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Schools still have nearly 200 vacancies

By the Notebook on Aug 30, 2011 05:55 PM

by Avi Wolfman-Arent

Two days before teachers are due to report for the first day of school, nearly 200 positions have yet to be filled and hundreds more teachers are just now learning where they will be working for the coming school year.

Filling vacancies has been particularly difficult for the Promise Academies, according to the District’s online vacancy list.

As of Tuesday morning there were 303 openings listed, but that number was reduced to 186 by the end of the day as teachers continued to choose among the open positions, according to Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

The Promise Academies have the leeway to choose all their teachers through site selection – meaning the principals and school leadership can choose – but were unable to complete their staffs that way. The nine Promise Academies accounted for nearly 20 percent of the 303 vacancies as of Tuesday morning, and eight abortive Promise Academies accounted for dozens more.

These vacancies will now be filled like the remaining vacancies in other schools – with teachers choosing positions for which they qualify according to seniority.

PFT spokeswoman Barbara Goodman said that 526 of more than 1,200 teachers laid off had been called back, based on their qualifications for the remaining openings.

The Promise Academies were thrown into particular turmoil by the layoffs because most of their teachers were low on the seniority list. A legal battle between the PFT and the District over whether these teachers could be exempted from layoffs dragged out all summer, delaying the placement process for all the schools. 

At Potter-Thomas, a Promise Academy located at 6th and Indiana Streets in North Philadelphia, Principal Dywonne Davis-Harris expressed faith that her school’s five remaining teacher vacancies would be filled by this Thursday, September 1, when teachers are due to report.

“I’m optimistic,” Davis-Harris said. “I think we’ll get off to a good start.”

Davis-Harris said she knew of at least one called-back teacher who had already selected Potter-Thomas – bringing the total number of vacancies down to four – and anticipated more matches in the coming days. This is the third year in a row that she has had to build a new team of teachers at Potter-Thomas, which was in the first cohort of Promise Academies last year.

Having such uncertainty right up to the start of the school year is not good for schools and teachers, many of whom take weeks to prepare their classrooms and prepare in other ways for the year.

Jordan said that most teachers manage to adapt.

"Where there can be a challenge for a teacher is in the elementary grades,” he said. “If you taught 1st grade this year and that’s your experience and you’re at a school and you’re going to 6th grade, that’s going to be a challenge. …It’s not one that they can’t rise to because they’re trained and certified.”

Of the schools with 10 or more vacancies, all are either Promise Academies or were scheduled to become Promise Academies before the initiative was scaled back due to the District’s budget crisis.

As of Tuesday morning, Roberto Clemente Middle School had 16 vacancies, followed by Germantown High School with 14, Alcorn School with 13, and Barry School with 12.

Clemente is one of the six original Promise Academies. Germantown is a new one this year and Alcorn and Barry are among the eight schools originally slated for the makeover but then dropped due to the cuts.

West Philadelphia and Martin Luther King high schools, both new Promise Academies, had eight openings each.

This isn’t the first time that the District has been so close to opening with large numbers of vacancies. Other years, especially those in which contract negotiations go down to the wire, have seen school start with as many as 300 vacancies. In recent years, as teacher shortages have waned, the numbers have been much better. In 2009, schools opened with fewer than two dozen vacancies.

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Comments (110)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 7:46 pm

Just another mess left by Queen Arlene.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 7:34 pm

So, let me get this straight. I was forced out of a school I worked at for 8 years because the new principal decided that I wasn't "Promise Academy" material, only to learn now that I could have simply chosen to stay there? What kind of crock is that???

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:52 pm

Ackermania !! Chaos in all directions, ripping and running without regard to rights, contracts etc.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 1:02 am

I think I promised you $5 if I was rehired. Want to give me your address so I can send you the money? ($4.56 after postage is deducted).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 8:30 am

Hey, you're cheating me out of $.44 cents. I just hope you got unemployment too. Ackermania.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 7:29 pm

So, let me get this straight. I was forced out of a school I worked at for 8 years because the new principal decided that I wasn't "Promise Academy" material, only to learn now that I could have simply chosen to stay there? What kind of crock is that???

