jan-dec 2013 President's messages
December 13, 2013
The year is slipping by quickly and the holiday break will soon be here. With all the new work for common core, learning new technology devices and software and the changes in special education program delivery this has been a stressful and busy first semester. I hope you all find the time to recharge your batteries, connect with family and friends and enjoy your well deserved break. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Our team has met three times with the District team. Our first official meeting was on October 23rd and the District proposed changes to the teacher evaluation process. We are working through the language and specifics of the Article. There is talk about using the California Standards for the Teaching Profession as a guide for teachers and administrators. We will let you know about the development of this Article. Our next meeting was on November 19th and the District made several proposals about Article 12 (salaries), Article 13 (Benefits), Article 18(Teachers Duties) and Article 20(Class Size). Both sides have also worked through minor changes and additions and deletions for Articles 1-11.
For now the entire contract is open, but we are currently spending the majority of our time on four(4 )articles:
Article 12 - we are fighting for a meaningful salary increase.
Article 18 - Two pieces - looking at duty hours/event credits and providing a weekly collaboration time via a late start or early release day at ALL sites.
Article 20 - We expect the district to honor its commitment to return class sizes to their pre-MOU levels while recognizing that the state has changed its funding for K-3 CSR.
Article 26 - we are collaborating on a more meaningful evaluation process
The next bargaining session will be on January 30 from 1-4. We will continue to update our members and to request feedback from all of you through surveymonkey. Thank you to the members for taking the time to respond to our short surveys. It assists us in making sure we are serving the needs of all of our members. As I go out and visit school sites the number one question on everyone’s mind is: “Are we getting a raise?” Please know that the Executive Board and the bargaining team hear you loud and clear. We know that it is long past due for us to receive a raise. We are also bargaining for the State funding for implementing the common core. This is one time money and must be spent by June of 2015. We want the money to be used for meaningful professional development and are discussing adding two Professional Development days to the calendar for the next school year. Details will be coming to you in January hopefully.
I am including in this message a copy of my speech at the School Board meeting last night. Beginning in January we will be asking members to attend the meetings to show our support for a meaningful raise, lower class sizes and fair and just contract.
September 25, 2013
VTA would like to take this time to congratulate the new members who received their Permanent Status certification. We are excited to have so many members attain permanent status and we know how important a step this is in your career. Congratulations!!
Messina, Laura from Beaumont
Cimino, Leticia from Beaumont
Conforme, Sonia from Vista Magnet Middle
Contreras, Lydia from Vista High
Corso, Jennifer from Vista High
DeSantiago, Soo-Yeohn from Mission Vista HS
Easterling, Dana from Special Ed
Eby, Daphne from Beaumont
Erford, Kelly from Vista Magnet Middle
Eyton, Stacy from Mission Vista HS
Frohlich, Linda from Breeze Hill Elem.
Gann, Kristina from Grapevine
Gelrud, Keeghan from Foothill Oak
Green, Tracy from Special Ed
Gutierrez, Laura from Foothill Oak
Hall, James from Mission Vista HS
Harrison, Lisa from Rancho Minerva MS
Hayward, Carol from Maryland
Homer, Cara from VAPA
Lohmeyer, Emily from Special ED
McCracken, Ashleigh from Vista Magnet Middle
Miller, Keri from St. Services
O'Brien, Elizabeth from Mission Vista HS
Orozco-Neri, Olga from C&I
Paradee, Alexandra from Rancho Minerva MS
Parli, Chivon from Mission Vista HS
Perez, Luke from Casita
Phillips, Lisa from Olive
Pina, Kristen from Rancho Buena Vista HS
Prillaman, Jennifer from Madison MS
Purvis, Clarke from Olive
Quintanilla, Shannon from Grapevine
Richmond, Teresa from Beaumont
Sanchez, Stephanie from Vista Magnet Middle
Spina, Georgina from Empresa
Stull, Kimberly from Special Ed
Tilden, Lindsey from Special Ed
Weiser, Elizabeth from Casita
Wilson, Annette from Washington MS
Wong, Christine from Maryland
Yip-Wineman, Stephen from Mission Vista HS
Ziegler, Annjeanette from Monte Vista
Fall Leadership Conference:
San Diego Service Center is sponsoring our annual Fall Leadership Conference November 8-10, 2013 in Palm Springs. The conference will be held at the Hilton Palm Springs Resort and Spa. There are grants and scholarships for teachers to attend at no cost to you. This is an opportunity to join other teachers in our region to discuss our profession. Some of the workshops offered are on Special Education, Current legal issues, Evaluation, Retirement, New Tech Skills, Bargaining and grievance training. If you are interested in attending please contact Lisa Ingles, VTA secretary, for information and registration: 760-758-2690.
