Teri Wiechart, OFLA Membership Chair
Delphos Jefferson High School, Retired
There are many reasons to stay involved at this time in OFLA! Most importantly, it is a way to stay connected when we need it most. OFLA needs your voice and your support as we continue to provide advocacy and services for our members.
As we are finishing the school year, the OFLA Board is working to plan professional development offerings for the summer and fall. For example, how to start the year if school buildings are not open next fall? OR: How to determine where each student’s level of acquisition and proficiency are and how to move them farther. Know that we will continue to gauge what you need and what you want for PD and find a way to deliver it to you.
Throughout April and May, OFLA, in conjunction with ODE, have provided several Zoom Virtual Meet-ups on a wide variety of topics. The best part of these meetings was putting faces to names of colleagues from across the state. We will take a short break from these, then start up again in the summer.
OFLA is involved in many other things, the most significant of which is the advocacy we have been investing in all year. In the fall, we sent a team to Columbus to advocate for not replacing world languages with computer programming. In February we sent a team to Washington D.C. to meet with elected officials to lobby for initiatives to protect programs and to expand world language education in the U.S.
Furthermore, the OFLA Advocacy Chair, Angela Gardner, is working tirelessly to keep you informed about what the various government agencies are doing regarding world language policies. Do you know that if your department is in jeopardy of losing programs or teachers, she will share ways for you to advocate for yourself and your colleagues?
The most difficult activity of this spring was cancelling the OFLA Conference and taking care of refunding the paid fees. A large part of this was dismantling of months of work by President Lesley Chapman and her committee. Through this time, we have continued your membership, and though the organization is much more than just a conference host, we realize that our members did not receive all that membership typically has to offer. Because of this, we have decided to extend the membership year from September 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Current members need do nothing to receive this extension, as it will be done automatically internally.
If you are not a current member of OFLA at this time, please consider coming into the organization at this time. If you renew your membership or join for the first time between now and the first of the year, your due date will be January 1, 2022. Please note that this will need to be done manually and will not appear automatically when you renew. Within a few days from when you pay, you will receive notification that the date was changed.