Talk of BCLAD certified teachers to change schools
At the Windsor Unified School District (WUSD) board of trustees meeting on June 3, concerned Bilingual Cross-cultural Language in Academic Development (BCLAD) certified school teachers confronted the school board after learning they may be involuntarily transferred to fill vacancies at Cali Calmecac Language Academy. Some of a total of nine teachers attended the meeting to protest the transfers that would take even more Spanish-speaking staff away from schools that already have a shortage, they said.
“I have been in this district for 10 years, I’ve chosen to stay here,” said Monica Seville, a kindergarten teacher at Mattie Washburn. “All the children in my class who are learning to speak English...I stay because they need me.” Seville said she received an impersonal email alerting her of a mandatory transfer to teach at Cali Calmecac.
The notifications of possible transfer were sent out as a result of a shortage in BCLAD-certified staff at Cali for the 2014-2015 school year. In addition to the usual retirements and resignations, Cali is also experiencing an increased need for teachers as a result of WUSD and the Windsor District Educators Association (WDEA)’s new three-year contract. The new contract requires the district to now pay an annual $800,000 in teacher’s benefits, as a result of expired Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), which does not allow them to offer increases in salary and may be a contribution to the difficulty in hiring new teachers.
“We were going through all of the checks and balances of where we are at with staffing,” said Lisa Saxon, of the decision to notify the nine teachers of their possible transfer, “and it surfaced that we had been recruiting teachers at Cali for about two months, and were having a hard time finding qualified applicants. We had at that time four openings to fill” in grades K-3.
Concerned parent Erika Garcia explained, with the help of a translator, her concern for the lack of Spanish-speaking personnel at the other Windsor school sites.
“We need bilingual teachers in all of the schools in our district,” she said, “EL (English learner) teachers that speak Spanish, not just that are qualified to teach English learners. Bilingual teachers in our elementary schools are doing an excellent job–please don’t take them away.”
Currently, the district has posted vacant positions on Edjoin.org, and interviews with interested applicants are ongoing. The positions will be open until filled, according to Saxon, and teachers will not be transferred from their current school sites if Cali’s staffing needs are met.
In order to give this issue more attention, the board voted to place the item on the agenda of the board meeting coming up on June 17, and encourages concerned parents and teachers to attend.