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2021 NEA ESP National Conference

NEA ESP conference

Registration for the 2021 NEA ESP National Conference is now open!

The NEA ESP National Conference is the premier professional development opportunity for education support professionals across the nation. The 2021 conference will be held virtually March 19-21, with a special ESP of the Year celebration on Friday, March 26. Get ready to connect, collaborate, and engage in some of the most important topics affecting our school communities today, from racial and social justice, to trauma, social and emotional learning, leadership, organizing, and more! Check out the conference schedule, featured speakers, and workshop sessions at nea.org/espconference.

Registration for conference is open from February 15-26, and is FREE of charge to NEA members. Space is limited, so spread the word and reserve your spot today!

Register now >

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Summer Leadership Academy

The 2021 Summer Leadership Academy will be a virtual event held over 2 weeks – July 19-22 & July 26-29. Due to the PD sessions not being held at this year’s IEA RA, we plan to add additional PD sessions during the 2021 SLA. 

Summer Leadership Academy RFP form is now online!

If you have an expertise or activity you think other ESPs/members would enjoy and benefit from and are interested in presenting it as a school or elective, please complete the SLA RFP form no later than March 24.

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NEA Representative Assembly (Virtual)

June 30 – July 3, 2021 (Tentative)

ESP’s we need you! Your voice is important!

Over 8,000 NEA members are expected to attend virtually the next Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly from June 30-July 3. While there RA delegates will propose, debate, and take action on new business items for the Association and other association policies, and vote by secret ballot on proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. Executive officers, Executive Committee members, and at-large members of the NEA Board of Directors will be elected.

More information available at ra.nea.org.

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NEA ESP Conference Registration is Open Now!!

The 2021 NEA ESP Conference will be held virtually March 19-21, with a special ESP of the Year celebration on Friday, March 26.

Registration for the 2021 NEA ESP Conference is now open through February 26, or until we reach capacity. Registration is FREE of charge and limited to NEA members. Spaces are being filled on a first-come first-served basis, so reserve your spot today!

The conference brings together approximately 1,000 educators every year to grow and strengthen the professional excellence of ESP members working in Pre-K to Higher-Ed through Association-convened, educator-led, and student-centered learning experiences. With more than 60 interactive workshops to choose from over the course of four days, participants enhance their knowledge and skills to build community relationships, organize members, advocate for educators, and sustain stronger local associations, helping members excel in their careers and positively impact student success. 

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Spring Election Nomination Deadline

The ESP Council is looking for energetic and reliable ESP advocates to join the ESP Council.

REMINDER – Feb. 17 is the deadline to submit nominations for the IEA spring governance elections! Nominations are currently being accepted for NEA RA State Delegates, ESP and Higher Education Council positions, and for several ethnic minority, higher education and ESP sectional representative and alternate positions. The online nomination form is available on the IEA website until 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. Contact Kim Trader with any questions.

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Summer Leadership Academy

The 2021 Summer Leadership Academy will be a virtual event held over 2 weeks – July 19-22 & July 26-29. Due to the PD sessions not being held at this year’s IEA RA, we plan to add additional PD sessions during the 2021 SLA.

If you are interested in presenting a school or elective, please complete the SLA RFP form no later than March 24.

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Tomorrow, Don’t Miss This!

ESPs: Where do we go from here?
Intentional navigation to bridge the cultural divide

Time: February 16, 2021 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):
You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s February roundtable where the discussion
will be facilitated by Robert Powell, IEA ESP Council Member. Our commitment to equity and excellence in education requires the centering of cultural competence in all of our endeavors and utilizing a racial and social justice framework to support all students.
Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any questions
or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82175117512?pwd=dXJUUmI0VlJFNm53NG9DQnIybVZPdz09
Meeting ID: 821 7511 7512
Passcode: 704708

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Advocating For ESP

Building a Legislative Foundation

The ESP Council, working with IEA created and submitted an ESP Resolution to the 102 General Assembly of the State of Illinois bringing attention to the importance and struggles of Education Support Professionals in public education.

HR77 – Sponsored by Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz

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Don’t miss our next ESP Roundtable

ESPs: Where do we go from here?
Intentional navigation to bridge the cultural divide

Time: February 16, 2021 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):
You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s February roundtable where the discussion
will be facilitated by Robert Powell, IEA ESP Council Member. Our commitment to equity and excellence in education requires the centering of cultural competence in all of our endeavors and utilizing a racial and social justice framework to support all students.
Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any questions
or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82175117512?pwd=dXJUUmI0VlJFNm53NG9DQnIybVZPdz09
Meeting ID: 821 7511 7512
Passcode: 704708

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Thank You!!