Submitted by Veteran Teacher (not verified) on August 30, 2011 8:45 pm

Okay, you younger teachers - and new hires - I hate to say "I told you so," but after some intense hiring (and herculean work by the hiring staff!) today, 117 positions were filled and 186 still remain open. Add to this the number of vacancies that will be left by teachers who never show up at all, those who will quit in the first couple of weeks, and the number of laid-off teachers who have been hired by other school districts (or non- educational employers) and/or are no longer seeking work with the SDP, and chances are pretty darn good that you will find a position SOMEWHERE. It will all work out and your patience WILL be rewarded. Best wishes to all!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 30, 2011 8:23 pm

It is my understanding that a number of teachers did not show up for today's selection of positons. It is also my understanding that there will be another session tomorrow to place teachers from the recall list/layoff list. There may be more than one session tomorrow. It is also my understanding that phone calls were being made to people's homes to inform them that they could come down to 440 to select a school.

Hang in there folks, the race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure to the end.

Good luck to those who go tomorrow and those who will receive the phone calls soon.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:17 pm

A major part of the problem is that the recall notices came out too late. I got mine this afternoon telling me that I should RSVP for today's Noon session. How can I do that if I don't get the document in advance? So I decided to go downtown anyway. I tried to reach someone via phone the entire way down without success (no one answering, no room left on anyone's voicemail). I don't want to think of all of the opportunities that I missed in the hour+ before I arrived. I was not the only person who was marked as a "NO SHOW." They fixed that immediately and thankfully I was able to choose something that I was interested in. Folks if you don't have plans and are keen to work you may want to take a chance and just go down there tomorrow.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 30, 2011 10:21 pm

I think that is good advice because there are still many vacancies and they are doing everything to get teachers into positions. I think the first session is at 8:30am.

Submitted by Pink Slipped (not verified) on August 31, 2011 11:41 am

I received a recall letter on August 30th. The letter was dated 8/16 and was run through the postage meter on 8/26. The letter instructed me to go to 440 on August 30th at 3:00. Since I received the letter after my scheduled meeting time, it was impossible to be there. I would imagine that I'm not the only "no show" due to the late receipt of the letter.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 1:44 pm

Go anyhow.

Submitted by Anon. (not verified) on August 30, 2011 8:17 pm

Still waiting for my call to come back.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 8:42 pm

I just checked the messages on my phone and there was one from someone at 440. They said I was a callback and could come in today( I wish I heard the message earlier) or tomorrow at 8:30 or 12. My certification is 7-12 Social Studies with a Sept. 2010 hire date.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:57 pm

This must be incredibly frustrating. I could be completely wrong, but it sounds like you were let go because of LIFO. If you wouldn't mind, I would really like to hear more about your situation. Obviously you want to be teaching and it is so unfortunate that people like you cannot be. If you would like to contact me, my email address is ddsher2525@gmail.com.
You are more than welcome to stay anonymous!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 30, 2011 8:02 pm

It appears that they have called back people who have a Sept. 2010 hire date, so maybe your call is coming. Hang in there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:40 pm

EVERYBODY will be called back, of course,.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 10:44 pm

I don't know why you say that. I am laid off and here it is the first day of school for teachers and I'm still home. So many people have said that throughout the summer and it isn't really true. I know of others still not called back. The vacancy list has no more elem ed cert positions open. It is just very frustrating to hear the word EVERYBODY when it is not true.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 10:25 pm

The district is in chaos. You will be recalled--just a matter of time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 1:50 am

August 30th's session that I sat in on (no good movies in theaters) was for K-6 teachers with a September 1st, 2009 hire date.

There were some September 1st, 2010 hires but they were for rarer certifications like Sp. Ed., certain counselings, bilingual education, and probably a few more I forget.

I do not think K-6 teachers are being called back with September 1st, 2010 hire dates yet--if they ever will.

