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Update: Friday, September 25

Clarification? Training and release time to plan? 

Clarification
Renegade administrators, overzealous teachers, bureaucratic doubletalk? Last week the lead story was and remains this week’s $64,000.00 question. Just how much screen time is required of both students and teachers?  Reports from our virtual site visits have demonstrated no consistent policy from school site to school site regarding schedules and screen times. Hopefully, at negotiations next week, Friday, October 2, we can get some answers and relief.

In the meantime PLEASE CONTINUE TO CALL AND EMAIL the Board of Education and Executive Staff. These policy makers need to know what is going on in “the field”.


Training and release time to plan.
This week assurances were given, that teachers would be provided time during the duty day to learn how to use the new Learning Management System (LMS) and be provided additional planning time. Specifics are forthcoming from the District. We certainly appreciate the mindfulness of providing time to learn and plan. By no means do we want to sound ungrateful, but there is this little problem with getting a substitute teacher and writing substitute plans for a learning management system we hardly understand. It can take almost a full duty day just to figure out how to plan for a virtual duty day. We are hopeful that a cadre of robust substitute teachers can be rapidly trained and deployed. The level of fatigue and anxiety being experienced by the demands of “distance learning” is alarming. The District could see a wave of teachers accessing their sick leave.


Evaluations
The bargaining team really pressed hard to have evaluations waived for the 2020-21 school year. The District adamantly refused to entertain the idea. All temporary/special contract and probationary teachers will be evaluated this school year. Teachers who are eligible for the 5 year evaluation cycle should inquire with their administrator. Eligibility for the 5 year alternate evaluation cycle is below. The contract allows you to do your evaluation in “hard copy” or “electronically”. Essentially you have a choice. There are no “pilot” or “non-negotiated” evaluation forms or procedures. Why would one want to do an evaluation in hard copy vs. electronically? There is still a concern for the safety and security of LBUSD’s networks. If someone were to hack the network it is conceivable all of your evaluation records could be stolen. 


5 Year Evaluation Cycle Contract language, Article XII – Section A

Effective with the 2008-09 school year, unit members with permanent status shall be evaluated at least every five (5) years if they have been employed by the district for ten (10) years or more and if the evaluator and the unit member consent to such time line. In order to be eligible for the five year cycle a unit member must be deemed to be “highly qualified” as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act (20 U.S.C. 7801) and his/her most recent evaluation must contain an overall rating of at least Satisfactory or Effective. For eligible unit members who do not teach in “core academic” subjects, qualification requirements shall be the same as for teachers of “core academic” subjects. For eligible unit members who are not classroom teachers the District and Association shall review and agree on appropriate comparable criteria.

Either the evaluator or the unit member may withdraw from this cycle at any time and such withdrawal shall not be subject to the grievance procedure. Upon request the evaluator will meet with the unit member to explain the reasons for withdrawal.


Evaluation Forms Contract language, Article XII – Section A

Evaluation and assessment of the performance of employees shall be made on a continuing basis at least once each school year for temporary and probationary personnel and at least once every other year for employees with permanent status. Employees may elect to complete their evaluation forms either manually or online. The district and TALB will assess the online evaluation usage and select the best option for future years based on the evaluation usage, security, and effectiveness.


Virtual Site Visits A Zoom link should have already been sent out.

Monday – 9/28/2020 @ 4:00 p.m. – E.P.H.S., Powell & Wilson
Wednesday – 9/30/2020 @ 4:00 p.m. – Avalon K-12, Cubberley, Gompers, Hudson, Muir, Newcomb, & Robinson
Thursday – 10/1/2020 @ 4:00 p.m. – Buffum TLC
Friday – 10/2/2020 @ 4:00 p.m. – Henry, Herrera, Holmes, Kettering, Lafayette, Lincoln, Longfellow, Los Cerritos & Lowell

Update, Friday, September 18

LBUSD & TALB Bargaining Teams met last Tuesday…

The TALB Bargaining Team walked Dr. Tiffany Brown, Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Erin Simon, Assistant Superintendent of School Support Services, Steve Rockenbach, Employee Relations and Ethics Director and Steve Andelson, Esq. through the first two weeks of “Distance Learning”. The team gave very specific feedback on how there is excessive screen time for students, parents and teachers. Dr. Brown and Dr. Simon assured the teams that they would bring back the input to “Executive Staff”.

