SIERRA VISTA — Sierra Vista Unified School District teacher Leslie Nogales, the district’s professional staff Meet and Confer representative, presented a list of policy revisions at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting.
School district administrative and professional staff meet and confer teams agreed to a number of policy changes, which Nogales presented as a first reading.
Through the Meet and Confer process, policy changes were approved in the following areas: staff reduction in force; discipline suspension and dismissal of support staff members; staff involvement in decision making/district committees; professional staff positions; professional staff reduction in force; discipline, suspension and dismissal of professional staff members and class size for junior and high school students.
One of the revisions calls for a $1,500 waiver for teachers who break contracts due to involuntary movement. That penalty will no longer be accessed as part of a “liquidation of damages waiver,” representing one of several agreements the meet and confer and admin teams reached.
Another policy change allows all staff members in the district to bring a representative with them to disciplinary and suspension meetings.
When it comes to professional staff reductions, the meet and confer team wanted clearer language written into the policy, which will be happening.
“We needed to make sure we had a very clear and transparent process for the board and administration to follow in case a reduction in force became necessary,” Nogales said. “So, working with the admin team we added the language to make the rift process fair and consistent throughout the district, and we reworked the order in some of the processes in which to follow through with that.”
Nogales also spoke about class sizes at the secondary and high school levels.
“We came to the agreement that in grades 7 through 12, each teacher will see a minimum of 124 students per day, with no class hour being smaller than 12 students,” Nogales said. Exceptions to the policy must go before the governing board or district administration for authorization, in order to account for advanced and specialized courses.
When it comes to salaries, certified staff will receive 65 percent of the available funds — roughly $578,432 in school funding — with support staff receiving 35 percent of that amount.
Those percentages come out to about $375,980 for certified staff and $202,450 for classified employees.
The increase is contingent upon approval of the governor’s budget as well as language from that budget indicting a permanent increase in school funding. The agreement takes effect in July 2019.
In her concluding remarks, Nogales said the meet and confer team enjoyed meeting with the administrative team.
“There was a lot of work we had to do,” she said. “A lot of meetings. We do so in a very cooperative, productive and respectful manner.”
The Meet and Confer policy changes received board approval.
Superintendent Kelly Glass presented a bond project update, highlighting work in progress at different sites through the summer break.
Some of the larger projects include upgrades and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance work to bathrooms at Buena High School, Carmichael, Town & Country, Village Meadows and Pueblo del Sol elementary schools. Portable building removals are happening at Village Meadows and Bella Vista elementary schools.
Paving at Town & Country and Village Meadows Elementary School, Joyce Clark Middle School and Rothery Learning Center is on the list of projects to be completed while schools are closed for the summer break, as well as new carpeting at Carmichael, Town & Country, Village Meadows and Pueblo del Sol elementary schools.
In addition to bond-funded projects, work is being done with School Facilities Board (SFB) funds at different campuses. The SFB has authorized weatherization of buildings at Buena High School, as well as roofing projects at Buena and Carmichael.
Projects that are approved, but awaiting SFB funding include roofing work at Town & Country and Huachuca Mountain schools, as well as weatherization at Carmichael and Joyce Clark Middle School.
The board voted to award Division II Construction the contract for the ADA compliance work for the bathrooms.
In her superintendent’s remarks, Glass also told the board that professional development training in “trauma informed instruction” is being planned for staff.
In her comments to the public, board member Hollie Sheriff talked about how much she enjoyed Buena’s graduation.
“It was so much fun looking out over the students and seeing their faces and the excitement,” Sheriff said. “It made me so grateful for all the work that every single person in this district did in getting those students to where they are now. Everyone should be really, really proud for that.”
The next board meeting is 6 p.m. June 18 in the Governing Board Room of the district administration office, 3555 Fry Blvd.