Travis district, teachers’ union wrangle over kindergarten program – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Starting this fall, the Travis School District will offer full-day kindergarten at all of its elementary sites, broadening a long-existing option the district has had for extended kindergarten.

The plan will affect as many as 400 children within the district and is a move the district made in anticipation of ballooning enrollments expected in the coming years with developments of Fairfield subdivisions within the district’s boarders.

District officials and representatives from the Travis Unified Teacher’s Association are wrangling over some of the final details of the program, with about 50 district teachers, supported by some parents, attending the district’s Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday to voice concerns over the negotiations, according to union bargaining leader Sydney Lundy.

Source: Travis district, teachers’ union wrangle over kindergarten program

Facilities Master Plan up for review by Travis Unified School District – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Recommendations for the district’s Facilities Master Plan and clarification of the January cash payment of health and welfare benefits to unionized employees are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Superintendent Pamela Conklin and Cathy Dominico, of Capitol PFG, a Sacramento financial advisory firm, will update the five-member governing board about the latest changes to the Facilities Master Plan, a 71-page document that will guide the district’s future capital construction and major remodeling projects.

The latest document comes after the Oct. 20 adoption of the master plan, which trustees directed administrators to set up a committee to review the capital needs for the Fairfield district. It includes two Vacaville elementary schools, Cambridge and Foxboro, and six other campuses, including Golden West Middle School and Vanden High.

Source: Facilities Master Plan up for review by Travis Unified School District

All-day kindergarten coming to Travis schools with new school year – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Travis School District will offer full-day kindergarten classes starting with the 2018-19 school year.

“We are so excited to be able to offer a full-day kindergarten program,” district Superintendent Pam Conklin said in a statement Friday announcing the program. “The drawback has always been facilities. We are working on the necessary logistics and partnering with our union to better serve our young students and provide equity to all.”

The program will go into effect at all five elementary schools. It will match the first-grade schedule at each campus. Transitional kindergarten will remain a half-day program.

Source: All-day kindergarten coming to Travis schools with new school year

Travis Unified School District leaders to consider Safe School Plans – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, will consider and likely approve Safe School Plans for all district campuses, a second interim 2017-18 budget report, and agree to “sunshine” a new wage-and-benefits contract for teachers next year.

By law, California public schools are required to have a Safe School Plan that includes multiple elements: mission and vision statements, a school profile, procedures for reporting child abuse, disaster procedures, ways to notify teachers of dangerous students, a policy on sexual harassment, a schoolwide dress code, safe entrances and exits procedures, ways to ensure a safe and orderly environment, and rules and procedures on school discipline.

The district operates eight campuses, including two in Vacaville, Cambridge and Foxboro elementaries; two elementaries, Travis and Scandia, on Travis Air Force Base; and Golden West Middle and Vanden High schools.

Source: Travis Unified School District leaders to consider Safe School Plans

Teachers contract offer heads to Travis school board – Daily Republic

Travis School District trustees have scheduled a public hearing Tuesday on their initial 2018-19 contract offer to the Travis Unified Teachers Association.

That initial proposal does not include details, such as a salary offer, but rather just those articles in the contract that will be subject to negotiations, a district official explained.

The board is also scheduled to recognize the district’s top teachers: Paul Kruckewitt, Cambridge Elementary School; Kerry Ann Sullivan, Center Elementary; Jan Bishop, Foxboro Elementary; Jennifer Slaughter, Scandia Elementary; Gena Rickon, Travis Elementary; Jasen Yung, Golden West Middle School; Jason Ott, Travis Education Center/Community Day School; and Marilyn Lewis, Vanden High School.

Source: Teachers contract offer heads to Travis school board

Travis school trustees approve 2 employee contracts – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Travis School District trustees Tuesday approved the 2017-18 contracts with the Travis Unified Teachers Association and California School Employees Association, Travis Chapter 454.

The votes were 4-1 with Trustee Angela Weinzinger dissenting.

Weinzinger said in transcribed comments from district staff that as an elected official, she has been entrusted by taxpayers to make decisions for the district with the fiscal responsibility to those taxpayers and the solvency of the district in mind.

“I am in total agreement that our staff at (the Travis district) are very deserving of the raise and increase in benefits. They are incredible at what they do,” Weinzinger said in the transcribed comments. “But as I look to the future, I am concerned that down the line we will not be faced with even bigger financial issues.

