoom Link, Passcode- 615131
  • Thursday, October 1st- Bruce Fischer, House 56, Horry County, Zoom Link, Passcode- 035550
  • Friday, October 2nd- Tom Davis, Senate 46, Beaufort and Jasper Counties, Zoom Link, Passcode- 832732

If you missed last week's town halls but would like to see what was discussed, you can view recordings of completed town halls on our Election Resource Guide website. Recordings will be posted under a candidate's name on the town hall calendar document. If you have any questions about the town halls, please contact Patrick Kelly at pkelly@palmettoteachers.org.

2020-2021 Federal Testing Waiver Letter

Over the past two weeks, PSTA staff have spoken to staff for every member of South Carolina's congressional delegation seeking their support for the request Molly Spearman sent to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver from federal testing requirements for the 2020-2021 school year.


In response to the request from PSTA, Joe Wilson developed a letter asking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to honor the waiver request from Superintendent Spearman. Representative Wilson sent the letter to the Secretary yesterday and was joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Jeff Duncan, Rep. Ralph Norman, Rep. Tom Rice, and Rep. William Timmons.


PSTA hopes that Secretary DeVos will honor the request from our state's congressional delegation and Superintendent of Education. We will continue to closely monitor the status of South Carolina's request for a waiver for the 2020-2021 school year and will be ready to pursue other avenues if the Department of Education does not grant the waiver.

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PSTA Advocates for Teacher Step Increases

Executive Director Kathy Maness and Director of Governmental Affairs Patrick Kelly have been at the State House this week advocating for the House to pass the budget that includes the step increase for teachers. Click here for and update.

Friendly Reminder!

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Teacher Clothes Closet- Midlands Event

We are excited to announce a Teacher Clothes Closet event at our office on Monday, October 26, 2020, from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM. The event will be held in our back parking lot under tents to allow for social distancing. Plastic gloves and hand sanitizer will be available. Masks are required. This event is for any student majoring in education, as well as first-year teachers.

Back to School Raffle from American College of Education

From September 11th through 26th, educators are invited to fill out a short entry form for your chance to win one of four $250 Amazon gift cards. One entry per person; no purchase necessary. Winners will be notified September 28th.

Please feel free to share this with all faculty and staff in your school. We wish everyone in your school a safe, healthy and successful 2020-2021 school year!

Important Information Regarding the 2020 Census



- The US Census Bureau announced on July 31st that the self-response and door-knocking operations of the 2020 census will cease on September 30th (instead of the October 31st extension)

- SC is ranking 44th in the nation in self-reporting

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ETV's Fall Webinars

Fall PBS TeacherLine Facilitated Courses Begin Sep 16 & Oct 14
- Earn renewal or graduate credits
- 2 R2S courses offered
- www.teacherlinesoutheast.org/Fall20.htm

ETV Teacher Recertification courses start October 5
- Earn renewal credits
- 2 new courses offered

- www.scetv.org/stories/education/2020/new-fall-etv-teacher-recertification-courses-free-offer


ETV's At-Home Learning service resumes October 5
Students can watch ETV's main channel for standard-aligned content, including a number of teacher recorded lessons, each Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. All programming is supplemented by customized learning activities as well as a learning reflection sheet. Have requests for something you think might be appropriate as part of the programming? Email us at etveducation@scetv.org. Learn more at www.scetv.org/stories/education/2020/home-learning-resumes-next-month.


Free, Anytime, Virtual Learning Sessions
- Sample ETV Sessions
* Teaching with Hyperdocs
* Permission to Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-Being and Success
* Back to School Math Resources
Access all via www.scetv.org/at-home-learning.

- Sample PBS Sessions
* Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism
* Inspiring Young Scientists through STEAM Education
* Teaching the Civil War through a New Lens
Access all via www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/virtual-professional-learning-series-collection/.

Upcoming National Board Webinars

Since March, the National Board has offered free professional development webinars to all educators. The webinars cover topics such as remote learning, technology, building community and more. Upcoming topics include teaching literacy virtually, Special Education in a virtual setting and partnering with parents.


Click here to register for September webinars!


If you have any questions about National Board, please contact Toni Chewning or Craig King.

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Help Us Grow!

Please help us continue to grow PSTA by encouraging your colleagues to consider joining the largest professional organization for educators in South Carolina. This year more than ever, teachers need to know that PSTA is working hard to support and advocate for their needs. Thank you for all you do! Remember PSTA is here for you so you can be there for your students.


We are still offering our incentive program. For every new member* you sign up, you will receive $10 (up to $499 each year). Please feel free to print a membership application here and sign up as many new members as you can!! If you have any questions please contact our office at 803-256-2065 or email us at info@palmettoteachers.org

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COVID-19 FAQs

Click on the image below to view the COVID-19 FAQs.