Teachers honored for 'passionate' work

DOWNEY - At its last meeting on Nov. 16, the DUSD Board of Education heard three principals describe the factors that led to their nominees getting the superintendent's Vision Award, all in the area of instruction.In commending the work of Ward Elementary second grade teacher Jackie Graves, who came to Ward six years ago from Carpenter and Pace for a total teaching stint of 18 years at the district, Ward principal Jennifer Robbins extolled her "passionate" dedication to the education of the children in her care. Graves is always seeking new strategies to make sure that all her students are "engaged and learning to their fullest potential," Robbins said. "She is a natural." "Incredible" was the word used by Lewis Elementary principal Robin Martin to describe fourth grade teacher Chris Fisher, whose "creativity, energy, and enthusiasm make for a dynamic approach" to teaching. She said that while Fisher has been very instrumental in the school's efforts to create a Professional Learning Community (PLC) at Lewis, his "contributions do not stop in the classroom": he is also busy with the student council, on the leadership team, works with GATE students and coaches the (suspended) Carnival of Champions teams, and spearheaded the combined fourth and fifth grade photography club. Downey High teacher Gladys Claros, according to asst. principal John Baker, is one who tries to continually "broaden her professional horizons," at the same time using fresh ideas and concepts to stretch her students' learning boundaries. "It's my goal," she was quoted as saying, "to create a safe, structured and supporting environment for students to grow in. I teach as if parents/administrators were sitting in the classroom every day." In other action, the Board: *Gratefully acknowledged cash and in-kind donations, both large and small, from various parties including $7,000 from the Imperial Elementary PTA to be used for technology as well as to support the instructional program at the school; $5,000 from Familia Gonzalez Reynoso Foundation "Northgate Market" for the physical fitness program at Imperial Elementary; and a few contributions earmarked for the physical fitness program in support of the TLC Resource Center; *Ratified/approved usual district business, including: the payment of convention and conference expenditures and other fees; the general agreements with a number of entities providing a variety of specialized services (pediatric therapy, healthcare, language, etc.); special education placements; purchase orders by the purchasing department; the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime, and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services; B warrants covering the month of October; the agreements between the Downey Adult School Career and Education Center and several clinics/medical groups to furnish practical training in the dental assistant, medical assistant, phlebotomy, and vocational nursing programs; adjustments to the General Fund unrestricted and restricted budgets; the sale and/or recycling of district surplus property and abating the income to the Food Services Fund and/or pickup by a local e-waste recycler for proper recycling; the purchase of equipment according to purchasing policies and regulations; routine personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; the services of teachers assigned a subject area not listed on their teaching credentials for the 2010-11 school year; the abolishment of a senior instructional assistant position at Griffiths Middle School and a vacant instructional assistant position at Gauldin Elementary, and the establishment of limited-term positions at Imperial, Rio Hondo, Old River, and Gauldin, as well as one limited-term position-all aligned with specific job classifications; two part-time new positions, one to be assigned to Downey High and the other to Warren High; *Approved the proposed deletion of "Student Presentations and Awards" (BP 8311); *Approved the proposed revisions to AR 7410, 'Organizational Chart'; *Authorized the payment of the membership fees for the California Consortium for Independent Study (CCIS) and the California League of Middle Schools for the 2011-12; *Ratified the agreements with Administrative Services Cooperative, Inc. (for transportation services involving special education students), and the Los Angeles County Office of Education's (LACOE) Division of Business Operations (to provide school bus aides for individuals with exceptional needs), *Ratified the Memorandum of Understanding with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) with respect to teacher credentialing-approved programs and Master of Arts in Education courses of study undertaken by district teachers; *Ratified the student teacher placement agreement, Memorandum of Understanding with PLNU whereby coordination services are established with DUSD as part of its student teaching program; *Approved the intern agreement with San Gabriel Valley Consortium-Azusa Pacific University; *Authorized the advertisement for bids for the purchase of stock paper for use in all district schools and offices (incl. 8-1/2"x11" and 8-1/2"x14" sizes, as well as certain other specialty types of papers, such as carbonless stock and 3-hole drilled papers)--anticipated annual purchases are estimated at $90,000 to be charged to the General Fund; *Approved the renewal of bids on an as-needed basis for backhoe services with Terra Pave of Whittier and the second year renewal of bid contract labor - electricians with Spike Electric of Anaheim; *Approved the change order in, and accepted as complete the bid for, the DHS modernization of buildings J/K/N & L, with P.W. Construction, Inc. of Glendora; *Accepted as complete work performed by various contractors (fencing, backhoe, paving, concrete, and electrical work); *Approved the purchase of indicated equipment, in accordance with established purchasing policies and regulations; *Denied the claim made by Irma Estrada, on behalf of Enrique Estrada, a minor, in compliance with Government. Code Section 911-15 and 945; *Authorized the approval of the Committee on Assignments to approve teaching assignments based on special skills and preparation for a maximum of one school year at a time, for the 2010-11 school year (pursuant to Education Code Section 44258.7 (c) & (d); *Approved the changes to the duties of makeup artistry assistant effective Nov. 17, 2010; *Adopted the criteria for determining the order of seniority for those certificated employees with the same date of first-paid service in a probationary status; *Received the proposed revisions to BP1105 and AR 1105, Uniform Complaint Procedure, as well as to AR1105.1 (Williams Uniform Complaint Procedure), for review; *Received the revised 2010 Downey Adult School course of study for review; *Endorsed the actions of the superintendent on student cases. The next regular public meeting of the Board will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: November 25, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 32

FeaturesEric Pierce