There were TONS of no shows but half the people I interviewed said they had only received the letter in the mail today and rushed over or they had found out by calling or emailing the District.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 6:55 am

Did you get a job?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:17 am

Yes I did get one despite my 9/1/2010 hire date because of my bilingual designation (go Clemente!). The K-6 teachers with no other designation being recalled had a 9/1/2009 hire date. Newer recalls may have happened on 8/31, I don't know.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 9:43 pm

who do we call at 440 to find out about our status. my school has 5 spots left and one is mine! i want to be with my kids again and its getting close to crunch time. i know that they are calling back sept 2010 sped certs and the union said they didn't know where i was on the list. please help

Submitted by LaidOffTeacher (not verified) on August 30, 2011 9:51 pm

Well, I was hired in Sept 2009, elementary ed, with a couple add ons including ESL, but received nothing. Checked last week and they have all of my current contact information. Any other 2009 Elementary Ed teachers out there who've yet to be recalled, or any hired after 9/2009 who were recalled. Sometimes I have a feeling that I didn't get the letter or have been overlooked.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 30, 2011 10:23 pm

Have you checked the vacancy list for elementary positions? I know someone who was hired in 11/2009 and they have been called back, but they are special ed certified. Phone calls are being made to recall teachers, counselors because we are getting too close to school opening.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:04 pm

I was hired Sept. 2009 Emergency Cert. LS and I did not get a call back.
Wondering if any other Emergency Cert. LS teacher's been called back? Maybe there not calling emerg. cert.'s back. Oh I wish it was all clear.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 30, 2011 10:47 pm

I thought an emergency certification was only good for one year and they aren't renewable. I don't know for sure but that is what I thought. So, perhaps that is why you haven't heard anything.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:35 am

No you can renew it just has to be done yearly on hard to fill positions. You must provide hr with official transcripts as proof of the classes your enrolled in.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks for the clarification. Good luck.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:51 pm

I am sure you will be recalled and likely next week. Time is on your side, of course, though I realize it is all ridiculous and cruel--Ackermania.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:30 am

It is, it just doesn't make any sense at all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 10:14 am

Yes, it's horrible stuff.

Submitted by Veteran Teacher (not verified) on August 30, 2011 10:40 pm

Whether you have been called back or not, JUST GO DOWN TO 440 TOMORROW AND MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN. What's the worst that can happen?

Submitted by ANNOYED (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:23 am

Probably a good call...they are scrambling down at 440 and everything is happening at once. It may be last minute, but it beats being layed off! Good luck everyone!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:48 am

I am thrilled that teachers are being called back, but here's the question - Why were they laid off in the first place? If there was no money in June; why is there money in August? Where did the district get the money to rehire teachers?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 7:06 am

I truly believe that the district is facing a budget problem, but to what degree I am not sure and I don't think anyone really knows the extent of the problem except a select group of people.

I am not sure, but a new fiscal year might begin as of July 1st so there might have been more money again, but it is real clear that there is money coming from somewhere, the sky perhaps.

What was really sad was that in June, so many lives were turned around because of the lay offs. I feel particularly sorry for young teachers who had families, who had homes, etc. who lived through a nightmare not knowing the entire summer what was going to happen--and there are still many who don't have jobs yet because they have not been called back yet.

Was the lay off really necessary? Who gained while others lost? Only a select group of individuals can answer these questions and I am just sitting and waiting for the answers, but not holding my breath.

For those of you who are going today to select a school, good luck and remember if you get a school, be grateful. It may not be where you want to be, but be grateful that you have a job. Benefits kick in tomorrow! And if you are really a teacher, or as my grandmother used to say, "A real teacher", keep in mind that we are here to educate children, to make a difference in the lives of children.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 10:16 pm

Ackermania 101.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 7:06 am

I know of many first year promise academy teachers that have been called back to the promise acdemies......

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 7:45 am

That's interesting because Promise Academy vacancies are now traditional vacancies and teachers go and select those positions, foregoing the interview process for a postion.

