Saturday, November 17, 2012

Council of Local Presidents

We had a presentation on UEN and the services they provide.  You can follow them in several places.  UEN website, UEN Channel on YouTube, UEN Professional Development on Twitter, UEN Professional Development Facebook Page, and through twice weekly (Monday and Thursday) text updates by texting UEN to 91011 to subscribe.

New UEA Membership cards are being mailed to your homes on Monday, November 19. Please watch for your card within the next week. When you login at to activate your card, you will be asked to create a password for your account. The new Access discounts website will be easier to search. You will be able to purchase some items from that website and have them sent directly to you.

UEA is looking for additional minorities to run for NEA-RA Delegate-At-Large and NEA-RA Successor Delegate-At-Large.  Both are three year terms where you attend the NEA Representative Assembly for three years from approximately June 28 to July 6. The next 3 NEA-RA's will be held in Atlanta (2013), Denver (2014) and Miami Beach (2015).  All expenses are paid for you to attend and represent Utah at the annual business meeting to direct NEA.  Please let me know if you are minority and interested in running, and I will assist you with filing a declaration of candidacy.  The deadline is Thursday, January 10, 2013.

Senate Bill 64 evaluation pilot is happening this year in a handful of schools.  The initial version of the bill outlined in this post ended in the much improved SB 64, which was supported and collaborated on by UEA.

Only 30% of subjects/grades in Utah are tested.  Difficult to measure student growth for evaluation purpose.  Student Learning Objectives (SLO) are going to be used to look at growth in non-tested subjects/grades, and possibly some that are tested would be optional.  Looking at teachers setting goals/learning objectives with administrators that shows learning outcomes by students.  Many teachers do this in an informal way already.  You would do this for a limited number of students (2-4).  Tested subjects/grades are going to use Student Growth Percentiles (SGP) in relationship to their academic peers.  SGP's would look at what we expect a student to do when compared to other students like them.   Even in tested subjects, teachers may want to use SLO's, because it gives an additional line of evidence in a teacher evaluation.  This is scheduled to be implemented in the 2014-2015 year.

In 2008, 47 members voted by mail.  In 2012, 2214 members voted by mail.  This is a great success!  It helps people who often haven't voted regularly in the past.  Please be prepared this coming legislative session to contact your representatives to tell your stories.  Public education is not a partisan issue.  We build relationships with those who were elected no matter the party to do what is best for public education.  Statewide, we were able to move the majority of elected officials more to the center.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Legislative Supply Money

The final amount for Legislative Supply Money is as follows:

Elementary - Step 1-3:  $250 full time, Step 4+:  $165 full time
Secondary - Step 1-3:  $200 full time, Step 4+:  $145 full time

You can turn in receipts to be reimbursed for the full amount after Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


There has been an issue with having enough substitutes.  This was brought up in District Advisory Committee (DAC) as well as by administrators at their meeting.

In the past, the District has only accepted applications for substitutes twice a year, followed by interviews and a training class.  In October, there were 350 substitute applications received.  The training is now offered online.  Once new applicants are approved, they can take the online training whenever they would like, submit the paperwork required to prove they did the training, and be fingerprinted.  Then they are ready to sub.  This could happen as quickly as a week if the substitute is motivated to finish.  Now the District will accept substitute applications at any time, not just twice a year.

Part of the lack of substitutes has to do with them now being paid hourly instead of half-day or full-day.  The District website still shows half-day and full-day rates, not hourly rates, which may cause confusion for substitutes.

From June LeMaster, Human Resources Director:
-The substitute teacher pay has also changed in that subs are paid hourly and not by half days or full days.  They are used to arriving late and leaving early and expecting to be paid the full day.  As subs are paid with taxpayer money, we are holding them accountable and paying them only for time worked. 
-Principals have always maintained the authority to have a substitute work a full day even when students are not at school, as long there is work for the substitute to do.
-We realize some subs are disgruntled with the changes, specifically for being paid only for the hours they work; however, we believe we are being fiscally responsible with taxpayer money. The money saved will be diverted to other District needs.

Secretaries are being asked to "babysit" substitutes and have them working with students all day, including covering other classes during the one teacher's prep if a sub is unavailable at the secondary level.

There was a concern mentioned that secondary teachers feel that not subbing on their prep period when a substitute has not arrived may be held against them in the future.  This should not be happening.  Teachers should not feel guilty for not covering a class during their prep period.

If you are having problems with not enough substitutes or complaints about the pay of substitutes, please let me know.  This issue may need to return to DAC.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jordan Education Foundation Mini Grants

I attended the Jordan Education Foundation Board meeting this morning.  $76,000 will be awarded to teachers through the Mini Grant program.  Of the 129 applications received, 112 will be funded helping 168 teachers impact 17,000 students!  Awards will be presented by members of the Foundation Board over the next couple of weeks.

Congratulations to all JEA members who will receive a grant!

Election Results

I'm sure you are all aware of the results of the headline races like president, governor, and U.S. representatives.  In Utah Legislative races in the Jordan District area, the following won:
  • Senate District 6:  Wayne Harper
  • Senate District 10: Aaron Osmond
  • House District 42: Jim Bird
  • House District 43:  Earl Tanner
  • House Distict 47: Ken Ivory
  • House District 50:  Rich Cunningham
  • House District 52:  John Knotwell
The results for members of the Jordan District Board of Education are:
  • Precinct 1: J. Lynn Crane
  • Precinct 4: Kayleen Whitelock
  • Precinct 5: Richard Osborn
  • Precinct 6: Janice Voorhies

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Meeting with Superintendent Johnson

I had my monthly meeting with Dr. Johnson this morning.  We discussed legislative priorities and the placement of support class students for tracking test scores. 

We then had a good discussion about evaluation, pay, collaboration, and improving teacher practice.  Looking at various levels of teacher skill development and working on specific teaching skills is needed.  Dr. Johnson mentioned interest in "career based pay" which would include teachers with expanded roles like coach or mentor.  Having peers work with struggling teachers would be a huge shift.  Again, all of this is just discussion right now.