Williamsville Teachers' Association

Williamsville Teachers' Association


Pet parents! Join us this halloween for this fun event!

𝟭𝟱 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗳𝗳 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗮𝘀𝗸 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴
1. PPE: will the school provide Personal Protective Equipment? If so, what kind(s)?
2. Air safety: what improvements have been made to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system? How many air changes per hour (ACH) are there, and are ACH being measured and monitored? Has air recirculation been disabled and are at least MERV-13 filters used (while meeting recommended ACH), per the new ASHRAE Building Readiness Guidelines [1]? Are the air systems running 24x7?
3. Entry: is every student's temperature taken each day before entering the school (or getting on the bus)? If temperatures are taken by parents, how do we guarantee this was done properly and that students weren’t given fever reducers to pass? Will the temperatures of all staff and visitors (everyone) be taken before they enter the building?
4. Face coverings/masks: will wearing face coverings at all times, except when eating, be enforced? If not, can teachers choose to mandate the wearing of face coverings at all times by students, and all others, in their classrooms? If someone has a medical excuse to not wear a face covering, will they be allowed in the building?
5. Social/physical distancing: how will at least 6 feet of spacing be maintained at all times, including in the classroom? Classrooms with typical densities might be able to operate at only about 1/8 to 1/4 of pre-COVID capacity. (Note: the science is developing on the 6’ guideline, which is based on a 1930s study on a different virus before there was an ability to measure aerosols (additional considerations include duration and indoor air safety) [2].)
6. Classroom usage: will students stay in same classroom, except for recess, and the teachers who have different classes go to those classrooms?
7. Bathrooms: will there be monitors to ensure handwashing and logging usage for possible contact tracing? Will electric hand driers be disabled (to limit spreading virions). Are all the fixtures touchless and do all doors have foot openers?
8. Exposure plan: what is the plan for handling an exposure (e.g., quarantine the entire classroom and cross-contaminated classrooms for 14 days, and no one who was in those rooms is allowed back until two consecutive negative tests)?
9. Sick leave: what if I get COVID and use all of my sick leave? Alternatively, what if there is an exposure in my classroom, I need to quarantine for 14 days and have 2 negative tests, which currently take at least 7 days each (totaling at least 28 days for a single exposure before returning to work), and I use all of my sick leave? Who will pay for all of this testing? (Note: there are two main tests, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gold-standard test and the antigen test (there’s also an antibody test to determine if someone was previously infected). A positive antigen test for the coronavirus is fairly trustworthy, but a negative antigen test needs to be treated with caution because the person might actually be infectious. The 2 negative tests for returning to the school building should be 2 negative PCR tests or 1 negative antigen test confirmed by 1 negative PCR test.)
10. Start dates: would teachers be expected to come into the building for training? If so, what is the advantage of this over remote training? When would the first day of school with students take place?
11. Learning model: how will the learning model be decided? Implementing a system for determining the learning model to use should follow the State/Commonwealth’s phased reopening approach and the CDC’s Considerations for Schools [3]. Such a learning model would be informed by COVID test results, especially trend data (see county-based JHU COVID-19 Dashboards [4]), and based on the most relevant scientific evidence available. The model can adapt in both directions, as shown in the meter graphic, to the current situation to jointly maximize safety and learning and keep us ahead of the virus. (The model can be augmented with accommodations for high-risk families and for special needs and English learner students.)
12. Hybrid learning risk: is there an assumption that the hybrid learning model is safer than the in-person learning model? Although hybrid learning can reduce classroom occupancy, consider the epidemiology with respect to community spread. Working-class and essential-workers parents will likely need childcare on remote-learning days, which increases exposure via cross-contamination between childcare, the classroom, and home. See, “Harvard Epidemiologist: 'Hybrid' Model For Reopening Schools Is 'Probably Among The Worst' Options” [5].
13. Withdrawals: are parents given the option to withdraw their students because they do not feel safe? Could these students return when their parents do feel safe?
14. Remote-learning requests: will we accommodate fully remote-learning requests, especially those from high-risk COVID students and families?
15. Insurance: does the school system have insurance to deal with potential legal action related to COVID? Will teachers need additional insurance, or will we be covered by the school system?
Heavily weigh the recommendations of epidemiologists, public health officials, and scientists. The current week or longer wait for PCR COVID-19 test results means potentially exposing many people to the virus without knowing it and overwhelming our contact-tracing abilities and healthcare systems. It would be wise to wait to reopen classrooms at least until we have rapid, accurate testing to test each person who enters the school each day. 𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘪𝘴𝘯'𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴? Better still, wait to reopen until there's a vaccine disseminated in the community that is widely accepted.
𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘥!
-- The Campbell Clan
References (also in Comments):
[1] ASHRAE Building Readiness Guidelines https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/building-readiness
[2] Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, 26 Jun 2020 https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6498/1422.full
[3] CDC’s Considerations for Schools, 19 May 2020 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
[4] JHU COVID-19 Dashboard Infographic by County (click on a County on the JHU map, scroll down the popup to the Infographic Details, and then click it) https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map
[5] Harvard Epidemiologist: 'Hybrid' Model For Reopening Schools Is 'Probably Among The Worst' Options, 30 July 2020 https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/07/30/harvard-epidemiologist-hybrid-model-for-reopening-schools-is-probably-among-the-worst-options
WTA Representatives are working hard this weekend , learning at the NYSUT Western New York regional conference!
An opportunity to go to the Erie County Association of School Boards Legislative Breakfast is a morning well sp‪ent. Educators, Admins, BOE, Parents, & Labor Ldrs speaking with elected officials with unified voices on policies to best serve our public education students. ‬
Collectively we made a difference as a union working together in a cause that affects many in some way. Thanks to the Making Strides WTA committee, members, staff, students, those who took the lead in buildings to raise money and those who took part in the Golf event.
Share your story if you have one to help NYSUT lobby for better standards. I cant imagine places where students have to endure this for longer periods of time and in the winter with overheated rooms.
"We will keep up the pressure on lawmakers to enact legislation so that temperatures in schools conform to federal OSHA temperature standards."

