Thursday, October 28, 2010

Salary Schedule Issues

The retro pay from August (for year-round) and September (for year-round and traditional) was included in your October paycheck.  If you received a step and/or lane, the one or two months of increase was added in October.  In addition, the increase from the 9 hours of professional development was included.  Please be aware that your November paycheck will be less than your October paycheck, because it will have only your regular monthly pay.

Another issue has come up.  The pay for the 9 hours of professional development that was negotiated to be added to your base salary was figured incorrectly by the District by around $30 for the year.  Cindy Carroll and I met with Burke Jolley, Superintendent Newbold, June LeMaster, Judy Burton, and Bret Birge today.  They have agreed to fix the salary schedule and make the pay adjustment.  This is a time intensive process.  At some point, you will recieve the retro pay for the approximately $30 for the year.  We were not given a time on when that would happen, only that it would be before the end of the school year.

Negotiating for the 9 hours of professional development to be added to the salary schedule was to treat teachers as the professionals they are.  Teachers would do the work of preparing grades, grade transmittal, and track changes by the deadlines without teachers having to log their time on a timesheet.  The first of those days for traditional schools is Monday, November 1.  If you have completed your grades prior to Monday, you do not need to go in to school for the three hours. 

Track changes are different.  If you are rotating rooms, that work can only be done on the track-change day; however, if you are one of the fortunate year-round teachers who does not have to move rooms, you can do your planning for three hours at any time when you are off track.  Then you would not be required to be at school on the track-change day.

Please send additional questions on these issues to me via e-mail.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Couple of After School Meetings

The Jordan UniServ Membership Committee met today.  A lot of good ideas for engaging members and recruiting new members were discussed.  Watch for some in the coming months.

I also attended the Jordan Board Meeting tonight.  I was disappointed that no teachers from Oquirrh or Westvale Elementaries were in attendance, even though Oquirrh was celebrated and Westvale had signed up to attend.  Compliments to Tiffany and Karen from Silver Crest who were there.

The most interesting part was on policy changes and suggested changes for the next meeting.  I need to watch those changes closely.  Many may seem subtle but can have a big impact on JEA Members.  Herb Jensen was appointed Director of Transportation to replace Jim Hinckle who retired.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comments on Meet the Candidates Night

The following is what Glenda Adams sent me and has given me permission to share about the Meet the Candidates Night at Southland last night.

"I knew it was going to be rough, and it was with [Carl] Wimmer. I gave my two cents. Dave Hogue did a good job. He is speaking for public schools. I didn't know that he substitutes two days a week in our schools. Mostly middle schools. I think someone from District 41 or 47 came and seemed to be buddies with Stephenson's representative. Chad Reyes did very well pointing out the bad moves by Wimmer.

"Then Wimmer gets up and tells everyone that he now knows he made a mistake voting for the district split. He said he is asking for our forgiveness now and has and is going to vote for help for our schools. Chad Reyes pointed out that when Wimmer makes it known that he doesn't want the federal money [from the Education Jobs Fund Program], that this isn't helping our schools. That's when I said, I don't trust him [Carl Wimmer] and because of his vote for the split, our district is going through so many changes and that it is time that we make a change with who represents us. I said, we need to make a change, not having him, as the person who represents us.

"I didn't care for him [Corbin White] . . . and [like him] less now. He just seems flighty. Newman wasn't there, [because] he had his son's football game to go to. A principal, I forgot from what school, was standing by Newman's table, and he told me good things about Newman. I just think Newman should have been there though.

"Later, after several elderly people got up and voiced their unhappiness with Wimmer as well, which I was very happy to see tonight, one got up to ask about money for charter schools. Wimmer offers to get up to answer that there is a waiting list to get into charter schools, and he says that this shows how parents want a better place besides public schools. He goes on about how he believes and will always support a parent's choice and a better place for students other than public schools. That's when I interrupted him to try and say charter schools don't have to go by the rules public schools have to. . . .Someone spoke up to point out that charter schools do not need to go by the same requirements as public. Stephenson's guy wanted to point out that charter schools don't cost the parents anything to attend. Then someone spoke up to [ask] how are they funded, then asked about the difference between vouchers funding that was voted down twice.

"Oh, it was fun all right. This stuff makes me tired. But I'm glad I went and boy I really hope the right people will be voted in. Glenda"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy Two Days - Insurance Committee Meeting

The last two days at the office have been busy.  I have been responding to e-mails, many about the upcoming election.  In addition, I have been reading and posting on Facebook several articles related to education.  I planned, rescheduled, and prepared for the next JEA Executive Board Meeting.  I had a working lunch with other local presidents.  It is good to meet and talk with them about how their Districts and Associations are working together on issues similar to the ones we face.

