East Bay School Improvement Stege Elementary teacher turnover tech Unsorted West Contra Costa Unified School District

Bay Area school slated for ‘redesign’ gets new operating agreement

Bay Area school slated for ‘redesign’ gets new operating agreement
Photograph: Andrew Reed/EdSource

Instructor Meredith Hamilton greets transitional kindergarten college students at Stege Elementary Faculty in Richmond.

A Bay Space faculty district and its academics’ union have reached a groundbreaking settlement that may put money and assets behind the trouble to show round a faculty with declining enrollment and chronically low check scores.


Saving Stege: What is going to it take to revamp this struggling California faculty?

Stege Elementary, a Okay-6 faculty in Richmond within the East Bay, will see longer faculty days, a longer faculty yr and more academics, who will each obtain $10,000 additional pay. The extra money acknowledges that it’s a “considerably hard-to-staff faculty” that suffers from excessive instructor turnover.

The agreement, which covers the 2019-20 faculty yr, is seen as a potential model for enhancing other district faculties.

“It’s totally different and we’ve never completed something like this earlier than,” stated Demetrio Gonzalez, president of the United Academics of Richmond union that reached the agreement with the district. “That is actually a collaboration and partnership between the union and district employees.” He stopped in need of calling it “historic” because it is a one-year settlement and it stays to be seen whether it’s going to achieve its objectives. Nevertheless, it is seen as a pilot that might be made permanent in 2020-21, when academics might want to reapply for his or her jobs as the district strives to seek out “the suitable” individuals to satisfy college students’ wants. 

Out of 10,000 California faculties, Stege Elementary is among 481 faculties cited as lowest-performing within the state in 2017-18, based mostly on poor check scores, high suspension rates and persistent absenteeism.


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Stege Elementary, pronounced “Steej,” has lost so many students that the West Contra Costa Unified Faculty District has designated it for a redesign that started in February and will absolutely launch in 2020-21. As an alternative of giving up on the varsity and shutting it, the district and union need to revitalize it to attract skilled academics and new students — together with those that have left to attend charters or other faculties. Though some group members feared the district may close the varsity, Superintendent Matthew Duffy assured them during conferences concerning the redesign that the district is dedicated to preserving it open. 

In the last decade, Stege Elementary, which serves principally low-income African-American and Latino college students, has lost a few third of its college students, dropping right down to 260 as families turned to constitution faculties and different district faculties.

The agreement, often known as a Memorandum of Understanding, grew out of meetings with group and employees members about how you can re-imagine Stege Elementary. The district and union agreed to prioritize the hiring of highly certified academics, lengthen the varsity day, give academics additional prep and collaboration time and add enrichment courses for college kids.

“It is clear that Stege wants vital supports and a change in construction, relatively than minor fixes,” Gonzalez stated. “We know that the Stege group has a robust imaginative and prescient of success for its students and we need to make sure that vision is absolutely supported” by the district.


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Duffy additionally praised the settlement that was signed June three and shall be revisited in June, 2020.

“The United Academics of Richmond has been an amazing companion in our work around Stege and I sit up for seeing the results of our elevated funding into that faculty,” he stated. “The additional collaboration and preparation time codified in the MOU will permit academics to refine their educational practices so their strategies higher serve students. The academics, directors and categorized employees members serving Stege are key to making sure the varsity grows stronger and extra secure as we work with the group to re-imagine the tutorial program.”

Giving academics the training they need to work with their difficult scholar population, including many youngsters who have skilled trauma, is one key component of the plan. Academics will obtain 10 further days of coaching, including five before the varsity yr begins and five all through the varsity yr.

Highlights of Stege Elementary’s agreement for the 2019-20 faculty yr

  • Pay $10,000 stipend to all academics who comply with work at Stege next yr.
  • Add 10 instructor work days to 196 for all academics.
  • Prolong faculty day by 50 minutes to 3 p.m. to provide academics time to organize and work collectively.
  • Add two academics to supply enrichment courses in bodily schooling, artwork, music or know-how.
  • Rent highly certified academics — a prime precedence — who have completed all requirements to acquire a transparent credential. Candidates should complete a instructor preparation program to receive a preliminary credential that’s legitimate for up to 5 years. They need to then complete a Instructor Induction Program with two years of on the job mentoring or be certified by the National Board for Professional Educating Requirements.
  • Give further hiring priority to academics with any of these qualifications: National Board Certification, urban experience, particular coaching.
  • Hire a instructor as an in-house substitute.