Submitted by LaidOffTeacher (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:22 am

I suggest you call if you are laid off! Call now! I just called and they said come down today at noon to pick! Makes me wonder if I should have been recalled much earlier! Also, makes me wonder why I called and if I really want to work for these people any longer!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:08 am

Who did you call and what number?

Submitted by LaidOffTeacher (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:34 am

Call the Professional Staffing office. They were very helpful, very disorganized, but very helpful.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 10:37 am

I have been recalled!!! Can't wait to eat school lunch tomorrow!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 10:44 am

What is your hire date and what is your cert?

Submitted by gdgman3 on August 31, 2011 4:27 pm

I was just recalled. My hire date was 9/1/10 and I am special ed cert. I was near the bottom third on the list of 335 special ed teachers laid off when I checked in June. It's pretty slim pickings on the list of available positions at this point, maybe another 10 or 20. It could get updated, however. Good luck!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:00 pm

I am also a 9/1/10 hire on the Special Ed list, but have not heard anything. When I called the School District they wouldn't tell me where I was on the list. I spoke to someone at the PFT and the woman was extremely unhelpful (unlike the two other people I spoke to this week) and she told me I was still "way, way down on the list". Initially I was told I was #243 out of 335 in June. Now I am worried that I have been passed over.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:31 am

They won't pass you over (providing everything you have is properly on file). They might fail to notify you that you have been recalled (my letter never came). Both happened to me. I had to scramble to get my certification on file with the District and then I had to call 440 a few times saying "my friend was recalled with my hire date, what about me" and I was told, "oh, you should be in room 1075 tomorrow, you should have gotten a letter". Keep checking to avoid being a no show. If you have time go to room 1075, I think the sessions were at noon and 3pm and see if you are on the current lists or maybe on an older list as a no show.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:59 am

Thanks for responding. I just called 440 and they told me they haven't gotten down on the list to 9/1/10 in Special Ed. I am going to call the PFT. I am going to keep trying. Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 11:48 am

They ARE down to special assignments for Special Ed, which would be August 15th or after, so you can't be that far down the list.

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on August 31, 2011 3:45 pm

Those of you that got recalled today or just went downtown..Did you get a phone call or letter? What happened when you called or showed up? I'm a first year layoff but will risk driving down there if you think it will get me somewhere!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:12 pm

I got a call yesterday. Social Studies 7-12 Sept 2010 hire date. I went down to 440 at 8:30 today and waited for my name to be called. I picked a school and then met my new principal. She told me she had some other name, but hasn't talked to this other teahcer yet. She couldn't get through to anyone at 440 either.e

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 6:55 pm

I got a letter. When I went down yesterday, there were many, many names that were called and the persons did not show up. Go down to 440, be pro-active.

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on August 31, 2011 3:55 pm

THose of you that recalled or just went down there without being called...What was your outcome? i'm tired of this waiting game!!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 6:42 pm

I ended right back at the school I was at last school term. I was going to pick another school, but decided that I had spent too much money on materials and supplies and with my luck, I would go somewhere else where I couldn't use what I had bought. This way, I already know my students and what their needs are.

Good luck to you. Be pro-active and go down to 440.

Submitted by Anon. (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:37 pm

They told me that I wasn't called back yet and maybe I'll be called back Thurs or Fri. A waste of time, although I got to see the incompetence in action.

Submitted by Still Hoping (not verified) on August 31, 2011 3:42 pm

I keep calling and none one is answering. I pressed 5 for the professional staffing and no answer. Pressed 0 for the next available person. A very nice woman answered, told me that there was probably information for me but that I need to press 5. So after dialing several times I still have no answers.

Submitted by Still Hoping (not verified) on August 31, 2011 3:52 pm

I keep calling and none one is answering. I pressed 5 for the professional staffing and no answer. Pressed 0 for the next available person. A very nice woman answered, told me that there was probably information for me but that I need to press 5. So after dialing several times I still have no answers.