To be clear, last summer the TALB Bargaining Team made multiple proposals that used their experiences from March 13th – June 12th to develop instructional models for the 2020-21 school year that would be robust and mindful of “screen time” for both students, parents and teachers. These proposals were turned down emphatically. 

On Wednesday, 9/16/2020 at the Board of Education meeting, at roughly 8:00 p.m. around two hours and fifty two minutes into the meeting an explanation was present by the “Leveled Offices” a.k.a. High Schools Office, Middle Schools Office and Elementary Schools Office.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU8SHZaEzuU

The explanations given for “Distance Learning” schedules and screen times given by Executive Staff are in complete conflict with directives principals have been giving to teachers. We hope you review the video and then given your thoughts to the Board of Education and Executive Staff. Students, parents and teachers need relief. Schedules need to be adjusted.   PLEASE lift up your voices. 

Write those snail mail letters.
Write those emails.
Make those calls.

 

The next School Board meeting is September 28 @ 5:00 p.m.


To send a comment in to be read by the Board of Education secretary, Leticia Rodriguez, at the next school board meeting. Type up a quick comment. Read it aloud and time yourself. Your comments must be under 3 minutes (and maybe under two minutes if they cut public comment time) – that’s all the time you’ll get – once the timer goes off, the comment is cut.

Typically there are two opportunities to address the Board of Education.

1) You can make public comment on items listed on the agenda = screen time for students, parents and teachers, online instruction, etc.
2) You can make public comment on items that are not listed on the agenda = Budget priorities, Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach Unified, accessibility, etc. 

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the public session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to  open.session.agenda.comment@lbschools.net

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the closed session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to closed.session.public.comment@lbschools.net

Update: Friday, September 11

 

 

 

 

 

LBUSD to continue “Distance Learning” until January 28th. Maybe longer.

Without much surprise, LBUSD announced it would not reopen for “in-person” instruction until second semester. Although, even that date begs the question: In the middle of winter will the pandemic be tapped down enough in Los Angeles county to return to classrooms? Hope for the best, but at this point be prepared for an entire school year of “Distance Learning”.  


 

LBUSD & TALB Bargaining Teams go back to the table…

Next Tuesday, September 15th, the two teams will return to the bargaining table. Topics will include the amount of screen time for students and teachers, support and training for the Learning Management System – Canvas, evaluations, and safety and sanitation procedures. 

TALB Bargaining Team
Bargaining Chair – Corrin Hickey, Lakewood HS
Child Development Centers – Sybil Baldwin, Addams, CDC
Elementary Rep. Kevin Quinn, Los Cerritos ES
Elementary Rep. Maritza Summers, Mann ES
Head Start Rep. Maria Garcia, McKinley, Head Start
Middle School Rep. Mark Ennen, Newcomb K-8
Secondary Rep – Gerry Morrison, McBride HS
Special Education Rep. – John Kane, Jordan HS
TALB Executive Board Liaison  – John Solomon, TALB Secretary, MacArthur ES
TALB Executive Director, Chris Callopy


Self – Care must be a priority if you’re going to survive this school year…

This week we’ve heard from hundreds of teachers who are working 12-14 hour days attempting to learn and be effective at “Distancing Learning”. You are paid for an 8 hour duty day.

DON’T BURN YOURSELF OUT! There are still 172 teaching days left in this school year.
Self-Care may sound cliche, but it is no joke. We MUST take care of ourselves. If our Health Benefit plans are to survive, we have to live better. 

Selfcare is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively.

Why Self-Care Matters – Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.
It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy, and resilient.

Why Do We Often Fail at Self-Care?
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy. Most of us are crazy busy, have stressful jobs, or are too consumed with technology to make time for ourselves. Me-time is usually last on the agenda. Worse, we can sometimes feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. So getting started with self-care can be challenging. 

How Do You Engage in Self-Care?
No matter which approach you choose, the goal is to figure out which self-care strategies work best for you, learn how to use these strategies, and implement them in your regular routine so you can boost your well-being not only today but forever.

Here are 12 ways to get started with your self-care.

1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine.
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep. 

What do you do to make sleep part of a self-care routine? Start by thinking about your nightly routine. Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed? If so, it’s especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake. 

Reducing stress is also key. If you have work-related stress, think about the best ways to calm yourself after a hard day or relax more while on the job. Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cellphone, etc.). And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.

