SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Theodore Judah Elementary’ Category

SCUSD and SCTA leadership reach tentative agreement

(edited 9:22 a.m. Tuesday, June 15)

June 14     3 p.m.    Theodore Judah

Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, SCUSD Board President Ellyne Bell and SCTA President Linda Tuttle announced in a press conference the details of a two-year contract designed to save teachers’ jobs and to keep class sizes small.

The deal includes:

  • a mutual understanding to keep K-3 class sizes small with a 1/25 ratio
  • teachers will be asked to give up the equivalent of 3 furlough days in salary. Each SCTA member will effectively pay back approximately $950 per year to the district in order to “give back” or retain teachers currently holding pink slips
  • teachers will be asked to increase their monetary contributions to their retiree health benefits packages
  • the board is being asked to consider a parcel tax measure to go on the ballot, possibly next year

SCTA’s 3000 members have not yet seen the details on paper.  SCTA volunteers will deliver the proposed contract to members beginning Tuesday morning with a final vote tally promised by late Thursday evening with announcement on Friday, June 18.

This two-year agreement will push out the previously scheduled 2011 contract negotiations for SCUSD and its teachers’ union.

Tuttle described the compromises as a “stop gap measure” to immediately bring back teachers and also to concede to parent partners’ demands for small class sizes in the elementary grades.

Raymond believes the furlough concession is a “huge part” of the agreement because roughly $2.3 million will be saved in district coffers.

Confusion surrounds the school year calendar. In separate agreements with its other bargaining units, it is reported that the District has agreed to three actual furlough days — two at Thanksgiving week and also Lincoln’s Birthday.

SCUSD Board members Roy Grimes and Jerry Houseman were also in attendance.

Send Your Kids to School

Highlights from Tuesday evening’s community meeting at Sacramento Charter High School in the North Study Area.

Board Members in attendance: Roy Grimes, Ellyne Bell, Patrick Kennedy, Gustavo Arroyo and Diana Rodriguez

The large audience included parents, students, teachers and neighbors representing The Met Sacramento, Sacramento Charter High, PS-7, Sutter Middle,West campus, Theodore Judah and Father Keith B. Kenney, among others.

Staff comments:

  • The district has experienced declining enrollment over the last 8-10 years
  • SCUSD must cut $30 million from its budget in the next 18 months
  • “We’re not going to serve any less lunches, we’re just going to serve them in less places”
  • Budget decisions will be made on or around March 15
  • If schools are closed they won’t be shuttered…the district is working with the city to to provide partnerships with other entities (health clinics, preschools, child care, etc)
  • The Serna Center has cut back its capacity by 10,000 square feet in order to rent or lease that space
  • The school board is committed to a transparent, thoughtful process
  • Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and new ideas.
  • Marketing has been the weak link and the staff is working on promotion, recruitment and showcasing.
  • Staff is also working to put together a plan that makes sense — one that balances the budget and stays away from the classroom.

Community concerns:

  • Sacramento Charter High should be fully utilized for its capacity and considered as a site for co-location
  • The large contingent of attendees representing the Met voiced their concerns about possible “blending” with another campus. Many spoke of wanting to save their small school environment
  • Small high schools have a specific focus but lack a balanced education — look at the big picture and include art, music and sports into the curricula
  • Neighborhoods that have struggled for decades will deteriorate if schools close and urban blight will take over
  • SCUSD needs to make its programs attractive to retain enrollment. Make schools a shining light and people will want to go there
  • Oak Park has been lacking a middle school for over 40 years
  • Co-locating Sac Charter HS with another school will upset the program and the solution is not to create more havoc
  • PS-7 has worked hard to establish a culture and consolidation is not the answer, investment in what’s working is the solution
  • The zero tolerance policy the board established for truancy in its last meeting is going to further burden children in poverty-stricken areas

Ideas:

  • consolidate administration to a 4-day work week
  • expand programs that are successful
  • return to the K-6 elementary, 7-9 junior high, and 10-12 senior high model
  • consider that small programs limit the need for special education services
  • consider instituting the block system on more high school campuses
  • offer fee-based pre-school, child care, language education and martial arts at schools to increase revenue
  • partner with churches to lease space
  • take a regionalized approach by establishing empowerment zones for local businesses to sponsor schools — work with legislation to provide tax incentives
  • set up suggestion boxes around the city to gather input on an ongoing basis
  • expand waiting lists for popular programs and make it easier for students in other districts to transfer to SCUSD

All art is good

A story in the Bee today about Theodore Judah Elementary‘s art festival.

At the main table, students will hand-paint shoes destined for African children living in refugee camps and orphanages. With pen and paper, the boys and girls also will compose “messages of hope” that will be inserted into the shoes.

The shoes project also involves students from three other east Sacramento elementary schools – Caleb Greenwood, Phoebe Hearst and David Lubin, all of which will be represented at the extravaganza.

Read more about the Shoes of Hope Project

Written by scusdobserver

April 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm