Thursday, March 28, 2013

Update about 'Good Friday Petition' on Change.org

Dear colleagues,
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Again, let me thank you for signing the petition. With your support we have made a huge step towards making our collective teacher voice heard by the administration.The only way that we can fail is to stop using our voice on behalf of the voiceless.
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The petition was sent to Chancellor Henderson last night (Wednesday @ 12:00mn) and we received her prompt response this morning (Thursday @ 6:00am) that our request was denied. Please find her response and our further request below. Please do not call the Washington Teacher's Union office tomorrow, it is a non-working day for them. You can reach me anytime at solangala@yahoo.com or leave a message at http://teachersol.blogspot.com. It is always a blessing to be in a position to help a colleague, this is just the beginning!
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Sincerely,
Maria Angala, NBCT
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Twitter: @TeacherSol
LinkedIn: Maria Angala
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(#2) OUR RESPONSE TO HER EMAIL
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Dear Chancellor Henderson,
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We, the signatories of the petition, received your email response this morning that you did not approve our request for Good Friday (March 29, 2013) to be a non-working day for teachers who observe this day as part of their religious beliefs. Although it was a real disappointment, we appreciate that you conveyed your decision. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism exhibited in the email.
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We further, want to ingeminate that this is a day that many DCPS teachers value and observe as a core part of their religious faith. We are requesting that in the future, when planning for the calendar for each school year please keep in mind and consider having the "Holy Week" as part of our Spring Break.
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Thank you and have a blessed Easter!
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Sincerely,
Maria Angala, NBCT and DCPS Teachers
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(#1) CHANCELLOR'S RESPONSE TO OUR PETITION
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Ms. Angala and others,
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We set the calendar for each school year 1-2 years in advance. We work with the WTU to come up with an agreed upon calendar that meets the required number of instructional days, and the requirements for record-keeping days, PD days, and other contractual requirements. We present the calendar for public comment before we finalize it. Each year, there are holidays that don't fall exactly the way we want them, or school doesn't end when we'd like, or there is some calendar intricacy that some seek to change. As you know, nothing is ever perfect. However, we have finalized a calendar and will abide by it, as we do each year. Our families and employees have already made plans and rely on us to be consistent, which is why we solidify the calendar so far in advance. Feel free to request leave if you determine that you need to be absent on Friday.
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Thanks for reaching out. Best wishes for a restful spring break.
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Kaya Henderson

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