I attended the Insurance Committee meeting yesterday.  The new healthcare law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will take effect for Jordan District in the next plan year, 2011-2012.  The law states that companies must comply in the first plan renewal AFTER September 23, 2010.  Our first plan renewal after that date will be September 1, 2011.  As written currently, the new law will cost our plan about $900,000.  That is about a 2.5% increase in costs.  The cost will likely be greater than that when all children, dependent or not, single or married, can be added to our plan next year.  Many doctors may start to suggest more "preventive" benefits that must be covered at 100% next year.  That will sound like "free" to the patient, but our self-insured plan will pay for it, which means premiums could increase if these "free" benefits are overused.  Our plan is good as far as reforms go.  We will not have to add as many things to our plan in order to comply as compared to other companies.  I am interested to see where this new law takes our insurance plan.

Don't forget the Meet the Candidates Night tonight.  See the Meet the Candidates Night blog post for more information.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Superintendent Timeline Modified

I attended the open portion of the School Board Study Session this evening.  The topic of discussion was the qualifications, application, timeline, and process for hiring a new superintendent.  After much discussion, which you can loosely follow at JEA on Facebook (I posted rough translations and summaries of what was said), the Board decided the December 14 date was too soon.  They also discussed how qualified candidates would likely be employed and under contract through the current school year.

In order to give time for applicants to provide all the documentation being requested, and to attract many qualified applicants, the job description brochure and application will be distributed through the Utah School Boards Association on October 26.  There will also be a link on the District website.  Applications will be due December 6.  An interim superintendent will be appointed on December 14.  The new superintendent would start on or before July 1, 2011.  See Salt Lake Tribune article on the subject.

From the conversation, I gathered that the Board wants to see who applies, then appoint someone from within, who does not apply to be the new superintendent, to be the interim superintendent.

Friday, October 15, 2010

UEA Convention Day 2

I spent a few hours helping in the UEA Membership booth today.  It was fun to do the prize drawings.  People were so happy to win!  I was there to take a membership form from a new member.  I also saw several people I have taught with at various points in my career.  I also enjoyed talking to several student teachers who came to the New Educator Workshop and Idea Fair.  They are all excited about teaching.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

UEA Convention Day 1

The opening session of the UEA Convention had UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh speak followed by Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby and musician Kurt Bestor.  Music was provided by the Crescent View Middle School Choir under the direction of CEA VP Rick Steadman.  The speakers talked about making a difference in the lives of those students who are "borderline" as Kirby stated or are very "colorful" as Bestor said. 

I walked through the exhibit hall and stopped at many of the booths.  I ran into a lot of old friends who are teaching around the District or in Canyons District.  It is always good to catch up with them.

I attended the political portion of the convention.  I listened to both gubernatorial candidates speak.  Governor Gary Herbert talked about how he and previous governor Jon Huntsman had been able to increase education funding over the last four years.  He stated that he went against the legislature to "hold the line" on education funding and "absorb the growth".  Go to Gary Herbert to see his views on education.

Mayor Peter Corroon talked about having a 10-year plan for education.  He also talked about his 6 R's:  Renew commitment to education. Raise standards. Rigor in math and science. Rethink accountability. Return local control. Responsible school funding.  He went into detail on each of these items.  Go to Vote Corroon for his 36-page plan for education in Utah.

I know that UEA has made a dual recommendation in this race and that Governor Herbert seems to be using that recommendation more openly than Mayor Corroon.  As JEA President, I have to be cautious about how I say things.  This is my PERSONAL opinion after hearing and meeting the candidates today.  I will  be supporting Peter Corroon.  He is more intelligent, articulate, and personable.  He actually has a plan for education.  These are the reasons he will receive my vote.  I AM NOT speaking for JEA or UEA, just for myself.

I hosted the "Signing in Schools" workshop this afternoon.  It was about how to use basic ASL signs to maintain discipline, teach concepts, and assess knowledge.  The class was well done.

Michelle Willden, theater teacher at Bingham, receive the Excellence in Education award along with nine other teachers from across the state.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October Legislative Council (AR) Meeting

We had a great meeting this afternoon.  John Rendell, Gary Olsen, and Chad Reyes, all recommended candidates for the Utah House of Representatives were there to speak and gain support. 

John Rendell can use volunteers the next two Saturdays, October 16 and 23.  His groups meet at Midvale Elementary at 9:30.  You can also help with a Get-out-the-vote phone bank on Wednesday, October 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 at 782 E. South Temple.  If you have additional questions, call John at 801-839-9249.

Gary Olsen is also walking on Saturdays.  On October 23 he will be in the Skye Park (9200 S. 4800 W.) area.  Other areas where he needs help are Daybreak and around the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center (11200 S. 2200 W.)

See the prior post about volunteering for Chad Reyes.

CONGRATULATIONS to Whitney Weaver at Sunset Ridge Middle School.  She is the new member winner of the 8 GB iPod Nano!

We had a good discussion of the budget and local building concerns.

See you at the UEA Convention!

UEA's New Website

The Utah Education Association has launched a new website at  I would encourage all of you to bookmark it and use it.  There is also a section to which you can refer parents and other community members for information.