Share your experience at www.nysut.org/heat
As a parent who raised three uniquely different children, I had every right to decide if they would take these particular State tests. I find this potential action of punishing the school for parents opting a child out of taking this test offensive on many levelsl! This is bullying and intimidation towards parents and students, plain and simple. As a professional teacher, I can say with good reason these particular State tests have grown to have so much controversy from the time spent preparing, administrating. and correcting them to the money spent on them is enough to fill a page. I must mention too that they are NOT useful for teaching. The misuse of these tests have changed the culture of schools and puts unnecessary pressure on students and teachers. Professionals know and research shows the best ways to hold teachers and schools accountable as well as the best practices in measuring progress. These tests are not the answer. Consider signing and sending this letter if you agree...
Getting ready to Co-Lead the WTA effort again with Nora Bender. At the Kick-Off today with Michele Calandra for the annual Making Strides Buffalo Walk. Consider joining us so together, with our community we will make a difference. Save the dates:
Walk-Saturday October 13th
Golf Event- Saturday October 20th
More info to come.
Your union at work! Communication with all of our elected officials is so important. Without it, nothing can change. Great morning as Michelle and I joined with fellow NYSUT members from across the State at our Capitol to advocate on policies that affect our profession-our students!
WTA Council Of Delegates Coat collection for the Buffalo City Mission. United in caring for our Community!
Teachers click and take action!
"Every student deserves a qualified teacher...The proposal to let charters bypass state teaching standards is a betrayal of students, their parents and the teaching profession..."
NYS teachers earn a bachelor’s degree, have 18 college credits in an accredited teacher education program, 30 college credits of study in their specialty area and at least 40 days of supervised student teaching — and pass three separate certification exams...the charter school industry is pushing for exploitative changes that are less than the 50 hours NYS requires of teenagers seeking drivers' licenses! Recipients of this fake certification would be unqualified to teach in public schools — and their students would be shortchanged...

Williamsville Teachers' Association represents about 1,000 caring, dedicated professionals who are educating the leaders of tomorrow.

Operating as usual


Great visiting with the President and Executive Assisyant of our state union NYSUT yesterday!!!

Photos from Williamsville Teachers' Association's post 12/08/2022

It’s so important for union members to support other unions, especially those working to organize.

We are always stronger as a collective!

Help in the ways mentioned below AND join your favorite locations and baristas on Friday, December 09, 2022 • 4:00 PM
Niagara Square• Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202!

Sophia the Fierce, organized by Jillmarie Giardina 11/09/2022

Sophia the Fierce, organized by Jillmarie Giardina

Sophia is an 8-year-old Country Parkway student going through an unimaginable battle and she and her family could really use your support! Let's do what we can to help Sophia the Fierce!


Sophia the Fierce, organized by Jillmarie Giardina Last July, Sophia Benintende, a healthy and energetic 7-year-old was about to start 3rd grade at… Jillmarie Giardina needs your support for Sophia the Fierce


Thank you to those who attended the WTA sponsored phone bank at our Regional NYSUT Office.

Well over 500 calls were made to support NYSUT endorsed candidates and champions for education: Sean Ryan (State Senate) and Karen McMahon (Assembly).

☑️ Be sure you have a plan to vote early or on November 8. 🗳️

Student Loan Debt Webinars - NYSUT Student Debt 10/18/2022

Student Loan Debt Webinars - NYSUT Student Debt

Whether you're confused about the limited waiver or navigating repayment options, we can offer you the resources you need.

NYSUT is offering a free student loan debt workshop that can help you get answers to your questions. Join us: Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.

Student Loan Debt Webinars - NYSUT Student Debt Are You Struggling to Manage Your Student Loan Debt? Our union is here to help you explore your options.

Photos from NYSUT - A Union of Professionals's post 10/09/2022

The Peer Support Line is a free, new service available to NYSUT members through NYSUT Member Benefits. It’s a confidential helpline for answers, referrals and support.
Get help with:
✅ Medicare or Medicaid questions
✅ Work-related stress
✅ Finding mental health services or support groups
✅ And so much more!

Learn more: nysut.cc/mbpeersupportline


Support our Buffalo Siblings!

Photos from NYSUT - A Union of Professionals's post 09/05/2022

Photos from NYSUT - A Union of Professionals's post

Photos from NYSUT - A Union of Professionals's post 09/05/2022

Happy Labor Day!

IRS changes amount teachers can deduct for classroom expenses 08/15/2022

IRS changes amount teachers can deduct for classroom expenses

An update to the Internal Revenue Service’s tax deductions will allow educators to deduct more qualifying expenses this year. With an increase to $300, school staff can receive reimbursements on school supplies, professional development courses and more.

Learn more about the changes:

IRS changes amount teachers can deduct for classroom expenses Teachers will be able to claim more for out-of-pocket expenses.


Congratulations to our new Board of Education officers, President Dr. McClary and Vice-President Dr. Singh! We look forward to working with them this year!

Photos from Williamsville Teachers' Association's post 06/23/2022

Wishing all of our members a very happy and healthy summer!!! Here's a little reminder of how much students have appreciated all of your efforts this year!

District Spotlight -- Service to Youth Awards 06/07/2022

District Spotlight -- Service to Youth Awards

District Spotlight -- Service to Youth Awards "The Service to Youth Awards are presented annually by the Williamsville PTSA Council for sustained and extraordinary service to youth in the Williamsville S...

Photos from Williamsville Teachers' Association's post 06/03/2022

It was inspiring to hear our state and national union leaders join with the leaders of the Buffalo School community to advocate for solidarity in our fight against bigotry and hatred!


Will we see YOU at the Rally?!


Need a Unity Rally friend or want to car pool?!
Comment that you plan to go so our members know who’ll be attending.
Stronger together ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏼✊🏻✊🏽✊

Join us June 2 for a special Unity Rally Supporting the Buffalo Community. Learn more: https://nysut.cc/buffalorally


Drop-off donations will be accepted on May 28th from 9:30a - 11a @
35 George Karl Blvd, Amherst 14221 (UAW Office)


Congratulations to Jill Dolan, who received the NYSUT Local Leadership Award at tonight's NYSUT Dinner!


Mark your calendars for this Unity Rally!

Note: Click on the picture for all details!

Buffalo school community mourns beloved educators 05/19/2022

Buffalo school community mourns beloved educators

As we all work to process this tragic event in our beloved Buffalo, we know members want to get involved.

Look for an emails soon about how the WTA will help to support our community.

Solidarity ✊🏼✊🏻✊✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽

Buffalo school community mourns beloved educators Three NYSUT members were among the 10 people tragically killed last weekend when a gunman opened fire at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo.


The Budget and Propositions 2 & 3 pass!

Elected to the Board of Education:
1A Bulan
2A Leatherbarrow
4A Bleckinger

Thank you for your votes and support!


Thanks to Meghan and Scott for handing out palm cards! It's not too late to go vote!

Photos from Williamsville Teachers' Association's post 05/17/2022

Polls are open!

No matter what district you live in please vote!

To our WTA members, family, and friends in Williamsville we need your support to elect 1A, 2A, and 4A! Vote yes on the budget and proposition 2 & 3.


The Budget and Board of Education Vote is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 17 from 7 am - 9 pm at North HS.

Please vote and support candidates 1A, 2A, and 4A!

Here are a reasons our members wanted to endorse the following candidates during our open-member interview process:

1A Stuart Bulan:
“As an educator, Stuart Bulan knows firsthand how important quality public education is to our communities. Mr. Bulan brings experience as an advocate for special education services and will be an asset to the Board.”

2A Teresa Leatherbarrow:
“Mrs. Leatherbarrow has shown her dedication to the Williamsville school community while serving on the Board. Perseverance, tenacity, responsibility, and professionalism are all words to describe Teresa. While I may not always agree with her, I know that Teresa has done her homework and does not make decisions without seeking out as much information as possible. Her knowledge of funding issues will continue to be an asset to our district.”

4A Christina Bleckinger:
“Christina showed a true passion for student and teacher well-being. She also knew that she had more to learn and I sensed a genuine willingness to do her best for the whole community.”

Pledge to Vote | PublicSchoolsUniteUs.org 05/15/2022

Pledge to Vote | PublicSchoolsUniteUs.org

Have you made plans to vote on Tuesday?
Make a plan with family and friends.
If you’re able, offer someone in need a ride!

In Williamsville vote yes on the budget, and Propositions 2 & 3!

Be sure to support our endorsed candidates 1A, 2A, and 4A!


Pledge to Vote | PublicSchoolsUniteUs.org Public schools are where parents and teachers come together to ensure that every child has the right to learn in a supportive, dignified environment.


Did you miss Teacher Appreciation Week? No problem, all teachers really want is a School Board that supports public education and a yes vote on the budget. Vote Tuesday!


The Budget and Board of Education Vote are Tuesday, May 17 from 7 am - 9 pm at North HS. Please vote and support candidates 1A, 2A, and 4A

Here are a few things our members said about why they wanted to endorse the following candidates during the WTA open-member interview process:

1A Stuart Bulan:
“A Long-time supporter and advocate for special education programs and services. Eager to support teachers and programs that support the whole child.”

2A Teresa Leatherbarrow:
“Mrs. Leatherbarrow has shown time and again that she has the fortitude to make tough decisions in the best interest of our students. I am very proud to support her.”

4A Christina Bleckinger:
“Christina's dedication to providing a wealth of opportunities to students will make her an outstanding member of the Williamsville Board of Education.”

Promote and vote for 1A, 2A, and 4A!


Our schools need you May 17! Elect positive candidates for School Board who will help to unite our communities!


Did you attend or view the PTSA sponsored “Meet the Candidate Night?” If not, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X70LisH62UM.

Congratulations to all candidates on a job well done; especially our WTA endorsed candidates, 1A Stuart Bulan, 2A Teresa Leatherbarrow, and 4A Christina Bleckinger!

Here are a few things our members said about meeting the candidates during the WTA open-member interview process:

1A Stuart Bulan:
“Mr. Bulan is straightforward and to the point. His concerns for our student population with special needs reflect that of our members. His perspective will be an important voice on the board.”

2A Teresa Leatherbarrow:
“The knowledge and expertise that Teresa brings to the table is unmatched. She has seen our district through difficult times over the past couple of years. I am thankful that she is willing and able to run again to continue to advance our district initiatives and support our school community.”

