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January 28, 2009     Portola Reporter
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January 28, 2009
 

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2A Wednesday, Jan, 28, 2009 PortolaReporter Plumas County Teachers' Association reaches out to school board Traci Bue Chief among Strailey's con. on the PERB ruling, board's support of PCTA ef- ferred to the 1999 Public Em. In a conversation after the Staff Writer tbue@plumasnews.com Efforts to resurrect the open dialogue once enjoyed be. tween the teachers' union and the school board were made by bargaining representatives for the Plumas County Teach- ers' Association at last month's school board meeting. PCTA president and teacher Faith Strailey welcomed new board members Mary Shero and Chris Russell, and thanked the boaYd for its com- mitment before raising sever- al concerns of the PCTA in her address to the Plumas County Office of Education and Uni- fied School District boards Jan. 8. cerns was the exclusion of the PCTA in administrative meet- ings and as a regular voice on the monthly school board agenda. Strailey described teaching professionals as a unique and "collective body in the district," with "experi- ence, insight and direct knowledge," and encouraged more direct communication between PCTA and the board. The PTCA president also asked the board to reevaluate current policies in relation to aide support, on-site adminis- tration staff, and teacher eval- uations and discipline. Fellow teacher and bargain- ing representative Piers Strai- ley addressed the board re- garding the union's position This week, from our WASC report: Ch. 4: Self Study Findings Overall Findings in Category C: Standards-based student learning: Instruction Areas of strength: * Availability of class choices despRe small numbers; * Combining English classes to allow for / more flexibility in the schedule; * Technology available in some classrooms; * Library available wRh Accelerated Read- er and a large selection of AR books; * Learning experiences beyond the classroom including field trips; * Senior project as culminating activity required for all seniors; Teachers using a variety of teaching strategies; Communication between school and home through use of mygradebook.com. Areas for growth: * Consistency in middle School math posi- tion to foster better preparedness for high school level mater. ial; * Financial resources to continue all of the areas of strength. PUSD Bus Pass Bus passes will be increasing in price for the second semes- ter: One child: $55 per semester; Two children: $50 each per semester; Three or more: $45 each per semester; 20 ride punch pass: $12 per pass; Eligible for free pass: no charge; El- igible for reduced pass: $10 per semester; Lost passes: $10 re- placement charge; No replacement for lost punch pass. New passes will be required beginning Monday, Feb. 2nd. Board positions All Boosters Board positions are up for nomination and elec- tion, to take place at their February 9th meeting. Those posi- tions are: President, Vice Pres., Secretary and Treasurer. Upcoming Drama Presentation ....... The PHS Drama class will be performing a play called "LOL (A Modern Computer Farce), a Comedy in Two Acts" this Wednesday-Friday. All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Ad- mission is by donation, with all proceeds benefitting the PHS drama program. Senior Highlights Two PHS students have been accepted to Stanford Universi- ty, and both plan on going! Jessica Popish and Scan Valle both plan on attending Stanford. What an honor for both stu- dents, and a source of pride for PHS. Congratulations! MARK YOUR CALENDAR: * 1/28, 29, 30 Drama Production, 7:00 PHS library * 1/29 First semester grades mailed home * 1/30 Booster Bucks drawing and dessert, both lunches * 2/6 Basketball Bonanza * 2/11 Minimum Day: 7th/8th dismissal: 12:30; 9-12 dismissal: 12:13. * 2/16-20 February break. Aide support. Aide support in elementary classrooms is at risk of elimi- nation by the district, said Faith Strailey, even in the case of splits - unless a site de- cision authorizes funds for the purpose. Sites with more than one split may lack the funding for the valuable asset, creat- ing a hardship for teachers who provide split-class in- struction. "The big concern is we don't have the support we need to be able to provide the curricu- lum that is demanded of us. If you can't get to your students because of split instructional time between two different grade levels, then it's difficult to get that instruction out," she said. On.site administration To assist teachers with un- foreseen difficulties, the pres- ence of a qualified administra- tor or secretary is necessary at school sites at all times, a condition not always met said the association president. Evaluations and discipline According to Ms. Strailey, the current evaluation process lacks safeguards to limit its use in a retaliatory and puni- tive fashion. She asked for the forts to ensure the evaluation process is conducted fairly and objectively. "An evaluation process is in effect, but it doesn't require the administration to inform staff members if they're per- forming unsatisfactorily, nor does it require a principal to work with staff members to identify what is expected in terms of improvement prior to receipt of an unsatisfactory evaluation," she said. In addition, discipline pro- cedures have changed "dra- matically," she said. Where in the past, first-time infractions were addressed with direc. tives and or letters of repri- mand prior to dismissal, cur- rent evaluation practice is to issue threats of dismissal -- even when no history of a sim- ilar infraction has been previ- ously documented, and the staff member has provided years of positive service she said. Also, if an obser;cation is conducted, no record exists, she said. PERB ruling Bargaining representative Piers Strailey appealed to the board to consider a compro- mise that would level the play- ing field in terms of job stabili- ty for county teachers, He re- C. Roy Carmichael Welcome! Welcome Mrs. Maddalena- CRC's new secretary! We are glad that you are here! Character Counts Luncheon January's Character Counts luncheon for the theme of "Re- sponsibility" wK1 take place on Thursday, Jan. 29 during regular lunch