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Vote to Protect your Pension. The IMRF Trustee Election has started!

You helped get them on the ballot, now it’s time to cast your vote! The IEA is supporting our own Hugh Cunningham, the co-president of the Triad Custodial and Maintenance Association along with Tracie Mitchell of AFSCME Local 268 in the upcoming Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Trustee election. A ballot and postage-paid return envelope were mailed at the end of October to all active ESPs. Ballots must be returned by Dec. 4. Please spread the word with your ESP colleagues and place this poster in your breakrooms on the association boards.

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ESP Leadership Training Opportunity

The IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders Academy (ESP-ELA) is a partnership between the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to provide a state based ESP Leadership Institute (formerly ESP Leaders for Tomorrow) for IEA ESP members. The ESP-ELA is designed to provide leadership training and support for IEA’s emerging ESP leaders.

The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 14. Apply now!
For more information, email Crystal Bush or call her at 847-794-5204.

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November 18th is National ESP Day!!!

Join NEA and schools across the country during American Education Week as we show our appreciation for our nation’s amazing school support staff! Every year since 1987, we have celebrated their dedication and commitment to education, but this year, we have seen ESPs go beyond anything we have seen before. ESPs are adapting to new learning and working environments, going to extraordinary lengths to meet the needs of their students. They continue to work to make our communities a better place in the midst of a pandemic.

Over the past several months, ESPs have been busy passing out meals to their communities, sanitizing school buildings, maintaining proper HVAC systems, supporting distance learning, making phone calls to check on students and so much more. Whether our schools are virtual, in-person, or a mix of both, ESPs are helping to ensure students are safe, healthy and ready to learn.

Let’s honor ESPs by recognizing their critical importance to public education and advocating for the professional respect they deserve. Celebrate the ESPs in your schools and communities, using our resources for online engagement and advocacy.
Check out the ESP Day toolkit.
Help us spread the word! Share these ESP Day graphics on your social media channels to kickoff the virtual celebration!
#WeLoveOurESPs    #AEW2020

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November ESP Virtual Roundtable: Bargaining in the New Normal

November 19th: 6:30-8:00pm

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):

You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s November roundtable where the discussion will include the successes and challenges ESPs are currently facing. Special guest, Uniserv Director Jill Lee out of the IEA Minooka office will offer important insight and resources for ESPs as they prepare for bargaining in this turbulent time. Participants can share their best practice and gather new ideas to enhance their job duties.

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 www.ieaespcouncil.com.

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Your input is requested for the 2021-23 IEA biennial budget

Shared to you by IEA Vice President Al Llorens.

You are invited to participate in a survey to help the budget committee formulate the 2021-23 IEA biennial budget. Your input is important for the budget committee’s consideration.

Please forward this message to your members so they may also complete the survey.

Please take the time to read the information on every page to make a more fully informed decision about each item, and allow approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the survey. The survey will close Nov. 15.

Complete the Survey

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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New Grant Opportunity

NEA is pleased to announce a new initiative called the Safe and Just Schools Partnership Funding Program. This program will award funding to state and local NEA affiliates who work to implement projects and partnerships that address systemic inequities and unjust education practices that hinder healthy, safe, and just learning and working environments for students and educators in their schools, campuses and communities.  

The funding will range from $3,000 to $75,000 depending on the number of members, students, or community members associated with the application. We are launching an outreach effort to reach membership across the country about this opportunity starting later this week.  

We couldn’t be prouder of our Association for tackling racial inequities head-on by making this program a reality. We look forward to seeing the incredible and innovative work of our members. Please share the information about this important new resource far and wide with all your members and staff!  

More information: https://www.nea.org/resource-library/safe-and-just-schools-partnership-funding.

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Education Support Professional Day November 18th!

National ESP Day is on Wednesday of American Education Week and falls on November 18, 2020! Let’s honor ESPs by recognizing their contributions to school communities and advocating for the professional respect they deserve.

ESP Day 2020 Facebook Graphic

Celebrate the ESPs in your schools and communities using our resources for online engagement and advocacy.

●     View ESP Day Toolkit

●     Download Graphics

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I’ll get the dust pan…to clean up that broken glass!

Shared from Facebook – I burst into tears when I saw this. All credit belongs to https://wtfamerica2017.com/ Collaboration of @briagoeller and @goodtrubble. For those reminding us that the shadow of the little girl is a representation of Ruby Bridges from Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We Live With” and is the reason it hit me emotionally. I had originally thought the wonderful artist Kara Walker was the source, but that’s not the case. Her work can be found here: http://www.karawalkerstudio.com/ Thank you to everyone wanting to be sure credit is given to the artists and creators.

