Joint HTA and HPS Statement

Joint HTA and HPS Statement

The Holyoke Public Schools and the Holyoke Teachers Association want to wish our staff and their families a happy holiday season! We appreciate that 2015 has been a year with many changes, including new district leadership and a bold turnaround plan. We applaud your continued professionalism, eagerness to share your input, and above all, your commitment to our students and their families.

It is important that you take time over the holiday break to rest, relax, and recharge. Research suggests that educators should use the holidays to disconnect from work (http://phys.org/news/2015-12-christmas-vital-teacher-psychological- wellbeing.html). As the findings point out, this will help prevent burnout and exhaustion in the long run.

We pledge to work together to ensure that you receive the support, guidance, and direction to deliver on our promises to children. We look forward to 2016 and building a bright future in the Holyoke Public Schools with you.

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Holyoke Teachers Association Responds to DLC Report

For immediate release: Dec. 14, 2015
For additional information, contact HTA President Gus Morales, xxx-xxx-xxxx

Holyoke Teachers Association Responds to DLC Report

The Holyoke Teachers Association shares the concerns expressed in the community about the report issued by the Disability Law Center. Our members want to be sure that all students in Holyoke, and specifically those at the Peck School, are provided with a safe and productive learning environment.

As the professionals who directly address the learning and caretaking needs of students in a high-needs educational setting, our members at the Peck School have long raised concerns about systemic problems. Issues include the need for more resources, higher staffing levels, and appropriate student placements.

The HTA stands by the staff at Peck. A lawyer from the Massachusetts Teachers Association attended each of the interviews that the DLC conducted. Based on the attorney’s observations and report to us, the HTA believes that the advocacy group is not portraying an entirely accurate or fair picture.

We look forward to working with the district attorney and will cooperate fully with his office in the days ahead.

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back! 

As we embark on another academic year I’d like to first thank those veteran teachers who have chosen to continue the hard work and dedication to the children of Holyoke. I’d also like to take this time to welcome all the new teachers to the district. I strongly believe that you could not have joined us at a more pivotal moment in Holyoke’s history.  The experiences you will encounter as an educator in our current situation under receivership will be challenging, but I feel it will help all of us, especially our fledgling teachers, in creating a foundation for a long, rewarding career.

Although we face unprecedented times our mission does not change.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson while serving in the Marine Corps that I’d like to share with you: “To continue to exist despite adverse conditions; improvise, overcome and adapt.” We must rely upon each other as professionals. As returning teachers we should reach out to the new staff and take them under our wing. As new members I encourage you to seek out that guidance.  It is my firm belief that if we do our job to the best of our abilities, we as the HTA will be at the center of the success as part of the turnaround plan.

Please remember the HTA is here to support you.

 

Sincerely,

Ed Meyer

Vice President, Holyoke Teachers Association