Governing Board tables vote on Coronado Success Initiative contract addendum

Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Concern and questions led the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board to table a vote on a contract addendum for teachers at Coronado High School participating in the Coronado Success Initiative.

The board was originally scheduled to vote on the addendum at its Thursday, March 9 special meeting but unanimously elected to push that vote to its Tuesday, May 14 regular meeting.

The board had several suggestions and questions regarding the addendum, ultimately opting for more time to review the document ahead of a May 14 vote.

“I know we want to get this done because it’s important,” board member Jann-Michael Greenburg said. “I think we would all agree that we’d rather get it done right rather than make a mistake that puts us in jeopardy or unfavorably harms the teachers.”

As it sat at the May 9 meeting, the addendum outlines several stipulations for teachers to meet in order to receive a $4,000 stipend from the district. Board members requested adding wording about proportionately decreasing that if stipulations were not met.

Specifically, teachers had to work six extra duty days; have an extended school day teaching students consistent with Coronado’s bell schedule; and participate in four evening community engagement nights.

Teachers could also earn up to $3,000 — at a $30 per hour rate — for designing an intervention or other academic activity outside the contracted days, which must also garner the principal’s approval.

Some board members’ concerns centered on whether the addendum hit to original goals of the success initiative. Board member Sandy Kravetz claimed the original goals had teachers doing eight professional development days and two Saturday trainings per quarter.

Coronado principal Amy Palatucci said having less professional development days happened because her staff has progressed to a point where she thinks she has some leaders who can help her develop targeted interventions and programs for students.

She also said her staff indicated it was burning out on professional development so she wanted to ensure her teachers have meaningful professional development and cutting back allows her to target it better.

Dr. Milissa Sackos — assistant superintendent, secondary education — said the intent of the addendum is still to provide out-of-the-class opportunities that best fit the schedule of the students.

Ms. Palatucci said though there is no set weekend days, she’s had staff express interest in providing a non-punitive Saturday school program for students.

Governing Board Vice President Allyson Beckham also had concerns if the addendum was reaching the original goals though she accepted that goals have changed since the initiative began two years ago.

“What I think is missing, and you’re hearing it from this board, is what are those strategies you are going to employ based upon this outline, if you will, that are then going to meet the goals that you have set up,” she said.

Ms. Beckham said she wasn’t sure if those goals should be outlined in the contract or in an additional document outlining goals and how the contract’s stipulations will help the school reach those goals.

Dr. Sackos said what Ms. Beckham is seeking is outlined in Coronado’s continuous improvement plan. Ms. Beckham said she wanted to have a way to measure the success of the teachers’ efforts so the board can make sure it’s spending money wisely.

Another concern Governing Board President Patty Beckman brought up was she didn’t think the outline, as it stood, was specific enough on what teachers needed to do to get those stipends.

“We’ve been clear so many times that we have to have things laid out or we’ll have certified staff members question it,” she said. “My concern is there’d be a little bit of a communication gap on what we exactly expect them to do to earn that $4,000 and the additional that’s between that math ($30 per hour project).”

The Governing Board is slated to make its final decision on the contract and its language at its May 14 meeting at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave. Staff will present the final edits prior to the vote.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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