Source: Travis school trustees approve 2 employee contracts

Employee contracts on Travis Unified School District agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Routine approval of new employee contracts and three reports — the California School Dashboard, Federal Impact Aid, and projected enrollment — are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board is expected to OK a teachers wage-and-benefits pact for the 2017-18 year, retroactive to Jan. 1.

District officials and negotiators for the 285-member Travis Unified Teachers Association huddled periodically for more than eight months before agreeing, last month, to a 3.25 percent wage hike and $100 per month in health benefits, or about 3.75 percent overall salary increase. Additionally, workday hours were established for district psychologists program specialists, and nurses. The agreement will add $1.2 million to the district’s expenses during the contract year, according to agenda documents.

Source: Employee contracts on Travis Unified School District agenda

Teacher contract goes before Travis school board – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Travis School District board will consider approval of a contract with the Travis Unified Teachers Association when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The 2017-18 contract, if approved, includes a pay hike of 3.25 percent, an additional $100 to the district’s monthly contribution to the employee medical benefit and selected adjustments to work schedules. Stipends also will be awarded to the athletic director, leaders of Vanden Robotics and Golden West Robotics, the district library lead, the teacher in charge for alternative education and secondary department chairs, a district document states.

The financial impact for the entire school year is about $1.19 million, the report states.

Source: Teacher contract goes before Travis school board

Teachers, district settle on proposed compensation package – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

After more than eight months of talks, Travis Unified teachers and district officials on Friday hammered out a tentative contract agreement that would boost the educators’ wages and benefits by nearly 4 percent, it has been announced.

Michael Souza, president of the 285-member Travis Unified Teachers Association, said the proposed settlement would be presented to union members at a 3:30 p.m. meeting Thursday in the Vanden High Little Theater, 2951 Markeley Lane, in Fairfield. He said a vote likely would come next week.

If approved, the contract, effective Jan. 1, calls for a 3.25 percent wage hike and $100 per month in health benefits, or about 3.75 percent overall, noted Souza, a Vacaville resident and longtime Vanden High English teacher on temporary leave because of his union position.

Source: Teachers, district settle on proposed compensation package

Travis USD school-support employees to “sunshine” contract proposals – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Contract proposals between the district and school-support employees, the teacher work calendar for the 2018-19 school year, and approval, using a variable term waiver, to hire a teacher to teach medical science at Vanden High are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight.

A public hearing will be held to air the contract proposal, part of a so-called “sunshine” process, between the district and members of Chapter 454 of the California Service Employees Association, which represents the district’s classified employees, which includes bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, some clerical staff, groundskeepers, and the like.

No specific pay raise percentages were mentioned in agenda documents, but the agreement to sunshine is the public notification of what will be discussed during pending negotiations for the 2017-18 school year contract.

Union officials could not be reached for comment at press time, but it is likely they will petition for what Travis teachers are seeking after many months of wage-and-benefit talks: a 5 percent across-the-board salary boost and possibly benefits that may boost their total package by a couple more points.

Vacaville Unified School District employee churn turns busy in December – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified’s employee churn, normally busiest at academic year’s end in June, is active in December, with several principals moving on, The Reporter has learned.

Deanna Brownlee, the principal of Fairmont Charter in Vacaville Unified, has been named as Travis Unified’s new director of special education. Brownlee’s last day of work at the Marshall Road campus is Dec. 21.

“I’m very excited,” Brownlee, who has led Fairmont, a Title 1 school under federal guidelines, for eight years, said Wednesday afternoon.

The longtime educator, who earned a master’s degree in special education, added, “I have desired a position in special education for a very long time. Finally, all the pieces came together. I enjoy working with at-risk and special education students.”

Source: Vacaville Unified School District employee churn turns busy in December

Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified trustee Angela Weinzinger handed her gavel to Riitta De Anda, whom the five-member governing board on Tuesday elected president, the vote coming during the board’s annual organization meeting in Fairfield.

Trustee Jamilah Whiteside was named vice president, and John Dickerson clerk of the board after additional votes taken in the Travis Education Center, where trustees convene once monthly.

Later in the meeting, Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone updated the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.

Source: Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report

Interim budget report, officer elections on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The first interim 2017-18 budget report, nomination and election of new governing board officers, and new or modified course proposals are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will update the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.

She will present her numbers as the state’s financial outlook remains generally healthy, with revenue collections exceeding expectations but with Gov. Jerry Brown warning public entities not to commit to ongoing, multiyear agreements.

Source: Interim budget report, officer elections on Travis Unified School District agenda

Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Tonight’s Travis Unified governing board meeting will not be routine, in part because dozens of unionized teachers will protest the lack of progress in 2017-18 contract talks that have dragged on since spring.

