Wednesday, Cindy and I met with Dr. Johnson for our monthly meeting. We discussed items for our upcoming Joint Committee Meeting. One of those items is an Elementary Prep/Collaboration Time Task Force to study options of how to include time during the elementary contract day for preparation and collaboration. The Task Force will study what other districts do, as well as brainstorm ideas. These ideas will then be presented to the Joint Committee in April.
Dr. Johnson talked about the SMARTER Balanced Consortium assessments that are being developed. These assessments are going to be for the Common Core of State Standards. She also said that there could be a change in evaluation systems to go to using a valid and reliable assessment (from SMARTER Balanced Consortium) of student growth as part of teacher evaluation for performance pay. This will take several years, and Dr. Johnson has said she wishes to be collaborative with JEA, so teachers have a voice in what changes to the evaluation would be.
We also discussed JEA, District Administration, and the School Board being trained in Interest Based Bargaining (IBB). This is a different model of negotiating than has been used in Jordan School District. Dr. Johnson said she has been trained and used IBB as a member of the District Negotiations Team in Clark County. School Board President Rick Bojak told me that the School Board is interested in going to IBB also. This is a paradigm shift. Last year during mediation, the mediator suggested IBB training. JEA was interested, but the District was not. We see the District's willingness to be trained in IBB as a positive step toward a smoother negotiations process in the future.