• Tag Archives teachers
  • LCAP Meetings…

    It’s LCAP season again!  Time to review and revise the district’s 3-year Local Control and Accountability Plan.  DSLT (the LCAP committee, including a teacher and parent from every school) has already met three times to review progress on our current LCAP goals, but we also need to get feedback from teachers, parents and the community.

    Below are a number of opportunities for teachers, parents and the community to discuss:

    • implementation of the state standards
    • student achievement
    • student attendance and engagement
    • course access
    • school climate and safety
    • parent involvement

    The LCAP is a public document, and there is a link to the current 2016-2019 LCAP left-hand side of the district’s home page, under “Important Links” – http://www.lennox.k12.ca.us/##

    Teachers

    As district employees, you have 5 ways to give your input:

    1) Have a discussion with your DSLT member:

    • Buford – Marichi Fragoza
    • Felton – Ana Marcelletti
    • Huerta – Francis Hernandez
    • Jefferson – David Martin
    • Moffett – Shannon Alvarado
    • LMS – Desiree Dorado

    2) Take the employee LCAP survey.

    3) Attend the official district employee input session.  Wednesday, March 8, 3:30 pm in the PDC at DO.

    4) There will be a discussion at each school for  anyone who wants to talk about the LCAP.

    • Tues, Feb 21, 3:15 pm – Jefferson
    • Weds, Feb 22, 3:15 pm – Huerta
    • Mon, Feb 27, 3:15 pm – Felton
    • Tues, Feb 28, 3:15 pm – Buford
    • Weds, March 1, 3:15 pm – DO
    • Thurs, March 2, 3:15 pm – LMS
    • Weds, March 15, 3:15 pm – Moffett

    5) Attend a School Board meeting in May/June when the LCAP is presented to the School Board and share your thoughts with the Board.

     

    Parents and Community

    As part of LTA’s commitment to parents and the community, and to make sure their voices are also heard by the district, LTA will once again hold parent focus groups at every school and will present the parent input to DSLT and the School Board.

    • Friday, Feb. 17, 10:30 AM – Felton Parent Center
    • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 11:00 AM – LMS Parent Center
    • Thursday, Feb. 23, 10:15 AM – Dolores Huerta Parent Center
    • Friday, Feb. 24, 8:30 AM – Jefferson Parent Center
    • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8:30 AM – Moffett Parent Center
    • Wednesday, March 1, 10:15 AM – Buford Parent Center

    download the LTA Parent LCAP Flyer

     

    Lots of opportunities for input.  The LCAP is an excellent way for teachers and other district employees, as well as parents and the community, to participate in developing and guiding the district’s vision (and budget) for the next 3 years.  We hope you’ll participate in some way.


  • “Step-Up for Education” Conference a Huge Success!

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    Dozens of educators from Lennox, Hawthorne, Inglewood, LAUSD and other school districts joined together on Saturday, September 26, 2015 for a day of teacher-organized and teacher-led professional development.  With the support of the California Teachers Association, teachers learned about everything from innovative math strategies and adolescent brain development to the finer points of our contract and retirement planning.  Special guests included CTA District I Director, Leslie Littman, and CTA Secretary-Treasurer, David Goldberg.

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  • Getting the 1% back, QEIA and the Snafu-from the President

    Dear Friends and Colleagues-

    It was a pleasant surprise to all of us present at the last School Board meeting on November 8, 2011 when members emerged from closed session and announced that the pay cut had been reduced from 2.5% to 1.5%.  This is welcome news to all of us! We are thankful to our School Board and Superintendent for doing this, unsolicited. We are also thankful that LSD finances have greatly improved from where they were a year ago. Asst. Superintendent Brian Johnson has already sent out information about how the restoration of 1% of your salary works. Still, I continue to get questions so here is how it works, LTA interpretation:

    • Let’s say you are scheduled to make $60,000 a year on the regular pay scale (without any furlough days, no pay cut). 1% of that would be $600. You would get a check for that less taxes and other usual deductions, in December.

    • The rest of the pay checks you will get for the rest of the year will be calculated as they are currently, barring any other cancellations of paycuts or furlough days.

    People are asking if it is possible that the rest of the furlough days could be cancelled and more of the pay cut restored to us? We and the LSD are watching carefully to see how the State of California revenues are in December. If they are poor, then “trigger” language could trigger some additional days cut off the school year. If not, then what?

    LTA is carefully monitoring the LSD budget and numbers. CTA staff person Jeff Good is utilizing CTA School Financial Analysis software on our behalf. Vice President Brian Guerrero has input the numbers from the various financial reports which LSD must issue, into an Excel spreadsheet. Their numbers agree almost to the dollar. We are happy to report that the district finances seem to be improving. To know if furlough days could be cancelled and more of our pay cut restored to us, we will have to wait until December though.

