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TVEA Spotlight March 12th

Good evening Board and Staff,

I am honored to once again represent the educators of TVUSD in today’s TVEA spotlight.

Now that TVEA and TVUSD have each “sunshined” articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the successor agreement, TVEA and TVUSD have engaged in whole group bargaining sessions and subcommittees to develop details for specialized areas.  Our current CBA expires on June 30th of this year, and it is our expectation to continue working toward that goal.  There has been a tremendous amount of work to bring in existing language into a growing Tentative Agreement.

I want to highlight the impact of the Arts in our TK-12 educational experience.

While there is continued recognition for student participation in the arts at Governing Board meetings, TVEA calls for TVUSD to increase support for students to access the standards of the Arts throughout their experience in TVUSD.  It can start today!

Our current elementary program offers students forty-five minutes once a week for a semester. Within the semester, they may see different disciplines in art, drama, music, or dance.  At four rotations students are accessing just under 3 hours of a discipline.

The State of California recognizes the impact of Arts in human development by making significant contributions.  TVUSD can utilize ongoing and one time funds to make significant investment into the elementary student experience.

TVUSD can invest into developing capacity for collaboration, creativity, and asking questions.  Investing into a student's ability to take risks, experiment, process criticism, and problem-solve. We know these essential skills transfer to other subject areas and through emotional development and increased connection with the school culture.

Through internships I had with SunMicrosystems, Intel, and HP, what recruiters and project managers mentioned to me was that the most important aspect was not reaching the highest math possible, but creativity.  The ability to envision and believe that there is another answer that will foster innovation.

TVUSD has a Strategic Arts Plan developed with the help of Arts educators that has languished without funding.  It is based on California Education Code and Standards for the Arts. Using these new sources of funding to hire educators and secure materials will bring TVUSD into Ed Code compliance.   The Arts are essential for learning!

In education you learn to provide students not only with breaks to allow the brain to process the learning, but also providing opportunities to take risks in low stress environments.

By the way, from what I witness at site visits, when you consider facility planning and improvement; consider including learning spaces for VAPA instruction at elementary schools. They are currently moved to MPR for space and noise considerations.  They then share space with nutrition at break and lunch, and when it rains, PE is now joining the party.  Elementary VAPA needs to teach in a space that respects the discipline.

Not only can we bring a great experience to students, but TVUSD can increase the support our elementary teachers have to plan and implement learning experiences.  

By adding an extra period of VAPA for students, there is now an opportunity for elementary teachers to have an increased amount of guaranteed preparation time.

Dedicated and protected time to create valuable intervention with students and build partnerships with parents.  To invest into mastery of their craft and execution of the curriculum.  I am not advocating for increased tasks but the time to invest into developing best practices for teaching and learning environments.

Currently secondary teachers have access to about 250 minutes of preparation time each week.  Elementary, even though they teach 6 subjects, only have access to 150 contractual minutes.  Time that evaporates when a vacancy position is not filled by a sub.  With the amount of success you are seeing in student achievement, is elementary teachers professional time not valued?  Is their professional judgment valued less than secondary.  It is time to make a change!

When TVEA meets with TVUSD at our next session, we expect to meet the needs of students and the educators who plan, prepare, assess, and foster student development.


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