Special Education Issues:
With the new school year there have been some challenging changes to delivery of services to our Special Education population. Many of you know that Elementary aides were reduced in SDC classes across the District. Some schools are piloting team teaching between RSP and general Ed teachers. There are also additional support personnel that have been hired to assist with Behavior plans and issues as they arise.
With these new changes there are always challenges and our focus should be on first, the child and second adjusting plans that are not working without placing blame. This is a collaborative effort and there will be mistakes. If you have concerns or special circumstances that need our attention please don’t hesitant to call on VTA.
It is also important that all members know their rights and I would like to point out a few issues here for you.
· As a classroom teacher you should have a copy of the IEP 24 hours before a child enters your classroom.
· As a classroom teacher you have the right to speak up at an IEP and ask for services you believe are important to the education of your students. If a decision is made during an IEP meeting that you disagree with you can sign it but under your name write: Dissent. This fact relates to the team that in your “professional opinion” you believe some goals or many goals cannot be met with the plan as written.
· As a classroom teacher participating in the pilot team teaching program you have the right to be first, volunteering to team teach and second your class size must remain within the guidelines of the contract. No class can violate the class sizes agreed to in the contract. Even though there are two teachers in the room the class size remains the same as for one teacher, which is the only agreement in our contract.
· If you have a student who has an IEP or Behavior plan you still have the right to suspend them from your class for the day and the following day but you must notify the parent and call or meet with them before the child returns to your class. Only an administrator can suspend a child from the school, teachers only suspend from their class. Also, if you suspend a child from your class they may not be placed in another teacher’s class for the time they would be in your class. For elementary that would be the remainder of the day, for middle and high school it would be the periods you have the student in your class. This is part of California Ed Code section 48910 b, “A pupil suspended from a class shall not be placed in another regular class during the period of suspension. However, if the pupil is assigned to more than one class per day this subdivision shall apply only to other regular classes scheduled at the same time as the class from which the pupil was suspended.” You also have the right to request an emergency SST or IEP for a student you deem to exhibit extreme or dangerous behavior that threatens the safety of your other students or yourself.
The VTA and VUSD bargaining teams will be meeting on October 9th to begin bargaining based on the conditions from the MOU( memorandum of understanding) dated August 3, 2012. In the MOU #2 part d it states:
If the district receives additional unrestricted state or federal funding in an amount in excess of $500,000 that may legally be expended for employee compensation, the parties agree to meet and negotiate the use of those funds.
VTA has been informed that the District has indeed received funding over the $500,000 threshold. We will meet to discuss those funds and additional issues related to the Common Core additional funding the District received from the State for implementation of the Standards. We will send a bargaining update and survey to all members after our meeting.
Trainings and Workshops:
This year more than any other we have seen requests and offers of trainings and workshops for teachers to attend voluntarily. VTA is advising all members to not voluntarily attend these workshops. We believe we are professionals and as such our time is valuable and we deserve to be compensated for our time. The workshops and trainings are important and valuable for us to educate our students but as such we should be paid to attend.
July 14, 2013
The VTA office is moving July 31st. We will be located at:
2141 Industrial Court Suite C, Vista, CA 92081
Our phone number will remain the same.
Buy Back Day-
The District Buy Back Day will be August 15th. Information will be coming for you with times and locations. Remember that you cannot use sick days for the Buy Back Day and if you have to miss you will need to make it up or be docked a full days pay.
Student's first day-
The first day of school for students is August 19th. The bell schedules are posted on the District website.