    In my recent email about the QEIA snafu’s and possible remedies to mitigate any teacher consequences (lay-offs, RIf’s, etc), apparently a few veteran teachers took offense at the suggestion that an early retirement opportnity might be part of the solution, and that it took aim at them (us, since I am one). Dear veteran teachers – you are the ROCK of Lennox teaching, and valued, incredible members of all Lennox School faculties. I would never suggest that anyone should retire if they do not wish to, ahead of when they want to. You have earned the right to do as you please! As I go around the district, many veteran teachers have told me not completely positive things about new teaching strategies and lesson plans they must do. Some have mentioned that they would like to retire SOONER, if they could financially swing it. But not all say this. Whichever group you are in, you are entitled to teach as long as you want, as long as you can. But for those who have already begun or want to begin “Act 3”, (as a famous 60 + actress has recently called it in her book by the same name) and want to do something different, an “early retirement opportunity” cash incentive might be useful. A few years ago, when the district got $500,000 in additional federal funds, our school board used it to offer such an opportunity, at $50,000 per possible retiree. Instead of getting only 10 teachers, 13 took it! It was very popular and those teachers who wanted to retire were celebrating, big time! Please know that you have earned the right to teach for however long you want, and no offense was intended in any way.

    Stay tuned for more news!

    Thanks!

     

    -Julie Smith, LTA President

  • QEIA Update #3

    Dear Friends and Colleagues-
    Many teachers have asked about the QEIA – snafu #2 and what is being done about it. First, the district has just sent out an email saying that the district was NOT out of compliance at Felton, in 3 K classes. This is very welcome news! However, there was also an error at LMS 6 in class size, apparently at about the same time. And there are still 2 waivers pending, for class size errors made last year at LMS and Jefferson, to be decided on at a California Department of Education (CDE) in January, 2012. If they pass, great!  LTA fully supports the waivers. However if they were not to pass, then as many as 17 teacher jobs from across the district could be lost at the end of this school year, well ahead of the 2014-2015 end of the QEIA program. LTA firmly believes that Lennox teachers and students should not be the ones to pay for such mistakes, should the waivers not pass.
    Yesterday, Monday, November 7,2011,  Dr. Navarro and I, (with the support of the LTA Executive Board and Bargaining Chairperson, Polo Marquez) discussed some possible ideas about how to save jobs, were the QEIA waivers not to be approved. Because at this point, with the mistakes already made, we can either point the finger of blame or we can work to deal creatively with the resources at hand to mitigate the consequences and save jobs.
    • Here are some possibilities I asked Dr. Navarro about:
    1- Could district reserve funds or (other funding sources) be used to pay for a “Golden Handshake” or lump sum of cash (amount to be determined) as an incentive to entice veteran teachers who might be considering retirement? Of course, veteran teachers can teach for as long as they want to continue to teach. However this might be an option for some, who are perhaps a year or two away from retiring, which might help them retire a bit earlier while also saving younger teachers’ jobs.
    2- Could the district look for other sources of funding which might be used to pay outright for those teachers’ jobs which might be eliminated due to QEIA mistakes? For instance, if there were a “Golden Handshake” retirement incentive as in #1, (let’s say 10 people were to take that) then there are 5-7 more teachers who could loose jobs due to the QEIA errors… those teachers’ jobs might be paid for outright by savings from the retirement of the veteran teachers (a veteran costs about 2X what a new teacher costs).
    3 – Could the district consult other districts who have creatively handled such situations? Are there other unknown possible ways to cope with this?
    At this point, Dr. Navarro committed to investigating these or other possible creative solutions that might be used to save jobs if the waivers do not pass. Hopefully they will pass and this will be a mute point. The following year, if a waiver needs to be filed for any mistakes made this year, such solutions could be implemented then as well.
    But let’s talk about making mistakes on QEIA compliance in the first place. It is essential that there be no more mistakes made under any conditions. Therefore, I have asked Vice President Brian Guerrero to form and be the Chairperson of an LTA – QEIA Compliance Committee. Brian will work with the district so that each teacher will know exactly how many students they may have, what their class average must be, etc. For instance, if you as a teacher are given the 28th student in a core class at your QEIA school in 5th grade, you will know to send them right back to the office. Brian G will be communicating with you soon about all the details of QEIA requirements (if you are at a QEIA school.) QEIA site contact people will join him on this committee. The district has implemented software changes as well to prevent more sanfu’s. Working in concert, we hope to slip under the QEIA compliance wire this year and until June of 2015, unscathed.u
    As you may also be aware of, LTA has asked the district to call a Special School Board Meeting to discuss possible implications of the errors made thus far, because they effect the community, class size and learning, jobs, etc. However, if the district comes up with some good ways to mitigate any negative consequences, such a meeting may be unnecessary. We will keep you posted, as always!
    Thanks!
    Julie Smith – President
    Lennox Teachers Association