High school students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia return to class today and their teachers will lead the classrooms with some new contract agreements.
Teacher voted yesterday to approve the contract agreement between the archdiocese and the Association of Catholic Teachers, sending them back to schools yesterday afternoon for in-service.
The Office of Catholic Education followed up the vote with a letter to parents outlining some of the contract elements:
The presence of Religious faculty members in our schools has been affirmed as vitally important.
All teachers are to assist in the religious formation and education ministry of the school.
GradeConnect, an online course management system will be utilized by all teachers.
Structured lesson plans will be submitted by all teachers in the 2012-2013 School Year with in-servicing on this topic provided to teachers during the current school year.
Part-time teachers will be used to supplement instructional programs. This provision gives the flexibility needed to offer specialized and unique courses.
National Education Technology Standards will be implemented as an expectation of all teachers.
Instructional time for students will be increased over the length of this contract.
Professional development time for teachers has been increased.
New provisions for teacher accountability involving expectations and adherence to safe environment practices.
A more detailed teacher evaluation system is being put into place based on Charlotte Danielson’s nationally recognized Framework for Teaching. It will make us able to recognize and acknowledge the quality of teacher performance and designate certain teachers as “distinguished” and/or “proficient”.
Tenure will be granted to teachers new to the System once they have earned evaluation ratings of “distinguished” or “proficient”.
Declaration of Purpose and Direction (Preamble): affirms the spiritual, educational and academic direction, vision and mission of our schools.
“We firmly believe that we were able to obtain acceptance from the teachers’ association on the key elements outlined above because we remained at the table negotiating with them in good faith,” the letter reads. The diocese decline mediation last week, despite ACT’s statement that that would return teachers to their classrooms.
Because of the strike, students will need to make up five days.