The negotiated bonus will be in the September pay warrant. It is a one time .83% salary schedule bonus. Since the governor has signed the state budget we will be learning what that means for our District and use the information in our bargaining with the District. The bargaining team will be putting together a survey for our members to complete in order to guide VTA in negotiations.
NEA/RA in Atlanta, Georgia 2013-
Four VTA members, Jan O'Reilly, Reagan Duncan, Patrick Emaus and Barbara Franklin were elected to attend this year's RA. There were five days of meetings in Atlanta. Some of the business items voted on were:
1. Standing Rule amendments to go green for all NEA/RA business.
2. Bylaw amendment to increase NEA dues by three dollars per year for a special fund to assist NEA affiliates advance great public schools. This fund will be used to fight back some of the attacks on public education happening around the nation.
3. New business items were passed to work with states and the Obama administration to ensure that the common core standards will be enacted without excessive and inappropriate use of high stakes test. We believe that educators need adequate time and tools to implement the new standards.
Enjoy your summer break. See you August 15th
Vista Teachers Association
June 26, 2013
I wanted to share the news posted on the District website today with you. Dr. Vodicka announced:
It is a pleasure to announce a number new hires and changes in Vista Unified School District administrator assignments for the 2013-14 school year. The following is a concise summary:
Brett Killeen will be the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations. Mr. Killeen has been serving as principal at Torrey Pines High School in the San Dieguito Union School District for the past seven years. When asked for a comment, Mr. Killeen stated "I am very excited to get to know the Vista community, about whom I've heard so many great things. I'm particularly drawn to the values that are great for kids and staff--respect, trust, and collaboration. I'm honored to have this opportunity."
Ben Gaines will be the new principal at Rancho Minerva Middle School. Mr. Gaines has been working in the Temecula Valley High School District as an Assistant Principal and he is currently completing his doctoral degree from University of California San Diego.
Anthony Barela will be the new principal at Roosevelt Middle School. Mr. Barela comes to us from the San Marcos Unified School District where his experience includes service as an elementary principal and a high school Assistant Principal. Mr. Barela was recognized as the NAESP Principal of the Year when he worked in Colorado.
Meg Jacobsen assumed the principal position at Vista Magnet Middle School on June 1st. She was a member of the founding faculty at VMMS and she has been recognized as a Golden Apple Award winner.
Ebon Brown will assume responsibilities as principal at Vista Visions School in addition to his role as principal of the Vista Adult School. Mr. Brown also has oversight duties for the districtwide career-technical education programs.
Jo Ann Jones will serve exclusively as principal at Alta Vista High School. She previously was also responsible for Vista Visions School.
Susie Reese will be the new Transportation Director. Ms. Reese has been Interim Director since February of 2013. Susie has over thirty-five (35) years of experience with the Grossmont Union High School District in various transportation assignments.
I believe that these leaders will help us to actualize our values of respect, trust, and collaboration. As we do so, we will move in the direction of achieving our vision to the model of educational excellence and innovation.
Devin Vodicka, EdD
Superintendent of Schools
June 3, 2013
Only three more days left in our school year. I hope you all have a peaceful, restful and well deserved summer. I just wanted to pass on some information to you before you pack up your rooms and head home.
Assignments and Transfer Requests
All VTA members should be informed by June 6th of their tentative assignment for the 2013-2014 school year. If you are not told by the last day of school let VTA know. If you submitted transfer requests and an opening comes up at the school you requested you are guaranteed an interview. You must watch Edjoin and check when openings appear. If you request the transfer but are not offered an interview please contact the VTA. All transfer requests are valid until September 1st.
Cleaning out Rooms
Personal items such as refrigerators, microwaves or other appliances should be taken home for your safety, especially if your administration has asked for you to remove them. Also, some schools are getting new carpeting, if you are asked to pack up your materials the District is obligated to move them for you. You do need to ask for them to move materials.
IPADS and laptops
The District is requiring members to sign a VUSD Employee Equipment Use Request form. If you sign this and take the equipment home you may find yourself financially responsible for any damage or loss. We are recommending that you NOT take the equipment home. If the District wants you to use it or requests you to use it over the summer, then they need to release you from financial liability.