As kitchen tables transformed into classrooms, parents and caregivers partnered like never before with teachers, faculty and support staff to help our kids get the education they deserve.

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Membership has its Benefits

There are tons of amazing money saving opportunities for members!

Have you down loaded your My Deals app? Visit IEA’s Discounts and Deals page, and log in to members only. If you need help logging in, contact IEA Connect at the bottom of the page.

NEA Click & Save – online savings at thousands of stores.
NEA Auto Buying Program – low-and-no-haggle prices on new and used cars from certified dealers.
NEA Car Rental Program – preferred rates from major rental companies.
My Deals app – a free app (for Apple and Android) that locates deals and coupons (because My Deals is available only to IEA-NEA members, first register your membership on IEA’s website to receive your required mobile access code), and so much more!!

For more information on Member Benefits visit https://ieanea.org/benefits/

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2021 IEA Legislative Priorities

IEA is advocating for all members and bringing our voice to the legislative table.

  • The State Budget
  • FMLA-HB12 (Costa-Howard)-Greatly benefits ESPs by lowering hours to qualify
  • Re-Calculation of SURS for adjunct professors-SB44 (Marwick)
  • Fixing the loss of stipends due to COVID for people in the retirement pipeline
  • Returning the TRS Board of Trustees to majority elected
  • COVID issues (Benchmarks, Paid Sick Days, Testing in Schools)
  • Strengthening Mentoring and Induction Program
  • Address the Digital Divide
  • Adjunct Professor Reloution-SJR2 (Martwick)
  • ESP Resolution (Villivalam)-Lays the legislative ground work of the importance of ESPs in public education

The ESP Council with the support of IEA has drafted an ESP Resolution that brings to light the importance of ALL ESPs to the success and safety of our students, colleagues, and community with in public education.

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2021 IEA ESP of the Year-Debra Ward-Mitchell

Congratulations to Debra Ward-Mitchell this year’s IEA ESP of the Year!

Debra is the president of local 205 Union of Support Staff in Region 27. She is the Assistant Director of District 205 Infant Care Center and works as a paraprofessional. The Center provides services for teen moms and dads. This is Debra’s 37th year in her district. Debra’s extensive advocacy for members throughout Illinois, association involvement, community engagement and personal achievement greatly raises and enhances the ESP image. We are proud to have Debra as our 2021 ESPOTY.

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February Empowerment Roundtable

ESPs: Where do we go from here?
Intentional navigation to bridge the cultural divide

Time: February 16, 2021 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)


Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):
You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s February roundtable where the discussion will be facilitated by Robert Powell, IEA ESP Council Member. Our commitment to equity and excellence in education requires the centering of cultural competence in all of our endeavors and utilizing a racial and social justice framework to support all students.
Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any questions or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82175117512?pwd=dXJUUmI0VlJFNm53NG9DQnIybVZPdz09
Meeting ID: 821 7511 7512
Passcode: 704708

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IEA CONNECT

Is it your turn to represent our state?

There is no time like the present to become a delegate to the National Education Association Representative Assembly.

The most important part of being a member of an association like the Illinois Education Association is the ability to have one’s voice heard on a variety of issues that affect the working conditions of school employees and learning environments of students across this nation.

There are a lot of issues that ESPs are facing and work that needs to be done. The fact is that ESPs make up only about 4% of delegates who attend the NEA RA. We need you to join us to make our voices heard.

You should have received in the mail the IEA CONNECT that includes additional application information or you can complete forms online at www.ieanea.org/about/elections.

IEA Springtime Election Information

The ESP Council has openings on the council and are looking for energetic, reliable members to join our team.

Nominations will be accepted if received in the IEA-NEA president’s office by February 17, 2021. Go to www.ieanea.org/aboutelections for more information and to fill out a nomination for online.

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Advocating for ESPs

This week IEA presented the next two year budget during virtual open hearings. The proposed budget includes a dues increase for both certified and ESPs. For full time ESPs the proposed budget increase is $9 for the first year and $11 per year for the second year. IEA’s proposed ESP dues increase is following IEA bylaws that states that full time ESP dues will be 1/2 of the rate of certified staff dues.

The ESP Council knows this is not the time for any dues increase for ESPs. This has been a very difficult year for so many. We are doing our best to advocate and search other options and alternatives to work around the IEA bylaws.

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Wow!! What a great ESP Roundtable this morning!!

