Archives for October 2013

Health insurance: Don’t forget!

Don’t forget: Nov. 1 is the deadline to declare your enrollment for employee insurance benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2014. You must meet with a counselor and get your paperwork in order, even if you are continuing the same coverage. You also will find out about some changes. One of them: To keep insurance premiums at the 8-percent-increase cap, CCS has increased annual out-of-pocket maximums to $600 (from $500) for single, in-network coverage and to $1,200 (from $1,000) per family, in-network. Co-pays are now included in the maximum out-of-pocket costs. Pharmacy co-pays may not apply, depending on your plan.

You can schedule a time at your building to meet in person with a counselor, or you may enroll or re-enroll online with a benefits counselor. To schedule your call center appointment, you will need to complete the steps below:

• Go to

• Enter the CCS Enrollment Number: 61436

• Follow the on-screen instructions for scheduling your appointment.

• You will receive an email confirmation and reminder with the CCS enrollment phone number.

• On your appointment date and time, you will need to call the CCS enrollment phone number provided in your email.

Dependent eligibility verification is not required unless you are enrolling a new dependent on your benefit plans. In Ohio, extended dependent coverage is available for unmarried dependents up to age 28.

In order to complete your enrollment, you will need to have the birthdates and Social Security numbers of your dependents and your life insurance beneficiary.

If you are adding a new dependent, you need to contact the Benefits Department at 365-6475 before Nov. 1 to ensure that your documentation has been received.


How are your sizes?

The Oct. 1 date for reorganization has passed, and “count week” is over. Take a look at your room. Classes should not exceed the limits set in the contract.

Article 301 explains it. We amended the contract for middle school and high school teachers, changing the class load to 150 students per day. Members whose class size exceeds the limit should contact CEA immediately.

Here are the limits:

• K-3: no more than 29 students each

• 4-5: no more than 30 students each

• K & Grades 1-5: Approximately 25 pupils per classroom teacher

• Middle school: no more 35 students per class and 150 students per day

• High school: no more than 36 students per class and 150 students per day

If you have any questions about class size, call CEA Vice President Phil Hayes at 253-4731.


Our teacher on the front line

CEA member Jody Barnes who teaches fourth-grade at Easthaven ES is one of 96 Master Teachers joining the National Education Association Master Teacher Project. She will unite with 95 of the highest performing K-12 Math and ELA common core teachers across the country to share all of her lessons and practices with fellow educators.

“The Master Teacher Project excites me because it will provide high quality resources for teachers who are seeking out ways to employ the Common Core State Standards (CCSS),” said Barnes. “I am also excited to bring the knowledge I learn from the project back to the teachers at my building who are thirsty for ways to bring CCSS alive in their own classrooms. Beyond what the project can do for others, I can’t wait for how it will improve my own practice.”

Through the project, NEA Master Teachers will provide 180-day common core aligned courses and instructional strategies, classroom management practices and classroom systems of good teaching. These will be distributed to all NEA members via the BetterLesson platform.

Congratulations, Jody.