Members of the Fairfield district’s teachers association plan to gather in the parking lot outside the Travis Education Center at 5 p.m., one hour before trustees meet in open session. They also will speak during the public comment segment of the meeting.

With virtually no progress after several bargaining sessions going back more than six months, the union and district remain far apart on issues that will help attract and retain excellent teachers, Michael Souza, president of the 290-member Travis Unified Teachers Association, said Monday.

Source: Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers

Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, face a relatively light agenda except for item 13.1, a review and potential approval of a long-awaited Facilities Master Plan.

Begun two years ago, the plan sought to re-evaluate facility needs at each of 10 campuses in the 5,500-student Fairfield district, which also includes two Vacaville elementaries, Foxboro and Cambridge. According to agenda documents, district leaders want to create a document that is updated regularly, as needs, priorities and funding options evolve and change.

While district enrollment has largely remained stable for the past 15 years, projections indicate considerable growth at several schools in the coming years, decreases at several others.

Source: Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda

TUSD workshop today: Budget 101 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet this afternoon in a special meeting, will hear a brief presentation about how the district’s budget is cobbled together.

Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will make the presentation in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board will have a chance to ask questions and mull over the information.

“It’s a budget 101 workshop,” Superintendent Pamela Conklin said Monday. “It’s just explaining the components of the budget and how to read certain reports.”

It will include the obligatory pie charts, showing how the district’s $56.7 million 2017-18 budget is broken down into its various parts, revenues and expenses, chief among them salaries and benefits, at 82 percent, she noted.

Source: TUSD workshop today

Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A special meeting to discuss board goals and the district budget will take place Tuesday by the Travis School District trustees.

Superintendent Pam Conklin and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Sue Brothers will lead the presentation of the existing goals. The board will then discuss any potential changes.

Source: Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget

On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A resolution urging Congress not to reduce and also increase Federal Impact Aid and a nearly $300,000 change order for the Scandia Elementary roof project are on the agenda tonight when Travis Unified leaders meet in Fairfield.

Superintendent Pamela Conklin recommends that the five-member governing board approve a resolution that urges Congress to prevent spending cuts and to increase funding for Federal Impact Aid, millions of taxpayer dollars annually upon which the district, with schools on or closely adjacent to Travis Air Force Base, depends to pay its bills. The district also operates two elementaries in Vacaville, Cambridge and Foxboro.

Federal Impact Aid, a law which President Harry Truman signed in 1950, is money given by the federal government to school districts that are affected by a large number of students living on federal property — such as military bases, national parks and Indian reservations — to compensate for the loss of local property tax revenues. About one in three Travis Unified 5,500 students is a military dependent.

The resolution comes amid the ongoing Scandia Elementary Modernization Project on Travis Air Force Base.

Source: On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project

Travis school board ok’s 45-day budget revision – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders approved the 45-day revision to the district’s 2017-18 budget of $56.7 million, with $1.2 million in deficit spending and a $4.8 million ending fund balance.

In accord with the Budget Act, California school districts are required to make public any revisions to their annual budgets with 45 days after the initial adoption on or before July 1 every year.

During a meeting Tuesday night in the Travis Education Center, Sonia Lasyone, the district’s new chief business officer, told the five-member governing board that revenues, because of “one-time” mandated state dollars, will increase nearly $800,000 this coming year, welcome news.

But, she noted, there was some bad news, too: Local Control Funding Formula sources will drop by $19,000 this fiscal year, and by $131,000 and $199,000, respectively, in the next two.

Via: Travis school board ok’s 45-day budget revision

TUSD agenda: 45-day budget revision, hike in meal costs – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 45-day budget revision, a 5-cent increase for school breakfasts and lunches and the adoption of school district goals are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight.

Sonia Lasyone, the chief business officer, will present the 45-day revision to the district’s 2017-18 budget of $56.7 million, with $1.2 million in deficit spending and a $4.8 million ending fund balance.

In accord with the Budget Act, California school districts are required to make public any revisions to their annual budgets after the initial adoption on or before July 1 every year.

In the case of Travis, Lasyone will tell the five-member governing board that revenues, because of one-time mandated dollars, will increase nearly $800,000 this coming year. Additionally, Local Control Funding Formula sources will drop by $19,000 this fiscal year, and by $131,000 and $199,000, respectively, in the next two fiscal years.

Source: TUSD agenda: 45-day budget revision, hike in meal costs