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Elementary prep services

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  • Yasushi Ogura
    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
    Message 1 of 6 , May 25, 2003
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      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]
    • Mary Timar
      Yasushi, I sympathize with your situation. I am well aware of the cut in prep teachers this year and it s implications for next year. I believe that they are
      Message 2 of 6 , May 25, 2003
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        Yasushi,
        I sympathize with your situation.
        I am well aware of the cut in prep teachers this year and it's implications for next year.
        I believe that they are "eliminating prep time" this year as an excuse to eliminate all humanity teachers across the board. Gloria Johnson's way to get around the "No child left behind". She will take on specialists next year and sufficate all our children with OCR and math equivalent. With all that the regular child will not only sufficate but will lose all the desire or will to learn.
        Of course if money comes back (or defered state money actually comes) into the district, they will have on board at schools, teachers specializing in both math and language. (You can be assured they will be needed if our classes go to 30 per class with OCR.)
        Sick.

        This is another excellent reason why to support the campaign to stop the class size increase.

        I need to clarify that Madera school children do have vocal music weekly. Thanks to our excellent PTA. Our prep time is covered by computer and PE and yes we will lose PE.

        Mary Timar. (My viewpoint only)



        Yasushi Ogura <y-pogura@...> 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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      • portolapta
        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
        Message 3 of 6 , May 26, 2003
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          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]
        • Yasushi Ogura
          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
          Message 4 of 6 , May 30, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            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@...>
            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]
            >
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > wccusdtalk-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
          • c_cowens
            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
            Message 5 of 6 , May 31, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              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/ElemPrepLetterMain.gif
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/files/MemosOrEmails/ElemPrepLetterFollowup.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]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > > wccusdtalk-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              > >
              > >
            • Yasushi Ogura
              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
              Message 6 of 6 , May 31, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                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]
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > > wccusdtalk-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
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                > > >
                > > >
                >
                >
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