With the new technology being proposed for implementation in our District there may be many schools wanting to put on summer trainings. If you are asked to attend trainings over the summer the District should pay you the prevailing hourly rate of $28 an hour. If they send you to a conference out of town for training ask first if they will pay you hourly or just cover expenses or both. Your time is valuable and should be treated as such.
CTA State Council Meeting
On May 31-June 2, 2013 was the summer meeting of CTA State Council. At this meeting we had many discussions and action items about the Governor’s Budget Proposal or the Local Control Funding Formula. We won’t know exactly how it will impact VUSD until it is passed by the Legislature on hopefully June 15th. Also, at this meeting we honored and celebrated the career of CTA Executive Director, Carolyn Doggett. Carolyn has been CTA’s Executive Director for 15 years and is retiring. Carolyn was one of only five (5) female State Executive Directors in the nation. We wish her good luck in her retirement.
One of the most important responsibilities of CTA is to monitor California Assembly and Senate bills that will impact what you do in your classroom. Every year 100-200 bills are proposed that are directly related to Education. Without the support of CTA and State Council members we would not be able to oppose and help stop damaging bills and also work with Assembly members and Senators to pass bills that benefit our schools and students. Much of the work that is done at State Council is reading over the bills in our committees and making recommendations on actions to take in Sacramento. We have ranking systems from strongly oppose to Support. One bill that is tied to the Governor’s budget that we are trying to get passed is reverting back to 20-1 in grades K-3 sooner than planned. We will keep you updated on progress.
At the CTA State Council meeting we voted on the CTA budget for the next year. According to our dues structure there will be a decrease in CTA dues for the next year. The decrease is $3 based on a formula that is followed every year. This is the first decrease in dues in many years.
On other dues news, the VTA Representative Assembly voted on May 13 to adopt VTA’s budget which included a $30 dues increase. The increase is necessary to meet our obligations on your behalf and prepare for bargaining next spring. These increases will be with your other dues which are taken out 10 months a year.
VTA Summer Hours
Lisa Ingles, VTA secretary, will be in the office from 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday during the summer except for the following dates.
The VTA office will be closed July 29-August 9th. If you need to get ahold of us please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as possible. We are looking into finding new offices, all the details have not been worked out yet but we will keep you updated.
See you August 15th for Buy Back Day
Have a great summer
Barbara Franklin, President
May 8, 2013
Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Day:
Today, May 8th, is set aside as Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Day. I would like to take this time to congratulate each of you for the amazing job you do each day as educators in our District. Through the trying tough years, good days and bad each of you put forth your best effort for our students. Together we have worked for our students, families and the District to maintain and increase the achievement of all students. It is time to pat yourself on the back, hold your head high and be proud to be the true professional you all are and I would like to say how proud I am of each and every one of you.
VTA State Council Elections:
The VTA State Council election results are in and you have elected Sue Martin from RBV to serve as our representative for the 2013-2016 term. Sue will join Reagan Duncan from Maryland and me as VTA State Council Reps. The members in this position are your voice at the CTA level. We vote on decisions about leadership, dues structure and legislative positions. You can visit the CTA website at www.cta.org<http://www.cta.org/> and learn more about State Council. State Council has four meetings annually with the next one occurring on May 31-June 2nd. At this meeting the State Council will be voting on the CTA budget. Since 2008, CTA has lost nearly 35,000 members. The budget proposal that will be voted on June 1st reflects this loss of membership and proposes a $3 per YEAR dues decrease. We will report out after the meeting about the vote. We have also elected Patrick Eamus from RBV as our alternate in case an elected member is unable to attend. Congratulations to Sue and Pat.
Health Benefits Committee:
Since our move to SISC in January we will now have an October 1-September 30 year for benefits. The new rates are in and there will be informational meetings on May 15 at Lake Elementary from 3-5:30 PM and May 21 at Empresa Elementary from 3-5:30 PM. The meetings will be your opportunity to ask questions and meet with representatives from Kaiser and SISC. The open enrollment period is Monday, May 13, 2013 through Friday, May 24, 2013
. If you will not be making any Medical, Dental, Vision, or Life/AD&D benefit changes effective October 1, 2013, you do not need to do anything!