Because students gained’t attend faculty on training days, their faculty yr will finish one week later than at other district faculties — on June 12 as an alternative of June 5. And while academics are getting ready lessons or collaborating with each other for 50 minutes every day, students can be taught enrichment courses in physical schooling, artwork, music or know-how by two new academics hired beneath the settlement. College students’ faculty days will prolong till three p.m. every day.

Mother and father, in addition to district and union officials, have been concerned by the high price of instructor turnover at the faculty, which many consider contributes to low scholar educational achievement.

After the 2016-17 faculty yr, 11 of 18 academics left; after the subsequent yr, 15 of 18 academics left. By the top of final week, four academics had decided to go away the varsity next yr and 10 had determined to stay. The remainder of the academics must determine by the top of this week. Those that depart the varsity might be guaranteed a position at another district faculty, Gonzalez stated. 

There at the moment are about 260 college students in grades Okay-6, including 94 % who’re low-income, 29 % who are English learners, 12 % who have disabilities, 6 % who’re homeless and 1 % who’re foster youth. About 52 % of students are African-American and 29 % are Latino or Hispanic.

Youngsters play at Stege Elementary Faculty in Richmond. The union agreed to provide the district a $50,000 grant it acquired from the Nationwide Schooling Association to help pay for a full-time Group Faculty Coordinator. The coordinator is predicted to satisfy with households, academics and district and group leaders to assist a new principal who shall be employed next yr and will assume leadership of the varsity in 2020-21. Working with the group, the principal and coordinator will assist provide you with the final redesign plan, Gonzalez stated. The district has agreed to pay the remaining salary and advantages costs for the coordinator not coated by the grant.

The union hopes the redesign will help rework the varsity into a “full service group faculty” that features “deep father or mother, group, scholar and employees engagement in packages and providers,” he added. Though the varsity doesn’t presently present social and mental well being providers, Gonzalez stated he expects the Group Faculty Coordinator to use for grants and pursue faculty and county partnerships that would deliver these providers to the varsity in 2020-21.

The union is paying the salaries of three academics who are working this summer time visiting college students’ houses, accumulating knowledge about students and their wants and conducting group meetings with the district.

The district hopes to enhance the caliber of instruction by putting a precedence on hiring absolutely credentialed academics who have accomplished all needed on-the-job coaching after first obtaining preliminary credentials.

The district may also pay a $140 payment for every of two years to help those that don’t have already got National Board Certification, however decide to acquiring it. The certification trains academics in nationally recognized standards and requires them to “show superior information, expertise and apply” in their selected area of expertise by completing three portfolio assignments and passing a rigorous assessment, in response to the organization’s website. 

Other desired coaching consists of experience working in high-poverty urban areas, or coaching in culturally responsive educating methods, constructive conduct strategies and/or restorative justice practices.

Culturally responsive educating takes into consideration the cultural backgrounds of students as a approach to interact college students of their learning. Constructive Behavioral Helps and Interventions, referred to as PBIS, use a system of constructive rewards to scale back scholar discipline. And restorative justice focuses on battle decision that builds healthy relationships between college students and employees as an alternative of punitive self-discipline.

“As a district, we have now to do higher for the Stege group, college students and educators and work alongside them,” Gonzalez stated. “We’re deeply dedicated to supporting this faculty, to working with district employees and will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure we’re serving youngsters. There’s genuine and trustworthy power by families, educators, employees, board members and advocates to do things in a different way shifting forward and our hope is that we’ll create change for all youngsters in the Stege group.”

Editor’s Notice: As a special venture, EdSource is tracking developments within the Oakland Unified and West Contra Costa Unified Faculty Districts as a option to illustrate a number of the challenges dealing with other urban districts in California. West Contra Costa Unified consists of Richmond, El Cerrito and a number of other different East Bay communities.


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