See you at the Convention!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UEA Convention

I'm sure many of you are looking forward to a couple of days off. I hope you will plan to attend at least part of the UEA Convention at the South Towne Exposition Center on Thursday and Friday. If you can't find your convention program, here is a link to the UEA website with information about the convention. UEA Convention

I'm hosting the Signing in the Classroom class on Thursdsay afternoon and will be hosting at the UEA Membership Booth on Friday from 11 to 1. I hope to see many of you there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Volunteer for Chad Reyes

Chad is running as an independent candidate for House of Representatives in Riverton/Herriman against Carl Wimmer.  If you would like to help Chad defeat Carl, volunteer to help on your own schedule.

The following message is from Chad.

"Thanks to everyone's hard work thus far, we've covered a lot of ground; but we still have several precincts left that need our attention. In order to reach out and touch as many voters as possible before November, we've come up with the following plan for volunteers:

"If you're interested, several target-area maps, yard signs, door hangers and names of voters with strong voting histories in those particular areas are available to be picked up at your leisure. Once you're assigned an area, it's up to you to deliver this literature and attempt contact with the voters listed whenever you can, rather than having a set date and time for a group of volunteers.

"We realized most people cannot commit to donating several hours on one particular Saturday, so hopefully this new idea will be more accommodating for all of you whose help is so greatly needed, and so greatly appreciated.

"The remaining areas have been divided into lots with between approximately 80 and 120 homes, with hopes that each volunteer will be able to complete them by Election Day. Our response from the voters we've had the pleasure of contacting so far has been extremely positive, and it seems we've finally picked up some great momentum.

"If you're available to assist with this drive, please contact me directly; either by email, or by phone at (801) 592-3612. All of the packets (maps, scripts, signs and door hangers) are assembled and ready to be picked up whenever you're available.

"Again, thanks again for all your time, energy and support so far; and I'm looking forward to representing all of our best interests next legislative session!


Chad Reyes
Candidate, Utah State Legislative Representative
District 52"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lots of Meetings

Last night was the Executive Board Meeting.  We approved committee assignments and the budget, which will be presented for approval by ARs at the Legislative Council meeting next week.

Today was a Sick Bank Committee meeting.  If you need to use Sick Bank, Critical Family Illness, or Adoption Leave, read the policy carefully.  Sick Leave Policy  Ask for clarification through Human Resources if needed.

District Advisory Committee was this afternoon.  Issues discussed were time for PLCs at the elementary level (work with your principal and be creative), salary items from negotiations, Herriman Fire make-up day for C track will be on Presidents' Day in the middle of their off track time (plan for it now), secondary Teacher Salary Supplemental Program application at, classroom temperature either too hot or too cold (talk with your custodian and principal first, then Auxillary Services), license renewal finger prints can start now if your license expires in June 2011, food policy that you can purchase food for students but not for employees, and legislative supply money starting at $50 now and the remainder will come in December.  More details later.

I forgot about the Special Education Task Force that met in between the other two meetings.  I will be finding out what was discussed there. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet the Candidates Night

Sponsored by Region 6 PTA on Thursday, October 21 at the following locations:

Oquirrh Elementary: 6:00 - 8:00
Format: Open House 6:00 - 6:30, formal questions & answers 6:30 - 7:00 then from 7:00 - 8:00 open house
School Board candidates Nathan Gedge and Peggy Jo Kennett

Eastlake Elementary: 6:30 - 8:30
Format: Open House
Jordan School Board candidates Susan Pulsipher and Roy Harward
United States House of Representatives District 3 candidate Karen Hyer
Utah Board of Education District 3 candidates Burtis Bills and Craig Coleman
County Council candidate Steven Debry
Utah House of Representatives District 41 candidate John Jackson
Utah House of Representatives District 50 candidates Gary Olsen, Russell Hatch, and Merlynn Newbold

Southland Elementary: 7:00 - 8:00
Format is introduce yourself, then an open house
Jordan School Board candidates Corbin White and Mark Newman
State Senate 11 candidates Dave Hogue and Howard Stephenson, who is sending a representative
House of Representatives District 52 candidates Chad Reyes and Carl Wimmer

Monday, October 4, 2010

First PTA TEF/EDX Presentation

I presented the TEF/EDX video and PowerPoint to Elk Meadows PTA today.  They were surprised at the funding changes that have hurt public education over the past 15 years.  I hope to be able to present this information to many more PTA and SCC groups over the course of the year.

Friday, October 1, 2010


The following is from the Current on the retro-pay due teachers for their lane and step increases and adding 9 hours of pay to the salary schedule.  See also Current.

In accordance with the recent Negotiations Settlements for the 2010-11 academic year, qualifying employees will receive a one-time lump sum amount on their October paycheck for the retro-pay agreed to beginning on July 1, 2010. Employee paychecks after October will be adjusted accordingly.

Retro-pay for time sheeted employees will be reviewed and paid at a later date. Additional information regarding retro-pay for time sheeted employees will be forthcoming.

Personnel in the Departments of Human Resources and Payroll will be working vigorously to meet the necessary October paycheck deadline. Please hold all questions regarding retro-pay until after the October paycheck. You may then view individual salary changes on Employee Access.

We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation with this process.