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65Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: Elementary prep services

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  • Yasushi Ogura
    May 31, 2003
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      Charley - As far as I can tell, the "literacy and math with literacy
      emphasis" teachers will simply act as substitutes, teaching the classes to
      provide the necessary 100 minutes of weekly prep time for the 4-6th grade
      classroom teachers. It's the ideal position for someone who would like a
      full time paycheck doing sub work. They wouldn't be required to do any
      lesson planning, grading, attendance, lunch ordering, or any of the
      day-to-day work of running a classroom. It's a plum job, except for the
      numbers.

      Patricia

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "c_cowens" <c_cowens@...>
      To: <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2003 5:14 PM
      Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Elementary prep services


      > Patricia-
      >
      > I've posted extremely cropped and downsampled versions of scans (to
      > get the file size down) of the main and follow-up letters from Ana
      > Souza concerning elementary prep. instruction. These letters are in
      > the Files section on the mailing list web site as GIF graphic files:
      >
      > ElemPrepLetterMain.gif
      > ElemPrepLetterFollowup.gif
      >
      > The long gnarly URLs for directly accessing the files are:
      >
      >
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/files/MemosOrEmails/ElemPrepLetterM
      ain.gif
      >
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/files/MemosOrEmails/ElemPrepLetterF
      ollowup.gif
      >
      > What immediately strikes me about the info in these is:
      >
      > 1. The Board's 5/7 approval of the Admin. Law Judge's decisions
      > concerning the overall seniority list for _people_ is taken as
      > authorization to make a programmatic decision to eliminate specific
      > _positions_ and create new ones.
      >
      > 2. 19 positions are created after eliminating 26.4 FTE.
      >
      > 3. No further elucidation of what "Literacy and Math with Literacy
      > Emphasis" means as an instructional program.
      >
      > Charley Cowens
      > Portola/Kensington
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Yasushi Ogura" <y-pogura@i...> wrote:
      > > You've put it together much better than I ever could have. I have also
      > > forwarded your message to Gail Mendes and Terri Jackson, UTR VP &
      > President.
      > >
      > > Patricia Ogura
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: "portolapta" <portolapta@y...>
      > > To: <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Monday, May 26, 2003 3:28 PM
      > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Elementary prep services
      > >
      > >
      > > > Patricia-
      > > >
      > > > Let me see if I can get the story straight:
      > > >
      > > > The 4-6 grade teachers have this "perk" of getting 100 minutes/week or
      > > > an average of 20 minutes/day to prepare for direct teaching. For the
      > > > kids, this time must still be filled with some sort of instruction.
      > > > So, this creates the opportunity to provide "frills" to all kids.
      > > >
      > > > From the beginning, the district has asked the teachers union as one
      > > > of many concessions to have teachers give this up. This would enable
      > > > the firing of:
      > > >
      > > > ELEMENTARY PREP TIME* 26.40 FTE $1,782,000
      > > > ( http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/Fiscal/rec_reductions_040903_4.htm )
      > > >
      > > > Note the asterisk. In the budget cut scorecard this means this isn't
      > > > being counted towards the overall savings amount, because it requires
      > > > union assent (not given).
      > > >
      > > > But this conveniently gives Dr. Johnston a confused situation in which
      > > > to further pursue her goal of trivializing our children's education as
      > > > much as possible. Even though their fates are presented on the
      > > > scorecard as to be decided later, the elem prep positions are all
      > > > still listed on the official confirmed layoff Board resolution, just
      > > > in case, presumably:
      > > > ( http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/Fiscal/modified_pks_040203.htm )
      > > >
      > > > Then, of course, Dr. Johnston moves forward and reveals her plan to
      > > > replace the enriched educational program during the still-maintained
      > > > teacher prep time with what looks to me like just remedial tutoring in
      > > > the 3Rs. The beauty of this for Dr. Johnston is that, because the
      > > > positions were whacked, but not the cost for the positions themselves,
      > > > if the new positions add up to even $1 less than the current
      > > > elementary prep time she's a big hero for saving that $1. Who cares
      > > > what the relative values of the old and new programs are or how sleazy
      > > > the whole process is.
      > > >
      > > > Going forward:
      > > >
      > > > 1. We need to get more details. We need scans (or electronic files) of
      > > > any memoranda that describe the plan including the Ana Souza memo.
      > > > 2. We need to find out how much this is budgeted to cost and from what
      > > > funding sources.
      > > > 3. We need to look into challenging this at the State level as a
      > > > non-instrucional use of time that is supposed to be used for
      > > > instructional purposes.
      > > > 4. And, of course, it's important to publicize this as much as
      > possible.
      > > >
      > > > Charley Cowens
      > > > 5th/8th Parent
      > > >
      > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Yasushi Ogura" <y-pogura@i...>
      > wrote:
      > > > > Most of you are probably aware that the district has cut elementary
      > > > prep services, in addition to class size reduction and counselors, but
      > > > may not be aware of what that means.
      > > > >
      > > > > I am an elementary prep music teacher. My job is to cover 50
      > > > minutes of instructional time per week for each of the classes to
      > > > which I am assigned. This year I covered 25 classes, for an average
      > > > of 700 kids per week. This provides the classroom teacher time to
      > > > prepare lessons, make copies, etc. By contract, elementary teachers
      > > > from grades 4 - 6 are guaranteed 100 minutes per week of "prep time."
      > > > Most of our elementary schools (exceptions are Madera and Valley
      > > > View) have vocal music, and must choose their other prep from either
      > > > PE, science, computer or art. By eliminating this program, our kids
      > > > lose all of these enrichments.
      > > > >
      > > > > The letter I received from the director of certificated personnel,
      > > > Ana Souza, reiterated that "elementary prep is eliminated" in the
      > > > first paragraph. The last paragraph of the letter stated "next year's
      > > > elementary prep will be covered by a literacy/math specialist, who
      > > > must have a multiple subject credential with CLAD certification and
      > > > prior training in Open Court, High Point, Project Seed or Math
      > > > Matters." How can there be any sort of elementary prep if the program
      > > > has been eliminated??? Thanks to the superintendent's emphasis on the
      > > > literacy program, which currently takes up most of the school day,
      > > > next year the kids will get an additional 100 minutes of literacy per
      > > > week and lose out on all of the "fun" subjects! I'm not suggesting
      > > > that literacy is not important - it is, of course, vital - but it is
      > > > the arts and humanities which make us all human!
      > > > >
      > > > > I wasn't feeling particularly depressed about being pink slipped
      > > > until I received that letter. What a slap. I have always taught my
      > > > classes music within historical and social context, with great
      > > > emphasis on understanding the language (and vocabulary) of the song
      > > > lyrics. Music theory has a huge mathematical component. Sound
      > > > production is rooted in science. Music is curriculum integration at
      > > > its best; a few of my teachers use my grade in lieu of social studies
      > > > since they have no time to teach that subject and the literacy block
      > > > required. Taking music out of public elementary schools will make the
      > > > subject affordable to only a few.
      > > > >
      > > > > On a final note, all multiple subject elementary teachers with CLAD
      > > > certifications were "skipped over" for layoff. Single subject
      > > > credentialed teachers with CLAD are not considered "as important"
      > > > since they (we) are considered secondary teachers. Many of us service
      > > > ONLY elementary students, and the CLAD is an important aspect of
      > > > dealing with children of varying English abilities.
      > > > >
      > > > > Please feel free to ask for clarification on any of the above.
      > > > >
      > > > > Patricia Ogura
      > > > > WCCUSD music teacher/parent
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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      > > > wccusdtalk-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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      > > >
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