CITE and Advisory Updates

September 19, 2012

Dear DCSD Employee:

I hope you are having a great week.  I am so happy for the cooler weather!

I am writing to you today with a few important updates.

  1. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to be part of the superintendent’s educator advisory.  Many schools are now represented.  We will still be working to find folks for the others. 🙂  Email Paula Teel if you are interested!
  2. I am working on a support staff advisory and leader advisory.  It looks like I am going to pull together support first so email my assistant Paula Teel if you are interested!
  3. Tomorrow is the day!  We have loaded your 1% AND the flat amount retention stipends, and they will be deposited into your accounts tomorrow.  Congratulations, you have more than earned it, and I hope this is the first of many compensation improvements.
  4. CITE 2.0 DRAFT is completed.  It includes the work going on by many groups across the district including: the original CITE committee started three years ago, the GVC teachers, Balanced Assessment (Interim Assessment development teams), Change Agents (PD work), Restorative Practices Leadership Team, and more.  If you’re curious and/or interested, the state-proposed instrument can be downloaded here.  Our instrument is, in my view, much fairer to both teachers and leaders and better for students too.  I will send out our instrument as soon as I can (Monday I think), but I wanted you to have this one to compare.  (Although…I am rethinking it at this minute because I don’t want to cause confusion…remember the state instrument is attached.  The DCSD CITE 2.0 is coming Monday!!)
  5. CITE 2.0 and the many other documents and details related to pay for performance will be launched next week and the first week of October.  Project Manager Shelley Tailer (from HR) and our community relations department have done a GREAT job pulling this work together.  I hope it answers all of your lingering questions. It includes information on how to be part of your employee group (like counselors or preschool teachers) to develop your world class education targets for your own group.  Note: we have some differentiation work to do on CITE for special groups too.  All of you do very important things for our students and we want to make sure that is what we evaluate.
  6. We are launching a pay-for-performance webpage from our HR site that will have videos, documents, and more to give you the information you seek on market pay for new hires, CITE, Balanced Assessment System (standard 6), World Class Targets, and Professional Pathways.
  7. Each school will receive an additional $75 per student – bringing the one-time SBB improvement to $125 per student.  Headed in the right direction!  It will be in the October true-up, but it can be spent now to meet students’ needs.  In addition, I hope to share more, very positive budget news soon.  It looks like two more weeks.  Stay tuned!
  8. We are setting up HR tours – an idea brought forward by my teacher advisory last month.  This will be an opportunity to answer, live, all of your questions about new outcomes, new assessments, new compensation structures, and more.  We hope many of these will be feeder opportunities so it doesn’t take so long to get around. We will post the video too for those who cannot attend the live event.  If you are interested, please watch for them.
  9. Remember…if you have a good-for-students, innovative idea, please send it to us!  We want to support you in charting new paths in education.

Finally, and most importantly, thank you for being the professionals you are.  I enjoy your notes, visiting your classrooms, and I am impressed with your innovative requests.  I am so proud of the work you are doing for our students – you are pioneers!  I know it hasn’t been easy, and you have been open-minded and taken the high road even in the face of misinformation, anxiety, and fear.  I know you will continue to be amazing – there are great things on the horizon for our students, for you, and for DCSD — and it is because of your grace, you excellence, your professionalism, your work ethic, and your focus on our students.

I hope to see you soon.



Top Ten Busted Rumors

September 10, 2012

Dear DCSD Employee:

Tonight, we had a meeting of the superintendent’s teacher advisory group.  Long story short…we discussed many of the rumors, myths, and stories flying around in our district, and as a group, we wanted to put some of these to rest, so we drafted a quick email to you together.  Below, is our Top Ten Busted Rumors list for today.  I hope you find them helpful.

As a group, we are not stopping here…we are putting plans in place to make sure you have the right information as quickly as possible.  Teachers, if your building is not represented, please think about joining us!  Even if it is, you are still more than welcome to join the group.  Please note that this is a voluntary group of teachers who meet with me about every month (sometimes more, sometimes less) for 90+ minutes. (We almost always go over…) 🙂  AND BTW —  I hope to add leader and support staff superintendent advisory groups very soon.  Stay tuned for that.

Here is our Top Ten must-read list of Busted Rumors.  🙂  So…the following statements are true.

  1. Don’t miss open enrollment — sign up for your new short term disability insurance benefit – the district is paying for it, and you can increase it for a very small amount each month.  This is important!! 
  2. No salaries are going to be reduced for current employees (disclaimer…unless you drop in FTE or change assignments or something like that)
  3. Salary bands are for new hires only and they are entry-level amounts – they are not maximums; they are not caps
  4. The Board has 3 goals – same three goals they’ve had since 2009a. Universal Choice – every child finds the best place for him/her (choice can be multiple pathways in one building or a different building)

    b. Pay for Performance – pay the best teachers more money

    c. System Performance – find a way to measure the most important things we do for students the right way – don’t depend on one standardized test once per year to tell us

  5. CITE and World Class Education targets are designed to increase salaries by identifying high performers; again, there is no interest in cutting pay
  6. Highly effective AND Effective teachers (according to CITE + BAS)  are eligible for a raise — money permitting of course
  7. Highly effective teachers are eligible for a bonus through World Class Education targets
  8. Accrued sick leave and sick leave is not being taken away
  9. There is no quota related to CITE and/or World Class Education targets – BUT please know, the standards are very RIGOROUS
  10. We need a teacher rep from every school to participate on the superintendent’s teacher advisory – your current feeder reps are recruiting! 🙂

Hope you are having a great week!