Submitted by Still Hoping (not verified) on August 31, 2011 5:26 pm

I finally got a hold of someone and she was very nice. She told me they were only on Feb/March of 2010 for el ed cert. But she stopped me from hanging up and told me that they are hoping for zero vacancies at the end of today but who knows what will happen and who will show up tomorrow or Friday. I was told to call back Friday and stay available and able to check email because that will most likely how they would be in contact. Fingers crossed.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 6:46 pm

I don't know if it is a major inconvience, but show up at 440. They aren't going to turn you away. Be pro-active. Good luck to you.

Submitted by Anon. (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:11 am

Didn't work. They are going by the list. The list is king!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:08 am

I was just headed down there....tell me more please, your cert, hire date, where you went.

Submitted by Anon. (not verified) on September 1, 2011 3:55 pm

Social Studies, 9/3/11, Rm 1075

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:00 pm

My daughter was laid off at the end of the school year and called back yesterday.

They stopped her medical coverage in July. Now, I suspect, they'll start it up again.

Was this layoff a ploy to not pay 2 months of medical coverage for 1200 teachers?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on August 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Medical coverage begins tomorrow, Sept. 1, 2011.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:42 am

What are you daughter's certification and hire date?

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:31 pm

Okay, here's what you should do. Go to 440 first thing tomorrow.Room 1075. Show up if you can't get someone on the phone. There were many, many teachers who did not show up today. But, I think I know why! Today I called and was told to just come in at noon, but I hadn't received a letter. However, when I got home today, there it was. A recall letter stating that my date/time to pick was yesterday at 3pm!!! The letter was dated 8/16!!! Postmarked 8/26/11. Had I not called this morning, I would have missed this afternoons session as well! They aren't calling everyone. They are also mailing letters. So, my only advice is to just show up and demand information. I'm certain that if this process was investigated, a lawsuit would be filed on the incompetence and unjust process that has just happened. There wasn't much to pick from, but that doesn't mean that tomorrow things won't open up. Teachers will not show up and there will be positions. The good thing about picking tomorrow or later is that you'll be special assignment, so you can pick again next year if you choose. Those of us today and before are committed to 2 years. Good luck those who've yet to be recalled.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 4:02 pm

This is a big problem and we should be exempt from the 2 year commitment. I have multiple certs and was looking to move from an elem ed position to a MY job. I was told that I must pick elem ed or resign. Now I can't site select or pick next year. I was special assignment last year and would not have had it this way if the layoffs hadn't happened. I shouldn't be punished twice for wanting to work.

PFT needs to look into all this.

Submitted by BJ (not verified) on August 31, 2011 5:32 pm

Well, I was one of the 1500 laid off in June. I'm actually glad I'm not going back there. I got a job at a learning center, and I don't get cursed at, have kids who want to learn, have supportive administrators, don't have to buy my own stuff --- so kiss my ass PSD.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 5:22 pm

You didn't learn that in Catholic School !! Best of Luck.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 6:34 pm

Good Riddence, you're the type that give all of us honest, hard working teachers a bad name. We are better off without you!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 1, 2011 6:50 pm

May the force go with you!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 5:44 pm

To give you an idea of where they are in call backs, today a 2010 Sept. 1st hire in elementary ed was hired back at a Promise Academy.

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on August 31, 2011 5:54 pm

I think that if you want to work in a Promise Academy, they will hire you, no matter what your number is, from my understanding. I'm wondering if people who haven't gotten calls or letters could still go downtown and pick. I know for a fact that they haven't gotten to me yet, but I'm thinking that if I go there and say give me a school, they just might.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 6:03 pm

They will call you and very likely tomorrow or Friday. As always, they are short teachers. Gee, I'm so shocked.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 6:08 pm

What a crazy system! I had to re-apply for a job at the school where I worked at for 8 years, only to be told by the new principal that I "wasn't what they are looking for." Now I find out that I just could have waited and went down and picked my old job! Ridiculous!

