New teachers from across the District participated this week in a two-day orientation to the Rowland Unified School District. Teachers engaged in collaborative learning around RUSD’s mission statement, efficacious instructional practices, Common Core standards, and ELD standards.
Fresh Look to District Website!
Today we launched the new District websitewww.RowlandSchools.org
RUSD Employees – You now have access to helpful staff services and resources under the Staff Services Directory: Find links to Outlook Web Access, Aeries.Net, Aesop Sub Management, RUSD Forms, Rowland Blogs and Wikis, the District Staff Only Section of the website and more!
The Rowland Unified School Board has approved a $147 million budget for 2014-15 with a $9 million deficit. That amount could increase millions more if both sides approve the 8 percent raise reached in Tuesday’s tentative agreement with the teachers’ union.
In March, Rowland teachers declared an impasse in the stalled contract negotiations. The Association of Rowland Educators asked the state to send a mediator to handle further negotiations.
The school district announced the tentative agreement on Thursday. They said it had been reached 8 p.m. Tuesday during the fourth mediation session.
Under the multi-year agreement, teachers will receive a 4 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2013, as well as another salary increase of 4 percent effective July 1, 2014.
The school district’s maximum contribution to employee health and welfare benefits will also increase to $11,000, effective January 1, 2015. And there will be a $1,500 cash-in-lieu payment for eligible employees who elect to opt out of the district’s health and welfare benefits coverage.
“The association is pleased that after a very long struggle that a fair agreement has been reached and can be sent to membership for a vote,” said ARE President Shay Lohman.
“I am thrilled that the teams reached an agreement yesterday,” said Interim Superintendent John Roach. “The school year will begin with all employees focused on meeting the needs of our students.”
During the negotiations, the school board had to approve a budget for the coming school year, which will now have to be amended when the teachers’ new contract is approved.
Ajay Mohindra, Rowland’s interim chief financial officer, pointed out that 82 percent of the revenue next year will come from the new Local Control Funding Formula. Another 10 percent will come from the state, with the federal government kicking in 7 percent.
Total revenues should top $138 million, up from the $133 million received in the last fiscal year. As the new formula kicks in, revenues are projected to grow to $146 million in 2015-16 and more than $149 million in 2016-17.
But Rowland will still have to draw from its ending balance of $52 million to cover the double-digit deficit. That will draw reserves down to $41 million by the end of the next fiscal year, even more depending on the salary settlement.
“Nearly half of our expenditures is for teachers’ salaries and benefits,” Mohindra explained. “When you add the other classified salaries and benefits, that’s 79 percent of our budget.”
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story BUDGET.
This Thursday from 8:30 – 10 a.m., the Rainbow Preschool located at Rowland High School will have the high school students create a circus for the preschooler’s in Portable 33.
There is still space for the summer program that runs until July 11 for children ages 21/2 to 4 years old. (Hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
The preschool is also taking Fall enrollment now – fall semester begins on Aug. 19 for the cost of $385 per month. For more information, call Pat Hakim at (626) 965-3448.
Educational and leadership consultant John Roach, Ed.D., (John Roach & Associates) will be the Interim superintendent at Rowland Unified this summer while the superintendent search process continues.
Roach is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California teaching the courses “Leadership” and “Accountability.” He was superintendent of Carlsbad Unified from 2004-12 and at Charter Oak Unified 1998-2004, and is known for his leadership while also serving in Brea Olinda Unified and East Whittier City School Districts.
He serves on the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group of the University of Southern California. Roach has been active in the Association of California School Administrators Association, serving as charter president and on various state committees.
Roach received his Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Southern California and his M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University.
“The Board is delighted to have Dr. John A. Roach join the Rowland Unified School District. Dr. Roach comes with a broad range of experiences to assist the district during this transition process,” said Board President Heidi L. Gallegos.
Roach will serve as Interim Superintendent on a part-time basis, approximately three days per work week, during the summer months pending completion of the current search for a permanent superintendent.
The timeline for the superintendent search process includes advertising and applications for the position concluding on July 11. Interviews will take place in August with the hiring of the new leader expected in September.
Looking for a fun summer program for your kids? Rowland Basketball Camp held at Rowland High School is seeking boys/girls ages 7-14 interested in developing a solid foundation in the fundamentals of basketball for players of all levels.
There is still space left for the second session, June 16 – 20, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Early drop-off at 8 a.m. and late pick-up at 1 p.m. available free of charge.) The cost is $100 for the week.
Beginners will be given an opportunity to grow in a positive environment, while advanced players will be challenged to improve their skills in a more competitive environment.
Camp Directors are Jason Villanueva, the new head basketball coach at Rowland High School, along with Lindsey Brewer and Matthew Tumambing. They will provide instruction in the areas of Ball Handling, Passing, Shooting, Individual Moves, Footwork, Defense, and Rebounding.