2. Take care of yourself by taking care of your gut.
Your gut health can have a significant impact on your health, well-being, and feelings of vitality. The types of foods you eat crucially impact the bacteria that live in your stomach, resulting in a cascade of either positive or negative outcomes. Healing the gut can lead to an unhappy person, and vice-versa. 

3. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine.
We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight.

Try simply exercises, such as walking, cycling, or yoga, which may be able to fit into your schedule more easily. The most important thing is to create a routine that works for you.

4. Eat right for self-care.
The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.

5. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care.
Learning to say no is really hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more self-confident, and you’ll have more time for your self-care. 

6. Take a self-care trip.
Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life. Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed, getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax, and be rejuvenated. These self-care trips don’t have to be costly; simply drive to the next town over and see the sights, or go camping nearby. The goal is to veer away from your normal schedule and take the time to do something just for yourself.

7. Take a self-care break by getting outside.
Spending time outside can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and be more mindful. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. Getting outside can also help you sleep better at night, especially if you do some physical activity, like gardening, hiking, or walking while you are outside.

8. Let a pet help you with your self-care.
Pets can bring a boost to our lives. From giving unconditional love to providing companionship, pets can be hugely beneficial for our self-care. Dogs especially can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety and can even lower blood pressure. In fact, many people who suffer from disorders like PTSD have benefited from working daily with animals, which is why service dogs have become so helpful for these individuals.

9. Take care of yourself by getting organized.
Getting organized is often the first step to becoming a healthier you, because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, can help you write down all your responsibilities and appointments, while at the same time keeping your life a bit more organized. You can also create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day.

10. Cook at home to care for yourself.
Many people don’t take the time to make themselves meals, preferring instead to stop for fast food or popping a pre-made meal in the microwave. But these “fast” meals aren’t usually sufficient when it comes to feeding your body the right kinds of calories and nutrients. Even if it’s only once a week, consider making a healthy meal for yourself or your whole family. You could even look into a meal delivery service or meal kit that can help you get started.

11. Read a book on self-care for self-care.
In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to turn to our phones for entertainment or comfort, scrolling through news feeds that can contribute to our stress and anxiety rather than helping it. Instead, consider bringing a self-help book with you when you leave the house. Even better, bring books on self-care so that you can learn more about how to take care of yourself while you are taking care of yourself. You might be amazed at the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful.

12. Schedule your self-care time, and guard that time with everything you have.
It can be hard for us all to find extra time. But it’s extremely important to plan regular self-care time. Moments alone can help you to ponder the best ways to move forward in your life and keep you grounded. And moments with friends can help you feel more connected and relaxed.

Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath, or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life; for example, you might wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit with a cup of tea and practice deep breathing before the chaos of the day begins, or you might take a walk around the block on your lunch break. The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow, enjoy your life, and thrive.


Frustrated with screen times and an inordinate amount of time planning for a Learning Management System?
Let the Board of Education and Executive Staff know your thoughts!

Write those snail mail letters.
Write those emails.
Make those calls. 

 


The next School Board meeting is September 16 @ 5:00 p.m. Watch LIVE – CLICK HERE


Round-Up: Friday, September 4

You made it!  It has been a whirlwind of a week. Regardless of the outcome, we know you did your very best to make things work for students and families. Spinning up a brick and mortal classroom into a virtual space is a herculean task. Please take a breather this Labor Day weekend. You’ve earned it! PLEASE do not spend your 3 day holiday weekend working! As a gentle reminder, you are paid for an 8 hour day.

Reports from the Field . We’ve heard from many parents, students and teachers regarding the challenges that online learning has presented; inconsistent network reliability, excessive screen times leading to headaches and nausea. We know you are tired, we know you are fatigued. Be that as it may, the policy makers, Executive Staff and the Board of Education who signs off, needs to hear from students, parents and teachers.


We continue to encourage our members, community members, parents and students to contact the Board of Education and Executive Staff. They need to hear from you as this school year unfolds. Watch the school board meetings. You will learn how decisions are being made about the future of LBUSD. 