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on August 31, 2011 7:52 pm

Tell me about it. I volunteered to stay at my school, which would be described as awful by most people. I get laid off and there are still openings at my school. I would go back immediately!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 31, 2011 8:32 pm

Does anyone know what it is like to work for Universal Charters? I am seriously considering it as an alternative to the PSD craziness! Info is much needed!

Submitted by Anonymous Laid Off Teacher (not verified) on August 31, 2011 9:11 pm

I think Universal is a decent company. They have taken over about 6 schools so far, all neighborhood schools. The school day is longer (3:30 I think) and the staff is required to wear a uniform, however, the pay scale and benefits are comparable to the District. It is definitely an option.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 10:28 pm

SURELY you jest, my friend.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 10:31 pm

SURELY you jest, my friend.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 5:31 pm

I got a call on tuesday and picked a middle years social studies position on Wednesday. I met the principal and she told me she had received another name. Today, I go to school and the other teacher shows up. We waited around all day (when we should have been getting our rooms ready). At 2:30 I get a call telling me there was a mistake and they only have one social studies vacancy left, and i can take it or leave it. Needless to say i am not thrilled with my situation. I am hoping for the best and the only positive I can see now is that i am what is called 2nd chance which could help come next June.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 5:42 pm

What is 2nd chance?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:29 pm

Second Chance means you picked a school, didn't get it (could have been due to SDP error, picking out of turn, or whatever), and as a result were forced to go to a different school, teach one year, and next June choose to stay at that school or use your Second Chance to pick a new school. You will be called to select before forced and voluntary transfers. Not a bad situation actually. Of course, they may do things differently now -- I had a second chance years ago. Worked for me!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 6:15 pm

I'm sorry to hear...I wish the best

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 5:54 pm

Do we know how many teachers did not show up today? Last year was like 270 right? I wonder when that stat will be unveiled...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 5:15 pm

Nunnery to the rescue. No wait. Is he still on vacation?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:09 pm

It sounds like so many of you were laid off because of your hire date. It is truly unfair what you are going through! I would really like to hear more about your situation, even if you were hired back. You can always stay anonymous and you can email me if you feel more comfortable. My email is ddsher2525@gmail.com

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 7:04 pm

The contract that we have via our collective bargaining does not allow for any layoffs that are NOT doen by seniority. You do not seem to know about the school system in Philadelphia, so you may get more information if you clarify why you want people to email you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:15 pm

It ABSOLUTELY was a ploy to save the district money. Did they know they would hire this many back? Who knows, but they knew they would have to call people back to function as a district. I also believe it was used to fight Harrisburg as well. When you have that many laid off employees, it's a better argument to get more money. No brainer.

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on September 1, 2011 7:16 pm

Today a friend of mine who was hired in September 2010 was hired back. My other friend, who was hired the same day as the aforementioned friend, didnt even get so much as a phone call. I was hired in October and heard nothing. However, someone who was hired in November 2010 got called back too. When I called HR, they said they filled all the positions and that I may get called next week, depending on how many teachers dont show up. I want to know why I was skipped, because now I missed out on opportunities today.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 1, 2011 8:28 pm

I was overlooked as well but I was persistent with calling the Pft and 440. Come to find out I should have picked on Tuesday but did not receive a call, email, or letter!!!! They had me as a no show but had neglected to contact me. I was told to come down today and pick from what was left which was very few, but I'm so excited to have a job, the school doesnt really matter. My advice is to go down to 440. My hire date is 9/1/2010 but my list date is years lower because I left the district and came back. When teachers have the same hire date they go by the list date if those are the same they go by the score. Don't give up hope although I know it seems dire right now! I think many more people will get called back because of resignations, retirements, etc.

Submitted by Still Hoping (not verified) on September 1, 2011 11:18 pm

What are there certifications?