Cheryl Barnes-Neff

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Vote to protect your pension in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Trustee election

The IEA recommends our own Hugh Cunningham, co-president of the Triad Custodial and Maintenance Association, and Tracie Mitchell, an emergency communication specialist and the recording secretary for AFSCME Local 268. Hugh and Tracie will advocate for the retirement security of all IMRF participants.

You are eligible to vote in this trustee election if you were an active IMRF member during the month of September. A ballot and postage-paid return envelope were mailed at the end of October to all active ESPs.

Please fill out the ballot for two candidates, Hugh Cunningham and Tracie Mitchell. Ballots must be returned by Dec. 4.

Please download this poster and place it in your break room on the association board.

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November’s ESP Council Roundtable

Discussion Topic: ESPs Bargaining in the New Normal

November 19th, 2020

6:30-8:00pm

Attention all Education Support Professionals (“ESP”):

You are invited to attend the IEA ESP Council’s November roundtable where the discussion will include the successes and challenges ESPs are currently facing. Special guest, Uniserv Director Jill Lee out of the IEA Minooka office will offer important insight and resources for ESPs as they prepare for bargaining in this turbulent time.   Participants can share their best practice and gather new ideas to enhance their job duties.

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 comment below.

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Did You Know?

Did you know that IEA can bring professional development to you and your school district? The IEA will work with you and your school district to tailor professional development specially for your district. This is done usually at little to no cost.

During this stressful time districts may be more receptive for the support to help plan, prepare, and present useful and relevant professional development for all staff. This also is a great way for members to experience another IEA membership benefit.

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EMELT Virtual Conference

November 6th-7th

Registration is now open. Space is extremely limited and this year it’s only for Illinois residents due to the pandemic. Welcome to the IEA Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leadership VIRTUAL Training Program!Due to the global pandemic, the Ethnic Minority & Emerging Leadership Training (EMELT) will be conducted as a virtual conference and will be FREE to members. https://web.cvent.com/…/813be191-af83-4a86…/summary…

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The Deadline for ESP of the Year is Approaching!!

The deadline to submit an application for ESP of the Year is December 18th and will be here before you know it. As far as I know NO application has been submitted for this years ESPOTY. We know there are so many ESPs that are just plain awesome and equally qualified for this award!!! Please share this information and encourage local presidents to nominate an ESP for this prestigious award.

ESP of the Year Award | Illinois Education Association
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Vote for Fairness

IEA members are supporting the Fair Tax because this amendment is crucial to the funding of our schools. Please join us for upcoming events and volunteer activities!

Sign up and share these links with other educators:

For more information:

Sincerely,

Vote Yes for Fair Tax IEA Statewide Steering Committee

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ESP Wellness Check

If you are anything like me, you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed about now. In many districts students are back and school is in full swing. In my district we have started our back to in-school plan. We are in stage one where our pre-k and instructional students have returned and on Monday a new group of students will start. It definitely has been good to have students back in the building, but with that, added stress and concern has risen. The health and safety of everyone is front and foremost on our minds. The health and safety of all ESPs throughout Illinois is so important.

As I get overwhelmed I retract in to myself. What are you doing for self care? How are doing…No, how are you really doing?

I say this often, but thank you for all you do! Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students!!

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!!!ESP of the Year!!!

We know that ESPs are often underappreciated! Here is your chance to nominate a extraordinary ESP. We currently have NO nominations:(

To insure the widest possible participation, the nomination procedure for the ESP of the Year Award shall be as follows:

  • Each local association affiliate can submit one nominee through their local president.
  • Any member of the IEA Board of Directors may also submit one nomination.
  • Only one application per individual will be accepted. (If multiple applications for the same individual are received, application eligibility will be determined by the earliest received.)
  • Members of the ESP Council and alternates are not eligible for this award.
  • Nominations must be submitted by Dec. 18, 2020.
Education Minnesota on Twitter: "Happy Education Support Professionals Day!  ESPs are the foundation that make schools work. Thank you for making a  difference every single day! #AEW2019 #rESPect #WeLoveOurESPs…  https://t.co/9r3xxZXfDO"
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ESPs Welcome Students Back To School!

Thank you to these fabulous ESP for all you do!! Here are a few pictures from DUEA-U46 and Troy Education Association. If you would like to share photos of the amazing things your ESP are doing please send them to jill.scarcelli@ieanea.org.

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Check out these Member Discounts and Deals

When was the last time you logged in to your IEA Members Benefits website? Checkout this site to find great ways to earn back membership dues. You can find discounts on hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, car rental, grocery coupons, and so much more.