CTA 150 Anniversary:
CTA has been making a positive impact on education for 150 years now. Our victories during that time include the establishment of free public schools for all children, the creation of our higher education system, due process rights for teachers, and class size reduction. We continue to be engaged in and lead the efforts to improve education for all students in this state, now and for the future.
Help us celebrate California Day of the Teacher on Wednesday, May 8 and CTA’s 150th Anniversary on Thursday, May 9.
The budget proposal that will be voted on June 1st reflects this loss of membership and proposes a $3 per year dues decrease. We will report out after the meeting about the vote.
March 19, 2013
VAPA status and Board action:
Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the School Board meeting the VUSD Board voted to:
1. Close the 6-8 program at VAPA as of June 30, 2013.
The 13 teachers at the middle school will be displaced and we are working with the District to get them all placed in positions they are credentialed for and wish to teach. This is a sad end to a wonderful program and we will be there to support the teachers and the students during this transition. We urge you all to take a moment to wish them well and offer them your support.
2. For the school year 2014-2015, convert Washington Middle School to a magnet school. The focus for this new magnet school is still to be determined.
Adult Education and Pink-slipped Teachers
Last night hundreds of community members came out to support our adult Ed teachers who have all been pink slipped based on the unknowns in the Governor's budget. The teachers will have a RIF hearing on April 26th at the District Office. CTA will be representing them at the hearing. Thursday, March 21 we will be meeting at the VTA office with all the Adult Ed teachers and the five counselors who were pink-slipped. We will help them with the paperwork to prepare for the RIF hearing.
Grades: teacher's rights.
Grades—EC sections 49066 and 49070(b)
The grade given to a pupil by the teacher of the course (in the absence of clerical or mechanical error, bad faith, incompetency, or fraud) shall be final. Neither the local governing board nor superintendent shall order a grade changed without first giving the teacher who has assigned the grade the opportunity to state orally or in writing the reasons for which the grade in question was given.
This includes ELD grades and no person can require you to change a student's grade. VTA believes it is the teachers right to assign grades per their grading plan.
Please let VTA know if you are feeling pressured to change a student's grade.
Teacher responsibility for use and care of district equipment:
We have had several instances where teachers are being told they are financially responsible for damaged or stolen IPADS. This has not been the practice in the District before and we are investigating the legality of charging members for using District equipment. We have also heard rumors of charging teachers for rekeying doors and other miscellaneous items. If you are asked to pay for any of your job supplies please contact the VTA office.
Time sheets and deadlines:
It has come to our attention that some members are submitting timesheets for extra work months late. The timesheets are due at the end of the month that the work was performed. The District is being charged a late fee by STRS if the timesheets and pay are 60 days late. The District is now passing on this cost to the local school sites. Please make sure your timesheets are submitted on time. Thank you.
CTA Opportunities to present:
The CTA planning committees for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Conference, the CTA Good Teaching Conferences and the CTA Equity and Human Rights Conference are looking for potential presenters for the conferences in 2013-14.
The GLBT Conference will be held at the Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs on November 15-17, 2013. The Good Teaching Conference North will be held at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose on January 10-12, 2014 and the Good Teaching Conference South will be held in Southern California on March 14-16, 2014 with location TBD. The Equity and Human Rights Conference will be held in Southern California on February 28-March 2, 2014 with location TBD. VTA would love to have many of our talented teachers share their knowledge with their peers.
Bernice King Dedication Ceremony:
As many of you know we lost a longtime colleague and member of VUSD, Bernice King. Bernice taught in Vista for 38 years. On April 1st at 3:30, the RBV History Department will be dedicating a tree, bench and presenting a plaque in Bernice’s honor. This will be in front of room 231 at RBV.
Why switch to CTA-endorsed disability and life insurance?
CTA members have unique insurance needs. That's why CTA makes voluntary disability and life insurance plans available to members through Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). The plans have unique features specifically designed for education professionals, including:
Provisions to allow for continuation of coverage during temporary layoffs and labor disputes.
Access to the CTA Advisory Panel on Endorsed Services.