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 2, 2011 11:41 pm

I was thinking the same thing....It probably has to do with what their certification is in why they haven't received a letter yet. Hang in there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 10:31 pm

Chances are very good that they will be calling people right and left come Oct. Several hundred will burn out the first month. Stick in there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 3:08 am

Aside: I talked to the mailman today and asked him if Irene had delayed the mail. He said he had been getting a bunch of complaints from people who normally got paychecks, SS, or whatever and hadn't gotten it on their normal day. I got my recall letter today even though the post mark was over a week ago and I went to the recall room on Monday. Bad timing for mail issues.

Not that this means the District still isn't at fault.

Submitted by Pink Slipped (not verified) on September 2, 2011 2:53 pm

I don't know about your letter, but mine was run through the postage meter on August 26th. That does not mean that they actually mailed them on the 26th. There is no post mark on my letter. I got it after I was supposed to pick.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2011 2:23 pm

That is terrible. Let us know what they are doing to fix that for you. I am also laid off, hired on September 4, 2009 and I have heard nothing at all. Good luck hopefully starting back to school on Tuesday.

Submitted by NoLongerALaidOffTeacher (not verified) on September 2, 2011 7:36 pm

If your start date was 9/4/09, then you most likely have been recalled.

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 2, 2011 11:02 pm

Many have said the same thing about the post mark being August 26th, 2011. But the date on the letter says August 16th, 2011 for many who have the same post mark date. That being said, the letters appear to me, to have sat somewhere for several days before they were delievered. They could have sat at the SD or they could have sat at the PO.

Submitted by Waiting for a call (not verified) on September 2, 2011 3:53 pm

Update: I called hr today to find out if I was skipped. I spoke to a very nice woman who asked me for my name. She found me on the list and said I was not skipped and that they haven't gotten to October 2009 hires yet. She asked for my updated email and phone number and said when they hire the next round, they will be sending letters, emails and phone calls. She said I will have enough notice and won't be expected to come the day I get the email. I explained to her that I had to get another job in the meantime and she said we understand that. She couldn't give me a set timeframe of when the next round would be but did saythey expect many teahers to not show up next week. If anyone wants to double check if you were skipped, I would call. Also make sure they have your email and phone number on file.

Submitted by Erika Owens (not verified) on September 2, 2011 5:40 pm

As of Friday afternoon, Kristen Graham reports the District says there are no more vacancies.

Submitted by Waiting for a call (not verified) on September 3, 2011 12:06 am

Regarding the postmarks. I had an issue on two separate occasions with the district mailing me my final pay and my lost prep pay. They insisted they mailed it on a certain date an then I didn't receive it until about two weeks after they claimed they mailed it. Whe. I finally received it, the post mark on it was two days from before I actually got it. So either they were lying about when it was sent out, or it sat somewhere for two weeks. I'm stil waiting for a check that they claim was mailed out on august 18.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 8, 2011 2:00 pm

Comment removed at author's request.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 8, 2011 7:16 pm

I think it is important to remember that the STUDENTS in the "worst neighborhoods" are the ones getting the real shaft here.

Urban education is difficult. It has challenges that no teacher prep program could ever prepare you for. In Philly, we are too often asked to do things that teachers in most districts would find unfathomable, unreasonable, bizarre.

It seems that perhaps you will fit in better in a different environment. The district right now is facing a serious situation in which we need to do the best we can with what we've got, and people who are afraid of the neighborhoods the schools are in can't do that. Remember, the students you bailed on LIVE THERE.

But, thanks for leaving a spot for someone who wants it. Maybe it will make me one day closer to my callback.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 8, 2011 7:00 pm

It's obvious that you have not yet worked in a school where these things have happened to you . The so called students I "bailed" on are a product of there environment. A miracle worker could come down in there school and it still wouldn't make a difference. If these children wanted to change they would respect the teacher take there help take school serious and try to break the mold.they were in 8th grade not babies. But they don't. Bailed is the wrong word you don't no me you were not there. My dream was to be a teacher and make a difference not put my life at risk. If I wanted to do that I'd be a cop. Just admit it it's the city we live in and it's a real shame. Get assaulted by a child like I did last year and see how long you last good luck on your call back I'm sure it'll be a place you'll love (not) and strive to make a difference. talk to some of the sdp teachers and get a clue.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 8, 2011 8:58 pm

I worked in a disciplinary school in the district. I did get assaulted, saw riots, had students light things on fire. Most teachers work in schools like the one you described, and most of us would love to be back in them. It sounds like maybe you are the one who did not understand what they were getting into. Why on earth would anyone who was scared of bad neighborhoods get a job in an urban district?