To send physical, snail mail.
1515 Hughes Way
Long Beach, CA 90810

Board of Education, LBUSD
Diana Craighead – Presidentdcraighead@lbschools.net 562-997-8240
Jon Meyer – Vice President – cjmeyer@lbschools.net 562-997-8240
Megan Kerr – Member – mmkerr@lbschools.net 562-997-8240
Dr. Felton Williams – Memberfwilliams@lbschools.net 562-997-8240
Dr. Juan Benitez – Memberjbenitez1@lbschools.net 562-997-8240

Executive Staff  – LBUSD
Dr. Jill Baker, Superintendentjbaker@lbschools.net  (562) 997-8242  Fax (562) 997-8280
Dr. Tiffany Brown, Deputy Superintendenttmbrown@lbschools.net (562) 997-8465 Fax (562) 997-8282
David Zaid, Assistant Superintendent, HRS, LBUSD – dzaid@lbschools.net (562) 997-8258 Fax (562) 997-8300
Dr. Jay Camerino, Assistant Superintendent, High Schools, jcamerino@lbschools.net (562) 997-8115  Fax (562) 997-8286
Dr. Christopher Lund, Assistant Superintendent, Middle Schools & K-8, clund@lbschools.net (562) 997-8100  Fax (562) 997-8282
Brian Moskovitz, Assistant Superintendent, Early Learning & Elementary Schools, bmoskovitz@lbschools.net (562) 997-8247 Fax (562) 997-8285
Dr. Kristi Kahl, Assistant Superintendent, OCIPD, kkahl@lbschools.net (562) 997-8025
Chris Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Research & School Improvement Office, csbrown@lbschools.net (562) 997-8143
Dr. Erin Simon, Assistant Superintendent, Office of School Support Services, esimon@lbschools.net (562) 997-8644  Fax (562) 997-8290
Steve Rockenbach, Direct of Employee Relations & Ethics, srockenbach@lbschools.net (562) 997-8220  Fax (562) 997-8283 

Write those snail mail letters.
Write those emails.
Make those calls. 


The next School Board meeting is September 16 @ 5:00 p.m. Watch LIVE – CLICK HERE

To send a comment in to be read by the Board of Education secretary, Leticia Rodriguez, at the next school board meeting. Type up a quick comment. Read it aloud and time yourself. Your comments must be under 3 minutes (and maybe under two minutes if they cut public comment time) – that’s all the time you’ll get – once the timer goes off, the comment is cut.

Typically there are two opportunities to address the Board of Education.
1) You can make public comment on items listed on the agenda = screen time for students, parents and teachers, online instruction, etc.
2) You can make public comment on items that are not listed on the agenda = Budget priorities, Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach Unified, accessibility, etc. 

If you want your comments to be read aloud during the public session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to  open.session.agenda.comment@lbschools.net
If you want your comments to be read aloud during the closed session of the Board of Education meeting, send an email to closed.session.public.comment@lbschools.net


Virtual Site Visits

Starting next week TALB will begin virtual site visits. Before the pandemic hit, typically the TALB President and Assistance Executive Director would go out to each individual school site once a school year. This year we’ll be combining multiple sites on Zoom. The intent is to be able to have multiple site visits with the same school this year. You will receive a “Site Visit Notification” via Mailchimp email service with the date and time, along with the Zoom meeting invitation. We will be asking folks to place their class size in the chat box in an effort to analyze declining enrollment by school site. LBUSD was already experiencing declining enrollment before the pandemic and there are concerns the health and economic crisis will exacerbate declining student enrollment.


The California Department of Education (CDE) reports LBUSD had another drop in enrollment for the 2019-20 school year, roughly 1,219 students. From a pure revenue standpoint, LBUSD will lose at least $12.5 million dollars. Back in the 2002-2003 school year, LBUSD peaked in enrollment with 97,560 students. The CDE reports LBUSD’s enrollment at the end of last school year was 72,002 students. The LBUSD’s business office has projected a 2-3% declining enrollment prior to the pandemic. In simple terms, we would lose another 2,000 students this school year, 2020-21. However with the pandemic raging and unemployment in the city of Long Beach over 20% there is no telling if the usual 2-3% decline will be magnified. 

Anecdotal reports from our Reps indicate some students are not returning to LBUSD. Perhaps, students and families are experiencing technical glitches or miscommunication on acquiring Chromebooks and Internet “hotspots”. On Wednesday, 9/2/2020 an “Executive Staff” report at the Board of Education meeting, indicated that more than 10,000 students did not login on the first day of school. We certainly hope that number will dramatically improve in the coming weeks.

Don’t panic, but be prepared.

