Welcome to the 2014-2015 School year:
This new school year started out with the District hiring 170 new teachers. With the lower class sizes there was a need to hire more teachers throughout the District. Please make these new members welcome and invite them to the VTA social on September 19th at the Vista Entertainment Center for an afternoon of bowling and socializing. Please RSVP to VTASecretary@gmail.com.
New Contract Highlights:
· Lower class sizes
o TK-3 School wide average of 24-1 and no class larger than 26. If you have more than 26 students please let your site rep know.
o Grades 6-8 class cap of 34 but 190 daily contacts
o Grades 9-12 class cap of 38 but 165 daily contacts
· Monday PLC
o Elementary schools are early release
o Middle school and high school late start
o New language from the contract: Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, weekly collaboration time will be established at all elementary, middle, and high schools (excluding alternative high schools).Collaboration will be focused on teaching and student learning aligned with the implementation of the California Common Core State Standards. Collaboration time will be teacher directed with accountability through an agenda and minutes. Administration is a recognized participant in the collaboration process. During this collaboration hour, teachers are required to be working with peers and may not use this time for individual preparation.
o Teachers are in charge of the agenda with input and participation of their administrator. If you have grade level leads or department chairs in charge make sure that all teachers have a say in the agendas. If you have any questions about your PLC please contact your site Rep or VTA at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Teacher Evaluation
o New Evaluation process will begin this school year.
o Veteran teachers who are on an evaluation cycle will choose two of the standards for the teaching profession and your admin will choose one.
o New teachers will have the administrator pick for them.
o If you have 10 years of teaching experience or more in Vista and you have had exceeds or meets on previous evaluations you may be placed on a five year evaluation cycle. The principal can only remove you for cause (this is different than in the past).
· Special Education
o Co-Teaching” (Supported Teaching) is defined as having two teachers in the classroom (one general education and one education specialist) for the purpose of providing an inclusive setting for students with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment as recommended by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act(2004).
o Co-teachers (general education and education specialist) in grades 6-12 shall have a common preparation period.
o 18.104.22.168 Caseloads for Education Specialists
§ 22.214.171.124.1 Education Specialist- Mild/Moderate Pre-School: 16
§ 126.96.36.199.2 Education Specialist- Mild/Moderate Elementary (TK-5): 20
§ 188.8.131.52.3 Education Specialist- Mild/Moderate Secondary (6-12): 22
§ 184.108.40.206.4 Education Specialist- Moderate/Severe: 12
· Hourly Prep time teachers now are VTA members
o As of this school year all hourly teachers, art prep, ASES or intervention will be VTA members. Please have them contact VTA to sign a membership form
§ They will receive prep time
§ Lunch if they work for six hours
§ Sick hours based on hours worked
§ Eligibility for health insurance
Standard Disability Insurance
· As a VTA member you are eligible to sign up for the Standard Disability Insurance. Teachers are not eligible for the State Disability and must purchase their own. Standard is a company endorsed by CTA. In November we will be conducting a special enrollment period. This means if we are able to get 55 members to sign up then you do not have to get a doctor’s clearance and it will cover pre-existing conditions; such as pregnancy, cancer, or other illnesses from injuries. We will have more information as we get closer.
· For new employees you have 120 calendar days from your date of employment to sign up without a Doctor’s clearance. You can sign up online at https://go.standard.com/cta/newhire/
Vista Education Foundation
· Visit the Vista Education Foundation website to apply for grants in the arts or technology. Even if you received a grant last year you are still eligible to apply again.
· A Night at the Moonlight with the VEF – September 9, 2014. There will be dinner and a play. If you would like to support the foundation and purchase a ticket please contact me at email@example.com
The First day with students is a late start Monday for middle and high school and an early release for elementary. There will probably not be PLC on the first day but time for you to prepare for teaching.
Thursday, August 14th is a paid per diem extra day if you choose to come. It is not mandatory. The pay will show on your September pay warrant.
The days are passing quickly now and I wanted to get a message out to help with some logistics for the beginning of the school year.
The first day for teachers is Wednesday, August 13th and this is now called a staff development day, formerly a Buy Back Day. This day is mandatory and you must sign in and sign out. If you miss this day there will be a make-up day in the Spring. Information for this day will be coming out from the District.
On Thursday, August 14th there will be a Common Core Staff development day that is not mandatory but if you come you will sign in and receive a time sheet. When you submit the time sheet at the end of the day you will be paid per diem for attending the training. The pay will come in your September pay warrant.
Friday, August 15th is the staff development day, this includes only a 90 minute meeting with your administrator at your site and then the rest of the day is yours to prepare your room and curriculum.
Monday, August 18th is the first student day of school. This first day of school will be a late start Monday for middle and high schools and an early release Monday for elementary schools.
VTA will be holding our first annual bowling social on Friday, September 19, 2014 @ 4:00 PM at the Vista Entertainment Center. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have members attend and get to know each other from different school sites. We could even have a little competition between school sites. This year the District is hiring over 100 new teachers and this would be a great way to welcome them to Vista Unified and VTA.
In other news I have to share, I married Don Dawson on July 23rd. I will be changing over to my new name so if you see correspondence from Barbara Dawson that will be me.
I hope your summer has been restful and refreshing. See you on August 13th.
Barbara Dawson (Franklin)
Vista Teachers Association