I saw the effects of teachers who had the attitude you describe on students. The students who get called the "bad kids" and cast aside time after time. After years of teachers like this, it is no wonder that they are discouraged and distrustful. It can be undone but it takes a lot of work. The environment outside of school certainly doesn't help matters, and schools are not responsible for parenting, but we should still try our best.

Teachers who have grandiose ideas about "making a difference" are usually the ones who quit. I haven't been around long, but long enough to see this. You end up hitting your head against a brick wall thinking that your presence is magically going to cause huge changes.

Submitted by anonYmOUs TEACHer (not verified) on September 8, 2011 8:29 pm

(Are you really a teacher, with this number of spelling and grammar mistakes? I realize you're angry, but still...)

I started out 5 years ago in an extremely difficult situation also -- "float" in a high school, no supplies, no tech, fights in my classes, etc. I nearly had a complete breakdown -- came within a hair's breadth of walking down the hall and checking out for good. Luckily, a friend happened to call me at that moment (he knew I was in very bad shape) and he just said, "Well, you can always quit tomorrow, you know." It gave me pause...

I can't say the rest of the year went much better (I took a LOT of tranquilizers!), but I'm glad I stayed. It's been a long journey (and unfortunately I was a forced transfer this year) but I'm doing fine now. I'm in a different challenging school, but I'm better at managing both my classroom and my emotions. I actually feel a little hopeful -- wow. I agree with those who say that urban teaching is a "whole thing". It's crazy, but at some level, it's also fun and rewarding. Maybe one tiny thing I do might tip a tiny scale in a tiny soul. Who knows?

BTW I was an experienced teacher coming in -- I had to move to Philly for family reasons. Good luck to you!

Submitted by Teachwhocares on September 8, 2011 8:18 pm

Well, well. Perhaps, little Miss, I should share my story with you. I was in a school last year where the whole school was off the chain and everyone in the school was off the chain. I had never seen the things that I saw at this school before in my life, basically, the same behaviors that you describe in your earlier post. I was in a very, very poor area and many of the students were hungry, didn't have adequate clothing, some had poor hygiene, etc....The students fought each other and attempted to fight me (notice I said attempted), cursed at each other, and at me. The students did whatever they thought they were big enough to do. But you know what, these same children begun to turn around at the end of the school year and I was able to see that some had improved in their behaviors and in their academics. Guess what, despite everything that I went through, I returned to their school again this year because I believe in my heart that I am capable of reaching more of those children. I believe that I can make a difference in a few more children this school year. I realize that I may not make a difference in all of their lives. I might not be able to reach them all, but I will die trying to reach as many of them as I can. Urban education and all that comes with it, is not for everyone. I go into my funds to do buy supplies and materials that these children might never have. And I do it with a willing heart. I recognize one thing, I don't nor have I ever lived under the circumstances that many of the children do. I had two parents who raised their children to be productive members of society and all three of us are productive members of society. I never forget for a moment that I have never experienced life as what many of the students that "we" are charged to teach, to be counselors for, to be role models for, and most importantly, I don't live under the conditions that they do. I want to make a difference in their lives and so I try to teach one and reach one at a time. Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do. I personally wish you the very best.

Submitted by WaitingToBeRecalled (not verified) on September 19, 2011 11:13 am

Does anyone have an update on where they are on callbacks? I am an October 2010 hire. God, I can't wait to go back.

Submitted by StillWaiting (not verified) on October 4, 2011 2:05 pm

Have any of the people who posted on here been recalled since 9/2/11? I am STILL waiting and I am wondering if others are too...

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