Members of the Oakdale Joint Unified School District board learned a little bit themselves on Monday night.
Gathering for a regular session on Oct. 12, Assistant Superintendent Kristi Rapinchuk began the meeting with a review of the recently released OJUSD Student Achievement Results. Results of both the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests in English Arts and Math, as well as Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) for Science were provided. The tests were administered last spring.
“The state of California is calling this ‘A Snapshot of Data’,” Rapinchuk said of the report being presented. “This is the first time that has been used with a formal achievement report that has come to this board.
“What they mean by A Snapshot of Data is this: In the new automated testing system the tests actually migrate from the district, to another testing bank and then to ETS that prepares the reports.”
Rapinchuk stated that at the time the formal data was released to the public not all data had been entered into the system. An error she noted that she and her team had noticed in early May and began calling the state on a weekly basis to have rectified.
“There were many districts for which this took place,” she said of the state testing, “including Oakdale.”
Rapinchuk reviewed the varying categories in comparison to other districts as well as the state, noting OJUSD’s position at the top or top two in most cases compared to other Stanislaus County School districts.
On an overall scale, OJUSD had the highest English Language Arts (ELA) SBAC score of any K-12 Unified in Stanislaus County and was the top one of two highest SBAC Math scores for K-12 Unified in Stanislaus County. Oakdale High School had the highest High School ELA SBAC for Stanislaus County.
In other business at the meeting, a public hearing was opened for both Oakdale Teachers Association (OTA) and California Employees Association (CSEA) on an initial proposal to modify agreements in relation to their contracts. In compliance with the California collective bargaining law (Rodda Act) a public hearing is required and an exchange of proposals between the parties.
Oakdale Teachers Association (OTA) Lead Negotiator Marty Fauria spoke on behalf of the group, following an introduction of the negotiating team for the 2015-16 year.
“Struggle is an eye-catching word that is often included in newspaper headlines about contract negotiations between labor and management,” the lead negotiator stated. “The word struggle and Union seem to be linked in the English language. As the Oakdale Teachers Association presents its openers for the upcoming 2015-2016 collective bargaining agreement, I would like to elaborate on the OTA interpretation of the word ‘struggle.’
“As we embark on this year’s negotiations, OTA will indeed struggle to achieve the best possible outcomes for our members. Our struggle certainly involves you, the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees and its agents, but this is not a struggle against you. In fact we invite you to join the struggle with us in solidarity.”
Fauria made note of OTA’s pride in playing a role in the legacy of devotion to the public interest, delivering the highest quality education to the students and community.
“This dedication and devotion to the public interest is part of the struggle that OTA members make each and every day that our public schools are open,” Fauria said.
“It is our sincerest hope that OTA members represent quality in all ways to you and the community of Oakdale,” he continued. “From our senior teacher who came to Oakdale 36 years ago, to those who joined OTA only a few months ago, it was the quality of our schools and the quality of life in our community that was the main attraction.
“Together we, the school board, the administration, the teachers, the community, the classified staff, in solidarity struggle to continually raise the quality of teaching and learning in our schools and the quality of life and the standard of living in Oakdale. This is what will continue to attract and retain the best teachers to our district.”
Fauria went on to add that “OTA members believe that all students can learn and they also believe that a struggle does not necessarily create a winner and a loser. In our upcoming negotiations if OTA wins, that does not mean the district loses. If the district emerges satisfied, that does not mean that OTA has to be dissatisfied. One side’s happiness should not make the other unhappy.
“We are so proud to be teachers,” he said, “and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to serve the public good by educating the next generation of Oakdale citizens and leaders.”
Upon conclusion of Fauria’s board address, Assistant Superintendent Terri Taylor thanked him and acknowledged the importance of the Rodda Act and public hearing.
“I really look forward to working with Marty and his team,” Taylor said. “I agree with him, I think that it doesn’t have to be a struggle in the way that we typically think of the word struggle. I have high hopes for us this year.”
Upon close of the public hearing for both OTA and CSEA negotiations Assistant Superintendent Taylor reminded the board and the audience that the proposals are available for public review at the district office for the next 30 days.
It was a quick meeting of general business Monday night, with the board addressing their agenda items after Magnolia Elementary School students Talan Abel, Annie Albertoni and Haleigh Humble began the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
OJUSD will host its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. Open session will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave., Oakdale and is open to the public.