On Sept. 9, the Clover Park School District Board of Directors approved a three-year negotiated agreement with the Clover Park Education Association (CPEA). CPEA represents more than 820 teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses and specialists in Clover Park School District (CPSD).
“We appreciate the hard work of the district and association bargaining teams,” said school board president Carole Jacobs. “The teams did great work and this is a wonderful way to start the 2013-14 school year. The new contract is good for our students, our staff and our community.”
Contract negotiations between the two organizations began last May with a foundation of interest-based bargaining. In their meeting on Aug. 26, CPEA members ratified the negotiated agreement with a 97 percent approval rate and school started as scheduled on Sept. 3.
“I am very proud of this mutual, comprehensive agreement. The district and union bargaining teams worked hard and ultimately reached a settlement that will benefit all CPEA members and all CPSD students,” said Sam Fitzgerald, lead negotiator for CPEA. “CPEA members deserve recognition for communicating very clearly and constructively what they needed to help their students be successful.”
Significant features of the new, three-year contract are:
More student instructional time;
Professional development focusing on transitioning to new standards in math and English Language Arts and fully implementing the state’s new teacher evaluation; and
Four years of school year calendars.
There were 14 early release days for professional development during the 2012-13 school year. There are now 10 early release days for professional development scheduled in the 2013-14 school year. The professional development half days are also scheduled earlier in the school year to have a larger impact on student achievement.
“Our families will be happy to know that there is more time for student instruction in the school calendar,” noted CPSD superintendent Debbie LeBeau.
According to Lori McStay, the district’s executive director of human resources, the focus of teacher professional development is alignment of the district curriculum with common core state standards in math and English language arts and full implementation of the state’s Danielson classroom teacher evaluation model.
The new contract also features school year calendars for the next four years. In each of upcoming school years (through 2016-17), school will begin the Wednesday before Labor Day, so teachers will have more instructional time with students prior to state testing in May.
In recognition of more teacher accountability, and time to meet those mandates, as part of the contract, the board approved compensation aligned with the additional work of 1.5, 1.75 and 1 percent respectively, over the next three years.
“It is important to us to acknowledge our staff for the work they do,” said Jacobs. “We appreciate the differences they make in students’ lives—every day.”
“Our teams worked together very collaboratively,” said McStay “And, we achieved positive outcomes that will benefit students, helps us make progress on our district accountability plan and fairly compensate staff for all the hard work they do on behalf of students.”