Have you logged in to the IEA Discounts and Deals site? – IEA ESP Council

Printing the grocery coupons is the fastest and easiest way to earn back your membership dues. I can easily save $10-$15 every time I go shopping. Another great benefit is under the automotive tab. Great discounts on car maintenance and purchases.

Don’t miss out on these great deals.

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We Need Your Voice!!

The NEA ESP Quality Department and NEA ESP Careers Strategic Board Committee would like to compile best strategies and practices for how districts are using Education Support Professionals (ESPs) to advance students’ learning, in virtual spaces, through academic support, and helping to meet their social, emotional, health and other needs during the COVID crisis. 

Please take a few minutes to answer this brief survey.  We also ask that you please share with colleagues in your affiliate, school/worksite and district. You may respond to the survey as many times as you like. The insight we gather will be used to inform the creation of NEA resources and guidance. Nothing shared will include identifying information without expressed permission.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennie Young at jyoung@nea.org.

Thank you!

Jennie Young

Senior Program/Policy Specialist | ESP Quality

National Education Association | 1201 Sixteenth Street, NW, Suite 613 | Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-822-7481 | Mobile: 410-370-5279 | Fax: 202-822-7168 | E-mail: jyoung@nea.org

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We need your stories

Good Morning ESP Leaders,

I hope you are all doing well. NEA is looking for stories to share with policymakers when opportunities arrive. If you have stories to share about layoffs impacting your members or about members being harmed after being forced back to work in a physical location before it was safe due to coronavirus, please forward them to me.

Thank you for all you continue to do every day!

In Solidarity,

Lisa Connor
Lisa Connor | ESP Quality

National Education Association | 1201 Sixteenth Street, NW, Suite 613 | Washington, DC 20036

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

Tell Us What Interests You
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ESP Empowerment Day!!

Thank you to the amazing presenters and to all of the awesome ESPs who spent their day with us learning and growing, to become better advocates for ourselves, our members and students. If you were not able to attend, each session was recorded and will be uploaded to the IEA Members Only site next week.

Thank you, for all you do everyday!!

#rESPect

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Register Now for tomorrow’s IEA ESP Empowerment Day!!

Click to register for tomorrow’s virtual IEA ESP Empowerment Day conference. Click the Register Now button. You will receive links to tomorrows sessions after registering.

Event Agenda:
9:00 – 9:30 – Whole Group Welcome from the ESP Council and Keynote – 2020 ESPOTY Debra Ciciora
9:45 – 11:15 – ESPs: Being Relevant in a Remote Learning Environment presented by Debra Ward-Mitchell
11:30 – 1:00 – Change Your Mindset: An Introduction to Cultural Competency and Implicit Bias presented by Ann Bachman-McIntosh
1:15 – 2:45 – Equity and Social Justice for All presented by Gina Harris

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ISBE Survey: ESP to Certified Teacher

Please share this information with all ESPs

The Illinois State Board of Education is looking at new pathways for people to become teachers and is bringing together stakeholders to discuss the issue. The new pathway would help increase the pool of teachers, as well as increase the diversity in that pool. IEA is conducting a survey of our support personnel to see how many would be interested in that alternative pathway if it opened. The survey, called the ESP Pathway to Teaching Survey, includes questions such as:

  • Do you have a degree?
  • If so, in what area of study?
  • Are you interested in teaching?

We are hoping you will share this survey with all the support personnel in your local. The survey will be open for two weeks.

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ESP Empowerment Day

You are invited to the 2020 ESP Day of Empowerment on October 3, 2020.

Event Agenda:
9:00 – 9:30 – Whole Group Welcome from the ESP Council and Keynote – 2020 ESPOTY Debra Ciciora
9:45 – 11:15 – ESPs: Being Relevant in a Remote Learning Environment presented by Debra Ward-Mitchell
11:30 – 1:00 – Change Your Mindset: An Introduction to Cultural Competency and Implicit Bias presented by Ann Bachman-McIntosh
1:15 – 2:45 – Equity and Social Justice for All presented by Gina Harris

This virtual event will be recorded and made available after the event for those who are unable to attend live.
Register by midnight October 1st!
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Don’t miss the ESP Bargaining Resources

Bargaining is always a very stressful time in any organization. It is very important to do research and be prepared so your team can represent your members to the best of your ability. Don’t miss the ESP Bargaining Resources on our ESP Member Resource page. Click the bullet point under the IEA ESP MEMBER RESOURCES link toward the top of the page.

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NEA Grant Opportunity

2020-2021 Student-Centered Bargaining and Advocacy Grant Opportunity 

NEA is pleased to announce the Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy Department (CBMA) is now accepting applications for its 2020-2021 Student-Centered Bargaining and Advocacy Grants.