There are many shades of the “Great Recession” reappearing into dark clouds on the horizon. The Federal government has not reached an agreement on funding for education in “cash-strapped” States, including California. We hope this is just a delay and an unfortunate game of politics, however, the longer funds are deferred, the further LBUSD must rely upon its reserves to maintain staffing and programs. 

While it is not clear LBUSD will need a reduction in force (RIF) a.k.a. layoff at this time. If the students don’t show up in the coming weeks, staffing needs will be very different for the 2021-22 school year. 

Unless the State legislature changes education code. Permanent and probationary teachers much be given notice of a layoff by March 15th. 

What can you do? Funding will be critical. Get working on passing Prop 15 (Schools & Communities First) this November 3rd. This will improve and stabilize funding for public education. Contact Veronica Castillo to learn how – vcastillo@talb.org

Do you have enough units to get a supplemental credential authorization?
It’s possible when you were earning your degree you might have taken enough coursework to get a supplemental credential. Look at your college transcripts.

What will a supplemental credential do for you?
If there is a “Reduction in Force” RIF, and you have more than one authorization to teach you will be in separate lines for a layoff.

Example: You have a multiple subjects credential and a mathematics supplemental credential. If there are layoffs in an area which is staffed by multiple subjects credential holders, you may possibly save your job by having a mathematics credential, albeit you will now have to teach mathematics.

If you are currently working on a “temporary” or “special” contract you may not be renewed for the 2021-22 school year. Secure letters of recommendation from your immediate supervisors and colleagues. Cast your net wide and far when looking for other teaching positions. Many coastal school districts were also experiencing declining enrollment prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are teacher shortages in other parts of the State. 

The data below indicates we were in a steady declining enrollment environment prior to this health and financial crisis. If there are continued cuts to State funding for education, this situation will only magnify the problem. We are certainly hoping for the best, but we need to be prepared. The graphs below shows how things have been trending for the last 24 years. 

Update: Friday, August 28

Thank you! We know you probably haven’t heard that enough since March 13th!

Thank you! For putting in countless hours trying to spin up your physical classroom into a virtual classroom!

Thank you! For caring for our communities children while we ALL struggle through this pandemic! 

We officially start the 2020-21 school year on Monday, August 31st. Please, please, please take a deep breath. Over one hundred years ago our predecessors had to start school in a pandemic. We know you are working hard and keep in mind even the best laid plans do not survive the first encounter. 

We HOPE the network will be up and running.

We HOPE the technological platforms and LMS will be up and running.

However, please be prepared for it not to be. And it won’t be your fault.

Families will probably need to be given a simple plan B if plan A doesn’t work. 

Please take some time for self-care this weekend. If we are to practice “U-6” in our classrooms, we must practice “U-6” with ourselves. 

For better or for worse, we are ALL in this together. 


It’s important for Executive Staff and the Board of Education to hear from you during this extraordinary week of training. “The good, the bad and the ugly”. Please apprise leadership of your experiences.

Executive Staff  – LBUSD

Dr. Jill Baker, Superintendentjbaker@lbschools.net

Dr. Tiffany Brown, Deputy Superintendenttmbrown@lbschools.net

David Zaid, Assistant Superintendent, HRS, LBUSD – dzaid@lbschools.net

Dr. Jay Camerino, Assistant Superintendent, High Schools, jcamerino@lbschools.net

Dr. Christopher Lund, Assistant Superintendent, Middle Schools & K-8, clund@lbschools.net

Brian Moskovitz, Assistant Superintendent, Early Learning & Elementary Schools, bmoskovitz@lbschools.net

Dr. Kristi Kahl, Assistant Superintendent, OCIPD, kkahl@lbschools.net

Chris Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Research & School Improvement Office, csbrown@lbschools.net

Dr. Erin Simon, Assistant Superintendent, Office of School Support Services, esimon@lbschools.net

Steve Rockenbach, Direct of Employee Relations & Ethics, srockenbach@lbschools.net

 

Board of Education, LBUSD

Diana Craighead – Presidentdcraighead@lbschools.net

Megan Kerr – Vice Presidentmmkerr@lbschools.net

Dr. Felton Williams – Memberfwilliams@lbschools.net

Jon Meyer – Membercjmeyer@lbschools.net

Dr. Juan Benitez – Memberjbenitez1@lbschools.net

July-August, 2020 Update Archive

June, 2020 Update Archive

May, 2020 Update Archive

April, 2020 Update Archive

March, 2020 Update Archive