I want to give a huge shoutout to Sandy Hupp from NEA Member Benefits and Katie Dunn from IEA Member Benefits for spending their Saturday morning with some fabulous ESPs. Their presentation was filled with tons of information and tours of the Member Benefits websites. Here are just a few benefits discussed that your membership offers:

  • (New) Market Place (cash back powered by Rakuten: for all your shopping needs)-extra deals for NEA members
  • Shop Now Pay Later: no credit check, no interest charges and no annual membership fees for NEA members
  • Discounts on phone, auto, and travel
  • Every IEA/NEA member has a free life insurance policy. The only think you need to do is log in to https://www.neamb.com/products/nea-complimentary-life-insurance and choose your beneficiary. Don’t forget to update this if it’s been awhile since you set this up.
  • And so much more!!!

Congratulations to our three winners of the $25 Target gift cards, courtesy of NEA Members Benefits. If you were unable to attend this event, it should be uploaded to the IEA Learning Portal soon.

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!!!Tomorrow!! NEA Members Benefits Roundtable Discussion

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):

You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s January roundtable where the discussion
will be about NEA Member Benefits for ESPs. Special guest, Affiliate Relations Specialist
from NEA Member Benefits, Sandy Hupp, will share all the savings and services available.
Sandy has also generously agreed to have 2 $15 Target e-gift cards for giveaways! Join us
for your chance to win!

Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any
questions or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.

Topic: ESP Empowerment Roundtable
Time: Jan 16, 2021 10:30 AM-12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82318823409?pwd=OExDL0xYQy9RN2pOU0QySWdveWhJUT09
Meeting ID: 823 1882 3409
Passcode: 423608
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,82318823409#,,,,423608# US (Chicago) +16465588656,,82318823409#,,,,423608# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 823 1882 3409
Passcode: 423608
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/knh8YdvBR

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Spring Elections: Open Positions on the ESP Council

The IEA ESP Council is in search of positive, energetic ESP advocates. If you have a passion for supporting ESPs throughout Illinois. Please go to https://ieanea.org/about/elections/ and fill out a nomination form to run in the IEA Spring Elections.


 ESP Council open positions in this spring election:

  • ESP Council (4 Open Positions)
  • ESP Council Southern/Central Alternate/NEA RA Successor Delegate (remainder)
  • ESP Council Southern/Central Representative/NEA RA Delegate
  • ESP Council Southern/Central Alternate/NEA RA Successor Delegate
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January ESP Roundtable: Do you need to find ways to save money? Do you need help to recruit members? Your dues have benefits.

ESPs: Everything you Need to Know about NEA
Member Benefits

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):

You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s January roundtable where the discussion
will be about NEA Member Benefits for ESPs. Special guest, Affiliate Relations Specialist
from NEA Member Benefits, Sandy Hupp, will share all the savings and services available.
Sandy has also generously agreed to have 2 $15 Target e-gift cards for giveaways! Join us
for your chance to win!

Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any
questions or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.

Topic: ESP Empowerment Roundtable
Time: Jan 16, 2021 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82318823409?pwd=OExDL0xYQy9RN2pOU0QySWdveWhJUT09
Meeting ID: 823 1882 3409
Passcode: 423608
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,82318823409#,,,,423608# US (Chicago) +16465588656,,82318823409#,,,,423608# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 823 1882 3409
Passcode: 423608
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/knh8YdvBR

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Do you need to find ways to save money? Do you need help to recruit members? Your dues have benefits.

ESPs: Everything you Need to Know about NEA Member Benefits

Time: Jan 16, 2021 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)


You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s January roundtable where the discussion
will be about NEA Member Benefits for ESPs. Special guest, Affiliate Relations Specialist
from NEA Member Benefits, Sandy Hupp, will share all the savings and services available.
Sandy has also generously agreed to have 2 $15 Target e-gift cards for giveaways! Join us for your chance to win!
Please join us as we learn, discover, and advocate for ESP throughout Illinois. Your ESP
Council is here to support you during this trying time and beyond. If you have any
questions or would like more information, please visit http://www.ieaespcouncil.com.

Download flyer for Zoom link to attend.

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Happy New Year!!

As we say goodbye to 2020… I’m sitting here counting my blessings and trying to focus on all the positive things this year has brought: new skills, new responsibilities, and new friends. I know the beginning of this next year may still be some of the same, but I pray that with each passing day we are closer to getting back to normalcy and getting the pandemic under control. I wish you a year full of dreams fulfilled, health, and happiness!

