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TUSD revises salary schedules to reflect new positions

The approval of three new positions within Turlock Unified School District has prompted the Board of Trustees to update the salary schedules of certificated district and site administration and classified management positions.

Certificated District and Site Administration

Earlier this month, a Coordinator of Professional Development and Induction Program and a Coordinator of English Learner Support were added to certificated district and site administration.

“As we move forward with the Local Control and Accountability Plan and supporting our students in the District, there’s been a need that’s been determined to be able to administratively provide support,” said assistant superintendent of Human Resources Heidi Lawler.

According to Lawler, both of these positions will work under the Office of Professional Development and English Learner Programs report to the director of that department.

The Coordinator of Professional Development and Induction Program will coordinate district professional development activities and develop and implement all aspects of the new teacher induction program.

“The coordinator will provide training to our incoming teachers, which is critical to our district,” said Board President Frank Lima. “I’m so glad that we have funding now to some degree to support these things that seem almost like no-brainers that should have been here years ago.”

Previously, TUSD held its induction program for new teachers in conjunction with the Stanislaus County Office of Education. However, Lawler reported that due to a change in funding in the Local Control Funding Formula, the County had begun to charge the district at an accelerated rate for this program.

Noting the potential for these costs to continue to increase and recognizing that many other districts had begun to establish their own induction programs, the district decided to create its own program in order to help provide new teachers with additional training and mentorship in their transition towards becoming successful teachers.

“The benefit of that — in addition to not paying those fees to the County office — would be that we’re able to develop a program that really specifically connects to our own Local Control Accountability Plan, strategic plan, and district initiatives,” said Lawler.

“So every bit of professional development that goes out our teachers is all tied into what we’re doing in Turlock and we see that as being very positive,” added Lawler.

Among other duties and responsibilities, the coordinator will provide professional development to certificated and classified staff, attend and monitor effectiveness of professional growth activities and events, and maintain records and prepare project data for reports as required by the District or State.

“It is critical that we have somebody in place that has a clear understanding of all of these components and is able to maintain that for the district,” said Lawler.

The Coordinator of English Learner Support will provide support and leadership to TUSD administrators and classroom teachers in the duties and functions necessary to achieve the goals of the TUSD English Learner Master Plan and to coordinate the planning, development and implementation of all assessment for English Learners.

“As we are all well aware, we have a large English Learner population in the District and it is crucial that we are supporting those students in order to develop their English proficiency and academic English,” said Lawler.

Duties and responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to, appraising student performance and review student placement and progress, working closely with principals in coordinating and implementing goals and objectives of the district and English Learner program, and maintaining comprehensive records for English Learner and special funded projects.

“Again, knowing that we have a large number of English Learners, we need to reassure that we are continually working to provide programs and support to our teachers as we move our English Learners forward,” said Lawler.

Qualified applicants for both the Coordinator of Professional Development and Induction Program and the Coordinator of English Learner Support are encouraged to have a Master of Arts or advanced degree from an accredited college or university and must possess a teaching credential. An administrative credential, whether already obtained or in progress, is desirable.

The Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday to place the two coordinator positions at the same level as a Program Specialist on the2015-16 revised district and site administration salary schedule.

With a total of 208 workdays, coordinators would start at the first step at $103,071 per year out of a five step schedule that culminates at $111,567 per year. With the approval from the Board, the revised salary schedule is slated to go into effect on July 1.

Along with the incorporation of the salaries for these two new positions, other certificated district and site administration positions faced revisions in the updated 2015-16 salary schedule, including assistant superintendents, who were originally approved for a final salary of $151,765 in February. Under the revised salary, assistant superintendents are now able to earn a final salary of $159,657.

Classified Management

The Board also took action on Tuesday to approve the job description of the newly created Farm Manager position, which will work under the supervision of Mike Trainor, assistant superintendent of Business Services.               

“For several years, the district has had a vision of creating a farm and we really do believe that this farm is going to provide a number of great opportunities for our kids, both co-curricular and extracurricular,” said director of Human Resources Jason Maggard.

“Thanks to the support of a number of people, we really do believe that we are at a point in time where the day-to-day operations need to be closely monitored. We believe that it’s appropriate to have someone in place to help support and oversee staff and students,” continued Maggard.

The 10-acre parcel off of Taylor Road will be a place for Pitman High School and Turlock High School students to house their animals for the Stanislaus County Fair, and include various animal facilities, miscellaneous fruit and nut orchards, open pastures and a garden area that will serve all TUSD students.

In addition to being responsible for all day-to-day operations in accordance with the “Farm Development Plan,” the Farm Manager will manage the farm and has authority to carry out all practical operations necessary for the successful operation of the farm.

Among other essential functions and responsibilities, the Farm Manager will provide leadership and supervision to classified employees, interns, and students. The position will also be responsible for working with the Business Services and Food Services departments in the development, revision, and implementation of both short-term and long-term plans for the District farm.

“I think we’re at a point now where we’ve had so much community support and we’ve made so much progress towards the District Farm that it’s the appropriate time for the District to commit to maintaining that farm,” said Lima.

According to Maggard, TUSD will post the vacancy in the near future and look to interview qualified applicants that meet a number of physical and safety requirements, as well as an array of minimum qualifications, including knowledge of general agricultural practices.

In addition to approving the job description of Farm Manager, the Board also approved the 2015-16 revised classified management salary schedule to include the new position.

Working 222 days, The Farm Manager will begin at step one with an annual salary of $63,141, with the ability to achieve a final salary of $81,229.

Also included in the revised salary schedule is an increase to the facilities planner position, which was originally approved to receive a final salary of $101,655 per year.

Unlike other classified management positions, however, the facilities planner only received the overall 5.2 percent increase, as TUSD did not take into consider like positions in order to bring the final salary to an additional 5 percent above the average of other districts. 

“For some reason it got overlooked last time, but this revised schedule will allow that position to be consistent with every other position” said Lima. “We need to be fair and egalitarian.”

With the revised 2015-16 classified management salary schedule that was approved on Tuesday, the facilities planner is now eligible to earn final salary of $112,502 per year with 222 work days. As was with the certificated district and site administration revised salary schedule, this schedule will go into effect on July 1.