Coverage for extra-duty pay such as coaching and tutoring.
The need for disability and life insurance is very real. Each year, almost 5,000* of your peers receive much-needed help from the CTA-endorsed plans.
January 29, 2013
Superintendent Devin Vodicka
Every VUSD employee went to a presentation by our new Superintendent on January 18, 2013. The Superintendent thanked teachers for doing a wonderful job educating our students. Dr. Vodicka shared his vision for Vista and some of his educational philosophies. In meetings with Dr. Vodicka he shared that he would like to set up task forces to deal with: bell schedules, kindergarten schedules, digital learning, magnet schools, duty hours and events, strategic planning for the arts and teacher evaluation. Some of these task forces are bargaining so the bargaining team is involved, some are already formed but others will need members to participate. If you would like to work on the bell schedules, kindergarten schedules or planning for the arts, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the different task forces, VTA and Dr. Vodicka will be meeting to go over every school’s site safety plan. If you have safety issues you would like us to discuss and solve please email them to email@example.com. We also will be sharing the results of the VTA School Site Climate Survey, so if you haven’t taken the survey yet please complete it by January 31, 2013.
Retirement 101: What Every Educator Needs to Know about 403(b) & 457 Plans
This special one day pre-conference will cover the basics of 403(b) & 457 plans, strategies and resources to make informed investment decisions, along with how to deal with aggressive insurance agents. Registration is open to all CTA members. Release time will be provided for up to two members from each chapter (approval by the chapter president is required). This pre-conference is free.
Friday, March 22, 2013, Los Angeles, CA Location: Los Angeles Airport Marriott
Contact Lisa Ingles, VTA secretary, if you are interested in attending. firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a NEA/RA Delegate
You still have time to register your nomination to run as a state delegate for the NEA/RA being held in Atlanta, Georgia this summer. All nomination forms must be submitted to the San Diego RRC office by Thursday, January 31, 2013. The Representative Assembly is from June 30-July 6th. Mail or fax your declaration of candidacy to San Diego RRC, 5333 Mission Center Rd. Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92108. Fax 619-683-3994. The form is attached to this email.
Opportunity to Participate
English Language Development Supplemental Instructional Materials Review
The California Department of Education (CDE) and State Board of Education (SBE) are seeking reviewers to participate in the English Language Development supplemental instructional materials review (ELD SIMR) of materials that are aligned to the new California English Language Development Standards (ELD Standards) adopted by the SBE on November 7, 2012.
Reviewers will evaluate the ELD supplemental instructional materials for alignment to the new California ELD Standards and the ELD SIMR evaluation criteria, pending approval by the SBE at their March 13–14, 2013 meeting. Reviewers will attend a two-day training held at the San Joaquin County Office of Education July 18–19, 2013. They will review supplemental instructional materials independently at home and will then reconvene in panels in San Joaquin for two to three days of deliberations and the preparation of a report of findings November 14–16, 2013. The CDE will reimburse travel costs and substitute costs for current classroom teachers for the meeting days. There is no stipend or honorarium available.
Information about this review and the online application process is available on the CDE ELD SIMR Web page. The deadline for submission of applications is March 15, 2013. Please forward this information to any and all qualified candidates who might be interested.
Any questions related to this review should be directed to Jim Long, Lead Consultant, Instructional Resources Unit, at 916-323-4583 or email@example.com.
CTA State Council
1. marking the completion of a period of 150 years.
2. a 150th anniversary or its celebration.
150 Years of Advocacy
This year, CTA marks 150 years of advocacy for our profession, our students and our public schools. And we will be celebrating the entire year.
Over the next year, we will explore and celebrate our past via social media, our website, our publications, and our conferences. At the same time we will set the course for our future through a new Strategic Planning Process.
It’s an exciting year, especially just coming from a successful election in which Californians demonstrated their commitment to public education by approving the first statewide tax increase in 20 years.
CTA's accomplishments over the past 150 years
Did you know?
Each month, we'll share facts of our involvement in the betterment of public education. For example:
The first CTA sponsored class size legislation, in 1895, set the maximum class size at 80 students.