In addition to on court skills, an emphasis will be put on Team Work, the importance of Positive Interaction, and Work Ethic. Shooting Contests, Free Throw Contests, Team Games, and 1 on 1 Championships will also be conducted. Players are asked to bring basketball shoes, white T-Shirt, blue or black shorts (preferably, bottled water and a great attitude!
Rowland High School is located at 2000 S. Otterbein Ave. in Rowland Heights. (626)965-3448
Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Ruben Frutos resigned his position Tuesday night, hours after the board fired Ajay Mohindra, the interim assistant superintendent of business who was hired by Frutos.
Frutos will end a 20-month term in the top spot on June 30, according to district board members. Mohindra also will leave at that time.
His tenure as interim superintendent and then as superintendent was marked with tension that included hundreds of people regularly attending board meetings and picketing of district headquarters by teachers and classified workers demanding his resignation.
In March, the board initiated a search for a new superintendent. But in attempt to keep him on, the board amended his contract to allow him to become deputy superintendent of administrative services. However, last month, the board pulled an item that would’ve approved the down-ladder move.
Some say the resignation was a way for Frutos to bow out gracefully after new board members Lynne Ebenkamp and Angelena Pride pushed for him to leave. Both were elected in November with teacher support on a platform to consider a new superintendent and increase board transparency.
“We finally have closure on the whole issue of Ruben. Now we also have the challenge of finding the right person to lead the district,” said John Petersen, president of the Association of Rowland Educators.
Frutos, in a summarized statement released by Gina Ward, district spokesperson, said he assured the board he was not interested in applying for the superintendent position but did say he hoped to serve RUSD in another capacity. He declined to be interviewed Wednesday.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story FRUTOS.
Ajay Mohindra was dismissed from his job by a unanimous vote of the five-member school board, announced Board President Heidi Gallegos
“The board unanimously decided to not re-employ the district’s interim assistant superintendent of business,” Gallegos announced to a board room packed with teachers, parents and community members.
Mohindra, listed as the interim chief financial officer on the district’s website, sat at the table in front of the board after the announcement. When asked by a reporter if he still had a job at the district, he remained silent.
Mohindra’s name was confirmed by Gina Ward, RUSD spokesperson, who also attended the board meeting.
Mohindra was participating in negotiations with the district’s teachers represented by the Association of Rowland Educators. The two sides are in impasse and is now working with a mediator.
He was put into the spot last year by Superintendent Ruben Frutos, who previously occupied the position.
The district is in the process of looking for a new superintendent. Frutos’ contract ends June 30. There was no word on whether he would become the assistant superintendent of business.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story DISMISSED.
Rowland Unified will offer bus transportation to the Town Hall meeting tonight from selected school sites. The Rowland Board of Education invites the community to share their input on the characteristics desired in the next superintendent. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Telesis Academy, 2800 E. Hollingworth Street, West Covina.
BUS TRANSPORTATION PICK UP TIMES
(Transportation for Adults Only Due to Limited Space.)
Hurley 4:45 p.m.
Northam 5:00 p.m.
Yorbita 5:15 p.m.
La Seda/Santana HS 5:20 p.m.
Rorimer 5:30 p.m.
After Meeting Buses will Return to Schools.
*ONLINE SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH SURVEY: The Board of Education also invites all RUSD employees and community members to provide their feedback by taking part in the Online Superintendent Search survey through May 25. It is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. **Click HERE.**
Students in the community who crave the arts – who wish to sing, dance, paint and perform drama – can enroll now in two unique summer arts programs offered by the Rowland Unified School District.
The Summer Arts Academy is June 9 – June 27, for students entering grades 1 through 6 with Monday – Friday classes from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students will experience daily hands-on art projects, singing and dancing and will present an arts showcase of their work at Gallery Night on June 26. The cost for three weeks of instruction, all art supplies and a Summer Arts T-Shirt is only $200 per child.
Students who want to experience putting on a musical production can take part in the Summer Theater program, with this year’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” offeredJune 9 – July 3 for students entering grades 4 through 8.
Everyone gets a part! Classes are held Monday – Friday from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Performances of “The Little Mermaid” will be on Tuesday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 2 at 6 p.m. The cost is only $200 per child and includes all costumes and props!
The Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater are under the direction of Rowland Unified Educator Karoll Joson. The Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater programs are both held at Hollingworth Elementary School, located at 3003 E. Hollingworth in West Covina www.hollingworthschool.org
Students do not have to be part of the Rowland Unified School District to enroll. There is also a discount for students who enroll in both programs. To register for the Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater, please download forms atwww.RowlandSchools.org or they are available at the Educational Services Office, Rowland Unified School District, 1830 S. Nogales Street in Rowland Heights. For more information you can call (626) 854-8348.