News Messenger 9-11-15

Classes Back in Full Swing and So Are We!
Re-engagement with the District in a Number of Areas

Yesterday (September 10) we held our first SCTA Rep Council of the year, with a full house in attendance.  We provided a comprehensive update including our effort to reach out and to identify educator priorities for 2015-16.  To start that process, SCTA officers and board members will be conducting site visits throughout the District through the remainder of September and into October.


In addition, we will soon be going to the bargaining table to discuss our proposal for significant wage increases, particularly since the District rejected out of hand our proposal to accelerate class-size reduction.


In response to concerns raised about the professional development pullouts  for ELA and Math scheduled for the Serna Center later this year, just today (September 11) we suggested to the District that we jointly create a committee to look comprehensively at how best to provide professional learning for educators.  More information will be forthcoming.


Also, we are close to finalizing an agreement with the District regarding NCLB Supplemental Educational Services (SES), that will give opportunities for SCTA members to tutor students through the District’s SES program.  We have agreed that the rate of pay will be increased to $70 per hour for this program.  More details to follow.


We are also scheduling a meeting with the District regarding Appendix D of our contract related to Special Education, picking up from the important work we began at the end of the last school year.


2015-16 is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting year.

Peer Assistance
Every Monday at SCTA Office Beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Have a question you’re having trouble getting answered?  Peer assistance may be what you need.  If you have a worksite issue, question or concern, the first step is to talk to your worksite rep.  Your worksite rep is very knowledgeable, and can help you resolve most issues.

But if you need further assistance, SCTA Board members are available every Monday in the SCTA office at 5300 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95819 starting a 2:30pm. Come on by and we’ll be glad to assist.

SCTA Benefits Fair
Friday, September 25th, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The annual SCTA benefits fair will be held on Friday, September 25th at the SCTA office from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  The benefits fair is open to SCTA members and their families and food will be provided.

The fair is a great opportunity to learn more about your health insurance, as well as other benefits, like life insurance, TSAs, and more.

Vendors and representatives of the District will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

For more information you can click here.

New (and Experienced) Teacher Orientation

At SCTA Office on October 14th beginning at 4 p.m.
We are hosting a new teacher orientation.  Every teacher, including those who have been around a while, are invited.  The orientation is a chance to learn about SCTA, our contract, and the teaching profession in general.  There will be also information on professional development opportunities and lots of tips to make your career a success.

Mark you calendar for Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:00pm in the SCTA office at 5300 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95819.  Hope to see you there!

CTA on Smarter Balance Scores

Response of CTA President Eric Heins
The California Department of Education (CDE) released results for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11 earlier today.
You can view the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results at The site is multi-functional, providing drop-down menus displaying results by state, county, district and school-level, and by various student groups (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, English learners, and socioeconomic status).
Key to remember:
  • These are just one set of test scores and the true measurement of student achievement is always done through multiple measures and can never focus on one test score. As an educator, you have a better sense of how your students are doing through all the work going on in your classrooms. And it’s important to have those conversations with parents.
  • These test scores reflect the first full year of implementation of the online Smarter Balanced tests aligned to new California Standards and set new baseline scores. California basically hit the restart button on statewide assessments and these results cannot be compared to previous statewide assessments.
  • The new standards are still being implemented for students and educators. As you are experiencing firsthand, all textbooks aligned to those standards have not been approved by the state and are not even available to students, educators and schools.
  • We’re implementing a new school funding formula that focuses on local involvement and control. And we’re still transitioning to rigorous new learning standards that require students to develop critical-thinking skills needed for college and careers. Educators, parents and local community members need to continue to work together to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed.
Results for the overall scores are reported as: Standard Exceeded, Standard Met, Standard Nearly Met, or Standard Not Met. Results specific to the Claims will be reported as: Above Standard, At or Near Standard, or Below Standard.
Educators should have access to individual student scores through their school district.
Parents will receive individual  Student Score Reports in the mail within 20 business days of the district receiving them. Mailing of Student Scores Reports to districts started on August 17.
The CDE developed multiple resources for parents to understand the new assessments and the results. Parent Guides are available online that provide: subject- and grade-specific sample questions, sample items explaining academic standards being addressed, and the kinds of questions students must answer correctly to reach each achievement level.
Quick Links:
CAASPP Website:
Thank you,
Eric Heins, President

California Teachers Association

Introductory Home Visit Training
SCTA office Wednesday, September 16, 3:30 – 6:30.

A light dinner will be provided and teachers will be compensated at the Voluntary Rate. ($39.00/hour)
Please RSVP to Yesenia Gonzalez at or to Lysette Lemay at so we can be sure to have enough materials for everyone.



What Can You Do? The SCTA Strike Video



Sacramento City Teachers Association