Top 10 Things to Do Before Summer Break

Things to Get Done This Week
  1. Please register your preferred home email with us so we can contact you over the summer regarding contract and APPR updates as well as back-to-school info and events.  Complete the simple survey by visiting our website:
  2. Bookmark the WDEA website on your smartphone. Access important info including everything you read in these emails as well as a Retiree Fact Sheet and our WDEA contract under the Important Documents tab (note: password for access is 3115). Go to and bookmark the page today.
  3. Register your teaching certificate during your birth month. I’ll be sending monthly reminders throughout the year (you can NOT register early, you must wait until your birth month). All teachers must register their certificate through NYSED’s TEACH system beginning this July (if you were born in July or August, you must register your certificate this summer). Teachers holding “Professional Certificates” (after Feb 2004) must also catalog 100 hours of professional development/continuing education every 5 years. “Permanent Certificates” (before Feb 2004) are not required to track continued education.  Questions about professional development hours may be directed Liz Dougherty at OHMS, she’s our resident expert.  You may also contact Annette Iamondo in the District Office for quidance on what counts for PD/Continuing Ed. Learn more by visiting NYSUT’s fact sheet or by accessing the TEACH system directly at
  4. Submit any professional development hours and In-Service requests to My Learning Plan before the end of the week. Remember, there is a 5 hour PD requirement (local Westhill requirement) for all teachers, and those receiving certificates after Feb 2004 must complete 100 hours every 5 years. Your MLP hours will be uploaded to TEACH automatically. You may submit hours including staff development days, staff meetings and PLCs, CSE meetings etc. that occur throughout the year. Those hours may be submitted all at once, no need to submit each individual session (ie. submit all meetings for a particular committee on one form). 
  5. Be sure to return FLEX benefit election forms and payroll forms to Cheryl Robinson before the end of next week (June 23).
  6. Contact Cheryl Robinson at the D.O. for all insurance enrollment questions. Open enrollment for health insurance is July 1. If you wish to re-enroll in health insurance, please see Cheryl immediately (if you currently receive health insurance through the district, you’re all set-no need to do anything). Open enrollment for all other benefits (Vision, Dental, Disability, Life etc. is Sept. 1. Enrollment forms for those benefits must be completed in August to meet the Sept. 1 deadline.
  7. There is no need to upload artifacts this year for your APPR. Although you are always welcome to upload artifacts or share information with your principal, this step is not required.
  8. Visit the New York State Teacher Retirement System to learn more about buying back prior service credit for military service.  New this year (just signed two weeks ago), veterans who served in the military during non-combat times are now eligible to buy back up to three years of service and add it to their NYSTRS service credit.  Yes, that means you could retire earlier than you originally thought, or at least retire with a bigger pension. Learn more by visiting the NYS Comptroller’s website or by contacting NYSTRS directly at  Call 1-800-348-7298 ext. 6030 for prior service questions.
  9. Stop by the NYSUT booth in the Center of Progress during the Great NYS Fair. If you’re at the Fair on Saturday, Sept. 3, look for our WDEA brothers and sisters between 10AM and 10PM. Sept. 3rd is WDEA day at the NYSUT Fair booth.
  10. Save the date: October 16th is the date for this year’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk. This year’s event is being held right in our back yard at the OCC SRC Arena. Please consider being part of the WDEA/Westhill team this year and joining us for a wonderful event. Thanks to Liz Persons for volunteering to be our team captain again this year.

About cnyteacher

News and notes on education, labor, politics and the arts from CNY teacher Greg McCrea.
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