BOE and SPFEA Labor Agreement Unanimously Approved
Friday, October 19, 2012 • 2:02pm
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD – Board of Education Public Meeting was held Thursday evening October 18th where the labor agreement between the BOE and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Education Association was voted in unanimously by the Board.
The new teacher contract settlement is effective immediately, and will remain in place for three years, beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2015. Education Board Chairman Trip Whitehouse commended the Board and SPFEA negotiation teams for working so hard in order to reach an agreement. “This was a very collaborative effort and was much appreciated.”
Board member Douglas Layne provided a brief summery for the Board and the public. “This agreement calls for a 2% raise each year of the contract’s term….” The contract lengthens the school day for High School teachers, making their days the same as elementary and middle school teachers. The stipend for coaches and co-curricular advisors will be increased by 2% in the second year of the contract, beginning July 1, 2013. All salaries will be paid by direct deposit. Tuition reimbursement funds were increased by $3,000, to $126,000.
The Superintendent, Dr. Margaret Hayes, then introduced Joan V. Mast, Ed. D., Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, to present a thorough review of the District Testing Report.
Dr. Mast gave an update on the District Assessments from the spring of 2012. The District Testing Report is based on state results in grades 3 thru 8 and grade 11. The presentation was a snapshot of student achievement. Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s performance in Language Arts, Mathematics and Science was always above the state average.
“These results are excellent and it is very important that we understand how we use these results to help us see what our children need, and what’s important for our children in the district,” said Mr. Whitehouse.
During the public Q & A section there was a question from the public about the student who is performing poorly and what opportunities they are given. In response Dr. Mast mentioned “differentiated instruction” as a department initiative with all the supervisors. “Let’s teach each student where they are,” said Dr. Mast.
Another question was raised regarding whether or not there was information to show how well SPF High School graduates faired academically in college, particularly in the area of writing.
“We have anecdotal data that the students that are in college are doing well. We have students that come back and say that they were really well prepared, particularly because they were asked to do a lot of writing in the areas of non-fiction, expository writing, and not just creative writing,” said Dr. Hayes.
A special thank you from the Board was given to the supervisors, the teachers, and the principals. “It takes all of us working together to make this work,” said Dr. Hayes.