Newsletter February 2011

AIL: Assessment Instead
of learning

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

The following is an excerpt from a letter sent to the Superintendents and Trustees in the Winnipeg School Division.

At the December 1, 2010 meeting of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association (WTA) Executive, the following motion was passed:

That the President write to the Superintendents and Trustees of the Winnipeg
School Division (WSD) outlining member concerns regarding the implementation
of the new Math CAP.

The WTA acknowledges, at the outset, that the WSD has the right to implement new programming and change how teachers deliver curriculum. The Association also recognizes the fact that in the first year of any major change, problems may arise.
The issue for many WTA members is that the WSD does not do an efficient or effective job in implementing major changes. In fact, the WSD has a pattern of bringing forward major changes without the proper piloting, training of staff, evaluation of the content or process, and does not provide teachers the time they need to implement the change
in an effective manner. The launch of the new Math CAP, division-wide, in the fall of 2010, is another example of poorly-implemented change.

  1. Currently two days of substitute release time are provided to schools for every teacher completing the CAP (Language Arts and Math).  For the next two years,
    an additional day of substitute release time should be provided for each teacher working with the CAP. All three days would be used at the discretion of individual teachers for CAP related functions.
  2. Training in all aspects of the process and data analysis/transfer to the various documents related to the assessment should be provided. The “Train the Trainer” model could continue to be used with a single modification. Each time the trainers
    are brought in for training, an equivalent amount of time should be assigned to each classroom teacher in the trainer’s school (in addition to the time referred to
    in #1). This time affords classroom teachers the opportunity to attend an in-school workshop facilitated by the school trainer.
  3. Math CAP Binder & Documents: modify student record books, Black-Line Master Booklets and the other reporting documents to provide for a more organized and
    logical flow. These items need to be piloted in some form with classroom teachers
    and students prior to their implementation in September 2012. In the piloting of these changes, substitute release-time must be provided for classroom teachers to familiarize themselves with the new materials and provide feedback.
  4. WSD needs to implement a plan that is sent to schools in June or early September for the 2011-2012 school year indicating dates and times for coming CAP events
    so that these can be incorporated into school plans. Response times for workshopsand surveys were unacceptable this year.
  5. Eliminate the N/K administration of the CAP altogether. Let teachers work with these very young students.
  6. Spend the time remaining this school year to complete and pilot the French Immersion materials. The materials need to be translated, piloted and in the schools ready to go for the  2011-2012 school year.
  7. The WSD engage the services of an external agency to do a comprehensive review of the new Math CAP implementation. As part of the review process a survey of every member involved in implementing the new Math CAP would take place.
    The nature of the review must cover areas such as training, materials, feedback process, and impact on program delivery for students and teachers. It must be much more than a look at how CAP has or might have improved your teaching
    or student learning. Members have lost confidence in sharing their observations through internal means. An external organization has no preconceived notions
    or vested interest in the new Math CAP and, thus, would increase the likelihood
    of accurate responses.

By: Joan Fransen, WTA Vice-President

22. Meal Period

Shahram Hakimelahi, Chair of Group Benefits

Active Single: from $49.73 to $51.00
Active Family: from $103.79 to $106.00

Premiums for retirees have increased by 7.5% plus a $0.35/per retiree per month administration fee that the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund (TRAF) has requested to cover their administration costs.

Actives Retirees

Reasons for the 2.2% increase are
as follows:

  1.  Acknowledgement that some degree of Subsidization of retirees will take place on an ongoing basis even as we try to help the Retiree Plan become more self supporting.
  2. Travel Health Pooling Costs have gone up from $1.75 to $1.93 for singles & $3.90 to $4.29 for family.
    Given that majority of utilization of Travel Health is by active members, measures have to be taken to deal with the rising cost in this area.
  3.  In general, health care costs rise in the range of 10%. By raising rates while maintaining service quality, we are keeping pace with changes in the health care market place.
Reasons for the 7.5% increase are
as follows:

  1. Cost of benefits tend to be higher among retirees particularly in terms of usage and that is reflected in
    the fact that the claims/loss ratio
    for retirees tends to be consistently
    over 100%.  For the past year, claims/loss ratio for retirees
    was 115%, while the breakeven
    number was approximately 90%.
  2.  TRAF no longer absorbs the administration cost that is associated with collecting and remitting premiums on behalf of retirees.  The cost of this fee
    TRAF has calculated to be approx. $0.35 per retiree/per month or an annual fee of approximately
    $4.00 per retiree.

General Information

WTA Dental Plan

As of January 1st, 2011 the following changes have been made to the
WTA  Dental Plan:

Log On Today

Electoral Units not represented at the January Council meeting:


  1. Ray Stoyko Memorial Scholarship – Please go to the WTA Website—
    to find an application form for the above scholarship.
  2. Please send your original receipts to Manulife and make a photocopy of the documents for your records.  When filling out your ManuLife claim forms please include your home address on the form.  Failure to do so will result in Manulife forwarding your claim/cheque to the Payroll Department of The Winnipeg School Division.  Please send your original receipts to Manulife and make a photocopy
    of the documents for your records.
  3. Disability Benefits Plan (Long Term Disability)- Please be aware that your dental plan ends with the exhaustion of your sick leave.
  4. Retiring…resigning?  – Please Note:  Requests to rescind intentions to resign
    or retire have been refused in the past.

The Winnipeg Teacher’s Association Social Event

Kyle LeBlanc
Kyle Photo

At Academy Bowling Lanes
394 Academy Rd.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2010
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Registration begins at 6:30 PM
Only 119 Spots available!
Cost: Free for WTA members.

The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association Substitute Committee

Melinda Guenther-Balodis
Melinda Photo

WTA Substitute Teacher Members
to a General Meeting of
WTA Substitute Teachers’
@ McMaster House
191 Harcourt Street
Monday, February 28, 2011
Registration will take place at 4:30 pm