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Indoor Air Quality Strategies to mitigate Covid-19 in Schools

Good Morning ESP Leaders,

Schools face complicated challenges to ensure the safe and equitable return to in-person instruction—and to avoid the resurgence of conditions that require students and educators to return to remote learning. The air quality in school buildings is central to these goals. NEA has produced two new documents to help affiliates adopt indoor air quality strategies to mitigate COVID-19. The first—Designing and Implementing a COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Plan in Schools—provides detailed information on how and why to develop a pandemic-related indoor air quality plan. It suggests language that can be used in collective bargaining and other labor-management settings and provides authoritative citations and additional resources. The second—The NEA Quick Guide to Indoor Air Quality Strategies to Mitigate COVID-19—is a condensed version of the longer document designed to give Association leaders, UniServ directors, and members an easy-to-use summary of the issues, sources, language, and resources related to indoor air quality and COVID-19.

In preparing these documents, we chose to focus on ventilation in the context of the pandemic. As a result, they identify common-sense steps that can be taken to mitigate the airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus. Many of the recommendations included require action but no additional funding, while others require funding far short of what an HVAC system installation or upgrade is likely to cost. While major HVAC work may certainly be necessary, students and educators cannot wait for such changes and budgets may not easily permit them. In addition, schools may rely at least in part on methods of addressing IAQ that do not involve HVAC systems. 

Thank you!

Lisa Connor
Lisa Connor | ESP Quality

Phone 202-822-7529 | Mobile 202-557-9064 | Fax 202-822-7168 | E-Mail lconnor@nea.org |

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Call for Presenters – NEA ESP Conference

NEA Needs ESP Presenters

NEA values the expertise of our ESP leaders and allies and invites all interested in being considered as a presenter at our virtual 2021 NEA ESP Conference to complete our NEA ESP Conference Call for Presenter Form. The deadline for session proposals is Tuesday, Dec. 22. All interested presenters MUST submit their proposals via this online form. The 2021 NEA ESP Conference will be held virtually March 19-21, with a special ESP of the Year celebration on Friday, March 26.

ESP Conference | NEA
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TAKE ACTION – SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL

Every child deserves to be safe at school. We need to make sure we are providing a safe working and learning environment for all of our education staff members and our students.

Demand Illinois Lawmakers Provide Safe Schools for All

We need your help! We’re calling on the Illinois state legislature to get to work and pass valuable COVID-19 measures to protect our students and our schools.

TAKE ACTION

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NEA ESP Conference: Our Democracy, Our Responsibility, Our Time!

The 2021 NEA Education Support Professional (ESP) National Conference will take place virtually on March 19-21, followed by the NEA ESP of the Year award celebration on Friday, March 26. The NEA ESP National Conference is the premier professional development opportunity for ESPs across the nation.

This year’s conference will offer up to 30 live and 15 on-demand professional learning opportunities over the course of three days. In addition, participants will have multiple opportunities to network and share best practices and strategies with their peers.

The conference is offered to NEA members only. Registration will open in February 2021 and will be free of charge. Because there is no cost to participate in the conference, state affiliates will not need to submit state-nominees to attend this year. Registration will be capped at 2,000 participants and will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis.

Workshop proposals are now being accepted. To submit a workshop for consideration, presenters must complete the Presenter Response Form, in its entirety, no later than Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Workshop selections for this year’s conference will be considered for both live and pre-recorded sessions. All workshop sessions will be 75 minutes in length and will be held on the afternoons of Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21.

Information about the NEA ESP Conference can be found at www.nea.org/espconference. If you need additional assistance, please contact Lisa Connor (LConnor@nea.org) or Jessica Brinkley (JDBrinkley@nea.org).

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Could you use a grant to help your students or community?

Jan. 18 is the application deadline for IEA SCORE Grants. All IEA members are encouraged to apply. Grants for up to $1,000 are available for IEA members and their local associations to collaborate and create opportunities for community service or school projects.

Please note: The selection rubric used to review applications has been updated to provide the following incentives: project proposals by member pairs that include an early career member, application ideas related to the challenges resulting from COVID-19 and/or social justice. The advisory group has recommended funding in the past for member pairs and trios that demonstrate collaboration between veteran and early career members. Educators with more than 10 years of membership are able to apply with, or without, a partner. You can visit this page, scroll down a bit and find a list of previous projects for ideas.

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ESP Webinar Dec. 17

NEA’s next ESP webinar, Institutional Racism and Policing: Impact on ESPs, has been rescheduled to Thursday, Dec. 17 from 7 to 8:15 PM EST. This webinar will highlight how institutional racism is embedded in policing, and how it impacts the experiences of education support professionals (ESPs), especially those of color, as they work to create safer learning environments for all students. We will examine institutional racism at the macro, meso, then micro level, and explore possible solutions with a panel of ESP members. 

Find out more and register now! 

ECE_Para-Teacher Team Webinar_final[1]