times. We look forward to seeing you there! Parking Lot Safety: We have had a few incidents in the past week with vehicles speeding through the west parking lot at CRC. We are ask- ing all drivers to be conscious of their speed while traveling through either of our parking lots. Please remember, this is a drop-off and pick-up zone for our students. Students need to be picked up and dropped off in designated areas ONLY. Thank you for helping ensure the safety of all of our stu- dents at CRC. Yearbook Order Form: 2008-09 YearbOoks are now on sale. Order your copy early, as there will be a limited number of yearbooks ordered. Dates to Remember: January 29- Character Counts Lunch . February 11- Minimum Day , February 12-- Kindergarten Musical Performance February 16-20 President's Day and Winter Break (No School) Math Problems of the Week: K-3: How many angles on an octagon? On a triangle? On a decagon? H SIER Serving Northern California 8 Nevada Residential Commercial Tank Service & Installation Automatic Delivery 24-hour Emergency Service Underground Tank Installation 80 years combined experience in the LP Gas Industry Office Manager: Cherry Adkins Locally owned Located at corner of Hwy 70 & 89, Blairsden (8912 Hwy 89) 530-836-7252 ployment Relations Board de- cision ruling that the Plumas County superintendent of schools and the Plumas Uni- fied School District constRut- ed separate employers, a rul- ing being implemented, and a reversal of recent, past prac- tice of the unified district. The splR potentially creates inequity for teachers hired under dual salary and seniori- ty rates he said, a fact omitted during hiring interviews. Though teaching identical curricula, teachers hired for the district must be creden- tialed. District teachers also enjoy a stronger union and greater upward mobility by virtue of a larger seniority pool. Mr. Strailey said many cur- rent employees and new hires on both sides were never in- formed of the discrepancy or told that "down the road, they may find themselves on a dif- ferent salary." The union appealed to the board to consider a grace peri- od for county employees to al- low time for credential course work completion and the op- tion of applying for a "district position, should one come available. board meeting, school super. intendent Glenn Harris said the district will fulfill its obligation under the PERB ruling, and realizes its effect on employees. Noting that the different groups may prefer contractual differences, Harris said he is open to negotiating the effects of the PERB order. In regard to open meetings, Harris said he appreciates the efforts of the union to contin- ue a dialogue, but said R is the decision of administrators to have teachers at administra- tion meetings. In addition, he said R is the business of the school -- achievement, budget and per- sonnel changes -- that is dis. cussed at governing school board meetings, not the busi- ness of unions. "The school board meetings are not pubic meetings where everyone comes together to talk about their concerns, but a public meeting of the gov. erning board in a public fo- rum," he said. The governing board gets involved after the confidential negotiations are reached be- tween administration and bar- gaining officials, Court victory nets California schools $85 million in 2011 Traci Bue Staff Writer tbue@plumasnews.com Schools in Plumas County may see an unexpected wind- fall of $78,000 beginning in 2011. The funds are part of $85 million in cost reimburse- ment claims for state behav- ioral intervention plan re- quirements in excess of feder- al law. The Behavioral Interven- tion Plans [Hughes Bill] Man- dated Cost Claim Settlement ends a 14-year court case with the state of California and pro- vides $520 million in reim- bursements for past costs as- sociated with behavioral in- tervention plans and $65 mil- lion annually for ongoing costs. The claim against the state was initiated by the San Diego Unified School District, Butte County Office of Education and San Joaquin County Of- rice of Education, and the re- lated Sacramento Superior Court case No. 03CS01432. The one-time $85 million al- location for county offices of education and districts begin- ning in 2011-2012 and spread over six years is estimated us- ing 2007-2008 basic skills ap- portionments and average dai- ly attendance, and excludes regional occupation ADA cen. ters and programs, adult edu- cation, and programs operat- ed by the county superinten- dent of schools. According to the settlement, the Plumas County Office of Education will receive $5,000 in one-time funds. Plumas Uni- fied School District will re- ceive an increase of $37 321.09 to the General Fund. PUSD's Special Education Local Plan Area program will receive $I0,000. The settlement stipulates that the increase to AB 602 funding (specE~]~;educatlon) for PUSD ~f~ounts to $26,004.98. The Legislature's obligation to fund the settlement is con- tingent on the waiver of rights to file additional mandated cost claims on the current Hughes Bill Statute and Regu- lations in the future. Eighty- five percent of all districts, county offices of education and special education local plan areas constituting 92 per. cent of statewide average dai- ly attendance must agree. The PUSD/PCOE board ap- proved the settlement and waiver of rights agreement of the Hughes Bill settlement at a meeting Jan. 13. School superintendent Glenn Harris said the settle. ment was great news for schools, but given the state's funding freeze on education, it is unclear when the district will see the mandated award, INDIAN VALLEY DENTISTRY Inventory Clearance Sale Pro-Spring Sale & Open House Everything must golll Come and get what you need and want for less. Free Giveqways, Drawings and Samples . (Refreshments Provided) Saturday, Jan. 31st 453 Cedar Ridge, Pertola 11-2pm Come and Go as you please. ALESHA CARNES Independent Beauty Consultant For more inFo or to place an order call 530-832-0488 or 530-414-0453 www.marykayacames5.com Where good dental health is always something to smile about! We accept most insurance plans Including MediCal Brant Webb DDS, APe 220 Crescent Street (Highway 89) Greenville (530) 284-1888 Nt~v HOMES a GARAGES CARPORTS REMODELS BASIC IMPROVEMENTS SMALL JOBS IIINC| 1114 m I General Building Contractor | Calif. Lic. #453927 |