Updates: President's Message
Common Core Staff Development Day- March 30, 2015
This day is optional and was bargained with the District last year to have two common core staff development days. The State gave each District one time money to use for professional development and hardware or software. Since it is one-time money it was bargained as optional and the pay is per diem. You must submit a timesheet for this day to your office manager. It is not necessary to call in if you chose not to attend.
2015 NEA-RA State Delegate Elections
This is the first time the voting will be offered electronically
Members serviced by the San Diego County Service Center will have three (3) ways to vote for NEA-RA State delegates.
1. Electronic Voting. On or before February 13, 2015, members will receive an e-mail message from Simply Voting, Inc. The e-mail will contain a link which will lead members to a secure website where they will be able to vote online. A personal identification number plus an assigned password will be provided in the e-mail message. Members who receive an e-mail, but do not wish to vote electronically can request a physical ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. is February 20, 2015. Requests should be made to: SDSC@simplyvoting.com.
2. Mail-In Voting. On or before February 13, 2015, members who do not have a valid e-mail address registered with CTA will receive a mail-in ballot automatically from Simply Voting, Inc.
3. Walk-in voting. A mail-in ballot that has been acquired from Simply Voting, Inc. can be hand-delivered to the San Diego RRC. Ballots must be sealed in the return envelope provided by Simply Voting, Inc., and hand-delivered by the deadline.
The CTA San Diego RRC is located at:
5333 Mission Center Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92108
Do not mail your ballot to the CTA San Diego RRC – it will not be accepted. Replacement materials (ballots, bio’s, envelopes) will not be available at the CTA office.
Members, who have not received an e-mail or a mail-in ballot by February 18th, should contact Simply Voting, Inc. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. is February 20, 2015. Requests should be made to: SDSC@simplyvoting.com.
Members are responsible to ensure that their ballot is submitted by March 13, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.
TB tests- The District working with our school nurses have developed an alternative to the traditional tuberculin skin test. It is called the Adult Tuberculosis Risk Assessment questionnaire. It will be conducted by school nurses at no cost to employees. If you are able to answer no to the five risk assessment questions then you are not required to have the TB skin test or x-ray. If a TB skin test is required or a x-ray then the employee will be responsible for the cost.
Elementary missing Monday collaboration days- The District agreed to hourly pay for elementary teachers to make up the five Monday holidays. You must inform your principal beforehand and submit a timesheet and agenda. The time must be in collaboration with a co-worker. While VTA knows this is not a perfect solution it is what is in place for this school year and we will work on a more equitable permanent solution.
CTA Good teaching conference- This conference is being held at the Sheraton Harbor Island in San Diego, March 20-22, 2015. At this point VTA is sending 30 teachers to the conference. If you would like to attend we are keeping a wait list. If anyone cancels we will fill in with other interested teachers. Please call Lisa, VTA secretary, at 760-758-2690 to add your name to our list.
VTA Scholarship Foundation- The chair of the VTA scholarship fund is Paul Farrar, a retired VUSD teacher. Paul wrote an article about our scholarship fund and gave a historical perspective of where it started and the amazing amount of funds the teachers of Vista have raised.
Please consider donating at least $3.00 a month or $30 a year to continue the great tradition our foundation has served in our community.
Please take a moment to read Paul's article.
About VTA Scholarship Fund
VISTA TEACHERS GO WAY BEYOND
Vista Unified is a diverse school district in northern San Diego County with 22,000 students, 60% of whom are Hispanic and 30% Anglo. Some of you old-timers may recall Vista as the town that gained state and national notoriety in the early ‘90’s when the school board majority mandated the teaching of creationism and a religiously oriented approach to sex ed. Fortunately, the Vista Teachers Association and other supporters of public education in the community rallied together, and the majority was ousted in a recall election.
But the teachers of Vista deserve recognition for an entirely different effort, a 27 year endeavor to provide scholarships to deserving students. It all began as the brainchild of Len Defabio, two-time VTA President and a 1994 recipient of the CTA State WHO Award. Len believed that if hundreds of us were to donate a small amount monthly through voluntary payroll deductions, we could reward and encourage many Vista students beyond teaching them in our classrooms. Thus, the Vista Teachers Association Scholarship Fund (VTASF) was formed as a California Public Benefit Corporation in 1988.
From its modest beginning, when six seniors shared $4125, the VTASF has grown immensely. Last year, $38,000 was divided among 94 recipients. In its 27 years, the VTASF has provided nearly $634,000 to approximately 1500 students!
Perhaps a voluntary teachers association scholarship fund isn’t exactly unique. However, VTASF is exceptional in several ways:
· Only about a third of the total money distributed each year goes to teacher dependents; the majority is given to graduating
seniors at Vista’s high schools.
· Dependents are allowed to apply an additional three years after high school graduation.
· A $250 scholarship is set aside yearly for a graduating senior from each of the district’s three continuation high schools.
· $1000 is provided yearly to the high school for the handicapped for students who need financial help for wheelchair repair, field
For more than 20 years, I have stressed that it’s more important that teachers participate, not how much they contribute. A few dollars monthly, multiplied by several hundred can provide some recognition to students who might otherwise receive none at all. Several recipients each year are the first in their family to graduate from high school, and many more the first to attend college. A frequent theme is financial need, not for dormitory accommodations or incidentals, but for the very basics like tuition or books.
The teachers of Vista, like teachers everywhere, can be proud of their efforts to help their students along their individual paths. I’d like to think that we in Vista have gone way beyond.
(Retired Teacher, 2004)
Vista Education Foundation-The Vista Education Foundation awards grants to teachers, students and sites to further the arts, technology and scholarship. The Foundation is a non-profit organization and all funds raised are donated to the school District through grant applications. If you would like to apply for a grant go to the VEF website and download the grant application. The foundation board meets the first Tuesday of every month and you may submit grant applications anytime during the school year. The website is:
Evaluations-The new evaluation procedures are outlined in the VUSD/VTA contract. All Probationary 1 & 2 teachers should have their evaluations completed by March 1st . For permanent status teachers your final evaluation summary and observation must be completed by May 1st. If you have any questions contact me at email@example.com.
VTA Elections-When we return from Spring Break we will be accepting nominations for VTA President, Vice-President, CTA State Council Representative and eight(8) NEA/RA representatives. The NEA/RA is being held in Orlando, Florida this year and will be June 30-July 6, 2015. The local NEA/RA delegate elections are for two year terms. The NEA/RA in 2016 will be held in Washington, DC. While VTA is eligible to send eight (8) Reps to the RA we only budgeted to send three(3) members so the top three (3) vote getters will attend and the other candidates will fill in if needed. If you would like to know more about the NEA/RA please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also be accepting nominations for site Reps at each site. These are two year terms for site Reps. Each school site is eligible for one (1) site Rep per 20 members or major portion thereof. If your site has 32 teachers you can have two (2) reps, if you have 51 teachers you are eligible for three (3) reps. We would like every site to have the correct number of reps; this will increase communication between the VTA executive Board, Rep Council and the school sites. Please consider taking on this important role at your school site. Site Reps also receive three event credits for their service.
As I am termed out as President and ineligible to run we will be electing a new VTA President. This is a two-year term beginning June 26, 2015-June 25, 2017. More information will be sent out as the nomination deadline approaches.
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