By 1917, the average class size was between 35 and 40, and then they started to creep back up after World War I.
In 1920 CTA had to lobby the legislature to cap class size at a maximum of 70.
Mikki Cichocki-Semo Re-elected:
San Bernardino teacher Mikki Cichocki-Semo was re-elected to a second two-year term as secretary-treasurer of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association Saturday. Running unopposed, Cichocki was elected by acclamation by CTA’s 760-member State Council of Education, the union’s top governing body of democratically elected representatives, during its quarterly meeting in Los Angeles.
Governor Jerry Brown speaks to CTA members
Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the CTA State Council meeting on Sunday, January 27th. He came to join state council members as we celebrated our victories in the November elections. Governor Brown spoke about educators and the impact we have on the lives of our students. He shared stories of his teachers and how their influence still drives him today. Governor Brown thanked CTA and all the teachers in California for the tremendous work we do in education.
Business items from State Council
In other business at State Council, the Teacher Evaluation and Academic Freedom sub-committee took an oppose position to a bill (SB10) introduced by State Senator Alex Padilla that would eliminate all teacher due process rights. This is the same bill we helped defeat last year and it is being brought back in exactly the same language but with a new title. We will keep you updated.
The Early Childhood Education Committee reported that Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has made recommendations to suspend testing of second (2) grade students for the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. Torlakson also recommended suspending other tests in middle school and high school. To see a list of the recommendations go to: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr13/yr13rel4.asp#att
This is good news for our students and will help prepare us to transition to the Common Core.
January 7, 2013
Happy New Year
The year 2013 has begun and it seems like the school year is going by so quickly. I hope that you each had a chance to relax and enjoy time with your families and friends. Tomorrow we begin the fast pace of the year preparing our students for tests, instilling in them a love of learning and gearing up for graduation in June.
Buy Back Day
On Friday, January 18th the District will be holding the second Buy Back Day of the School Year. This year it is being held differently than in the past. Most of the employees will meet at Mission Vista High School and we all got a chance to choose our workshops. Also, Dr. Vodicka will get a chance to present to every group once throughout the day. This is a great opportunity for each of you to hear him speak and ask questions.
Remember if you miss this day you can make it up on a Saturday in the spring. The date and place will be announced later this spring. If you miss this date and can’t attend the makeup date you will be docked one day’s pay. If you have any questions please email or call the VTA office.
VTA webmaster and VTA secretary, Lisa Ingles, have been working on the VTA website to make it more user friendly and easier to navigate. Please check it out and send in any suggestions you have for how to make it more efficient. www.vistata.org
Off schedule one-time bonus
The agreement between VTA and VUSD signed in August 2012 included a one-time off schedule bonus based on revenues over projections. Based on the formula each member will receive a bonus of .83% this year. The details of when members would receive this bonus have not been settled yet but as soon it is determined we will let members know. This is due to the hard work of the VTA bargaining team. Thank you!
CTA Scholarship opportunities for members and dependents
CTA is offering scholarships for members returning to school to further their education. There are five (5) scholarships of $3000 awarded yearly. The applications are due on February 8th 2013. For members’ dependent children, CTA offers a maximum of thirty-four (34) scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded each year. Along with these scholarships CTA has others that are for minorities, student CTA members, students attending continuation schools or GLBT related issues. Please visit the CTA website for applications or more information. http://www.cta.org/About-CTA/CTA-Foundation/Scholarships.aspx
If you haven’t heard of this website you may want to check it out. Steve Barker from Horace Mann has offered to have his company donate to any Vista teacher who posts a project on Donors choose. If you post please email VTA or call 760-758-2690 and we will let him know about your project.
From their website:
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you'll also receive hand-written thank-you from the students.
CTA Member Benefits
As a member of CTA you are entitled to many discounts at amusement parks, movies, zoos and other entertainment choices. Go to the CTA website under member benefits to find out about discounts. Theme Parks & Entertainment TSA special services offer discounts to our members on a majority of entertainment tickets. There are so many venues and attractions offered that we won't list them all here. Be sure to check the special member services Buying Guide for a full listing.
Check out some highlights:
Disneyland, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park Also:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Movies, movies, movies