4A Christina Bleckinger:
“She came across as motivated, energetic, and focused on the well-being of students during our interview. I believe she can help build consensus among the community if she is elected.”

Come back tomorrow to read more comments from WTA members!

Promote! Vote!

Meet the Candidates Night - May 11, 2022 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 05/11/2022

Meet the Candidates Night - May 11, 2022 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Meet the Candidates Night is tonight (5/11) from 7-9 at District Office or on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X70LisH62UM.

Here are a few things our members said about meeting the candidates during the WTA interview process:

1A Stuart Bulan:
“Mr. Bulan has a strong record advocating for the needs of our special education students, and I look forward to him bringing that advocacy to the Board.”

2A Teresa Leatherbarrow - Incumbent:
“There are many reasons why Mrs. Leatherbarrow earned my vote during this endorsement process. First, is her true passion for this selfless work. She has proven that she is committed and hardworking during her years as a board member. In addition, she spoke about her dedication and advocacy to fund education fully. This is key! Without funding, we can’t make our schools better based on any agenda. Finally, she spoke her truth when she said, and I’ll paraphrase, ‘If it isn’t good enough for my child, it’s not good enough for someone else's.’ I may not have always agreed with Mrs. Leatherbarrow over the years but she is doing the work and I believe her when she says she is working for the best interest of the whole community.”

4A Christina Bleckinger:
“Christina brings a fresh set of eyes and new energy to the board with her candidacy. Her number 1 priority is the students in our districts. She is a proponent of Social Emotional Learning and Diversity programs throughout the district. Christina would be a welcome addition to our Board.”

Come back tomorrow to read more comments from WTA members!

Meet the Candidates Night - May 11, 2022 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Meet the Candidates Night - May 11, 2022 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Endorsement Process (Part 2):

Our endorsement is made after a significant amount of vetting of candidates and debate among our members.

We sent a survey to all five candidates, asking questions about their plans for supporting students going forward, the biggest challenge facing the District, their goals as potential Board members, diversity, their priorities, and the direction of the District going forward. The survey responses were sent to all 1,000 of our WTA members, who reviewed the answers and provided feedback to the representatives from their buildings.

Next, we did live interviews with the candidates, which was our opportunity to see how they shared their thoughts without time to prepare in advance. This year, we asked candidates about their communication plans, their thoughts about how to unify the various groups in the District, and their role in the supervision of a Superintendent. All of our members were invited to view the interviews and then participate in a discussion afterward. We discussed all of the candidates, their responses to the survey questions, their comments during the interview, and the feedback we'd received from members.

Finally, the members in attendance split up by building to cast their votes, with each building ranking their top three candidates.

This process gives the confidence that all of our members' perspectives have been taken into consideration before making an informed endorsement.

Promote! Vote!


Our Endorsement Process (Part 1):

The Williamsville Teachers’ Association has had a democratic process on making endorsements in Board of Education races for decades. Many members of the community look to us for advice about candidates and we believe our endorsement provides information for those who share our priority, which is to provide students with the best possible education. In this activity, our purpose aligns very well with the mission of PTSA--to be a voice for children, a resource for the community, and an advocate for the education and well-being of every child.

The WTA does not finance campaigns. We spend money to support the passing of the school budget, as the PTSA Council does, but we also include our endorsement with the materials we distribute.

Our goal is to ensure that the Board candidates the WTA supports are ones we believe will make decisions based on what’s best for students. Like any other elected officials, once in office the Board members vote their conscience.

Promote and Vote: 1A, 2A, and 4A!


Lawn signs are in! If you've already requested one, you can expect it to be delivered sometime this weekend! We have a few extra so if you'd like one let us know!


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


The Unity Task Force and WTA is proud to endorse: 1A Stuart Bulan, 2A Teresa Leatherbarrow, and 4A Christina Bleckinger! We also urge voters to support the budget, along with Propositions #2 & #3.

We often hear that the community supports teachers and this is one way to support us, our students, and our community: elect pro-public education BOE candidates and pass the budget!


Wishing our members a well deserved spring recess!

Videos (show all)

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Happy WTA Wednesday!Remote Learning and Home Schooling: Teachers really can do it all!





5500 Main Street
Williamsville, NY

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