The grant award range is up to $50,000. The online application form, application template, FAQs, grant terms and conditions, and student-centered advocacy attributes document can be found at http://www.nea.org/grants/63562.htm. There is no deadline for submitting grant applications. Applications may be submitted throughout the year or until all grant funds have been committed.

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Openings-IEA ESP Emerging Leaders Academy

Are you an ESP who is ready to grow your leadership skills or do you know of an ESP who is ready to take the next step in their leadership journey?

There are a few openings spots for ESP members for the IEA-NEA ESP EMERGING LEADERS ACADEMY (ESP-ELA).  This program trains current and future leaders on the leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed to enhance your ability to be a visible and vocal advocate at the local, region, state, and national level.  Topics covered include what makes an effective leader, how to organize, build and maintain membership, how to work with difficult members and how to create an effective local organization.  Participants will also learn more about the IEA, NEA, Unions and Unionism.  This is a nine month (currently remote) learning program that starts in early October.  For additional information please contact Crystal Bush at crystal.bush@ieanea.org 

ESP Emerging Leaders Academy | Illinois Education Association
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Register Today: ESP Empowerment Day

You are invited to the 2020 ESP Day of Empowerment on October 3, 2020.

Event Agenda:
9:00 – 9:30 – Whole Group Welcome from the ESP Council and Keynote – 2020 ESPOTY Debra Ciciora
9:45 – 11:15 – Session 1 – ESPs: Being Relevant in a Remote Learning Environment presented by Debra Ward-Mitchell
11:30 – 1:00 – Session 2 – Change Your Mindset: An Introduction to Cultural Competency and Implicit Bias presented by Ann Bachman-McIntosh
1:15 – 2:45 – Session 3 – Equity and Social Justice for All presented by Gina Harris

This virtual event will be recorded and made available after the event for those who are unable to attend live.
Register by midnight October 1st!
Please respond by clicking Yes or No. We look forward to your response.

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Ever wonder what you get for your membership dues?

Here are just a few amazing benefits!!

Discounts and Deals Program
This program combines the power of more than 500 world-class brands with the advantage of local merchants in communities throughout Illinois and the USA. Learn more.

IEA and NEA member benefits can be found on the the IEA Benefits webpage.

Need legal help? Take a look at NEA’s Attorney Referral Program.

IEA Connect is here to help by phone,Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by email and live chat, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Open Ethnic Minority Representative Position

The IEA ESP Council is looking for ESP members interested in filling the open Ethnic Minority representative position through the spring of 2021 (when the next election is held).

If you are interested in representing and advocating for ESPs throughout Illinois, please type or print your candidate statement. Candidate statements are limited to no more than 100 characters. SPACES AND PUNCTUATION COUNT AS CHARACTERS. Your statement must not include pressure to vote for the candidate and must be non-promotional, factual and objective. 

Candidate statements must be emailed to ESP Council Chair Jill Scarcelli. Deadline to submit a candidate statement is Oct. 23. An election will be held to fill the position at the ESP Council meeting on Nov. 14.

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Webinar-Grief and Self-Care during the Covid19 Pandemic

National Education Association

Education Support Professionals Quality (ESPQ) Department

Center for Great Public Schools Webinar

Grief and Self-Care during the COVID 19 Pandemic

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

Thursday, October 8, 2020

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Register at:

https://nea-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7oAJGFNDTrir_B3jPFtLyg

Stress experienced during the COVID 19 pandemic has changed our way of life and forced many to face new challenges. This webinar will provide an overview of the impact that profound personal losses suffered during the COVID 19 pandemic has had on many and suggest strategies that can be utilized to facilitate mourning as well as promote self-care, wellness and resiliency.

Topics Covered

  • Understanding Personal Grief & Loss
  • COVID 19 & Loss Experiences
  • Coping with Grief and Loss
  • Grief Complications  
  • Self-Care, Wellness & Resiliency Strategies                                                                                                               

All registrants will be asked to take a short, confidential survey before the webinar.  This survey will help us understand and respond to participants’ experiences with loss during these challenging times.  The link to the survey will be sent by separate email at the end of September.

PRESENTER:
Thomas Demaria, Ph.D., Psychologist, National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement, Coalition to Support Grieving Students

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

NEA affiliate leaders, staff, members and partners. All interested parties are welcome. You are encouraged to forward this invite to your partners, leaders and other team members.

FACILITATORS:

Kimberly Bertocci, NEA Sr. Program/Policy Analyst

Jessica Brinkley, NEA Sr. Program/Policy Analyst