Rowland Unified launches new website

websiite

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!

 

Rowland Unified passes $147 million budget with $9 million deficit

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.

Rowland Unified settles contract with teachers’ union

By Rowland Unified School District

The Rowland Unified School District Board of Education announced today that a comprehensive three year (2013-2016) tentative agreement was reached at approximately 8:15 p. m. on July 8 by the RUSD and Association of Rowland Educators (ARE) negotiation teams after meeting with the State-Appointed Mediator for a fourth mediation session.

As a result, there will be no formal negotiations during the 2014-2015 school year and only limited negotiations during the 2015-2016 school year.

“The tentative agreement reached clearly recognizes the dedicated work of our Rowland teachers while leaving the district in a solid financial position for the future. I would like to acknowledge the hard work done on both sides of the aisle by our bargaining teams,” said RUSD Board President Heidi L. Gallegos

Highlights of the Tentative Agreement include: multi-year agreement (2013-2016); salary increase of 4%, retroactive to July 1, 2013; Salary Increase of 4%, effective July 1, 2014; District’s maximum contribution to employee health and welfare benefits increased to $11,000, effective January 1, 2015; $1,500 cash- in-lieu payment for eligible employees who elect to opt out of District health and welfare benefits coverage; late start to continue at high schools for 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years; and reduced counselor ratios.

“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. We are very grateful for the leadership provided recently by interim Superintendent Dr. Roach and we are excited about the possibilities that lay ahead for RUSD,” said ARE President Shay Lohman.

The tentative agreement will be presented to ARE members for ratification within the next 2-3 weeks. After ratification by ARE members, it will be presented to the school board at its’ Aug. 12 meeting. As part of the District’s review process, the economic provisions of the Tentative Agreement will also be shared with the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Each team vowed to work diligently to implement the terms of the agreement once the tentative agreement is ratified/approved by all parties.

“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.”

Bargaining team members for the School District were: Ajay Mohindra, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services; Melissa Neal, Director Pupil Services; Jason Gass, Principal Killian; Sergio Canal, Principal Nogales High School; and Douglas Staine, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

ARE negotiation team members were: Eileen Fetters, Executive Director of ARE; John Petersen, Teacher Rowland High School; Clare Ruesga, teacher

Rowland High School; Gilbert Navarro, Teacher Oswalt Academy; Sharyn Sigler, Teacher Oswalt Academy; and Yvonne Martini, Teacher Hollingworth Elementary.

Summer Arts Academy ends with singing, dancing and art in Rowland Unified

The Summer Arts Academy celebrated the first days of summer with its annual arts showcase at Hollingworth Elementary in West Covina. The students were doing their final rehearsals before the big show last week for friends and family.

The Rowland Unified students were in fine voice as they rehearsed their musical numbers. Others were mounting the student artwork in a large exhibit in the hallway.

The kids had the “Eye of the Tiger” as they launched into one of their big numbers. Though the choreographed tiger claws were a little scary.

Three college students watched closely as their students roared through the pop song. Rebeka Joson, 19, and her 21-year-old brother, Matthew, had been working with the Rowland students for the past three weeks in the popular summer program.

Matthew knows his stagecraft, finishing his first year with the Young Americans show group. The local singer performed in three of their productions last year.

The Rowland High grad was back to share his expertise with the younger students. He was also helped by Erika Larracas, a 21-year-old communications major at Cal State Long Beach.

“I enjoy working with the youngsters, they’re lots of fun to work with,” Joson said.

The Summer Arts Academy was held June 9-27 for elementary students. Classes were held weekday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ARTS.

Music family day camp held at Hurley Elementary in West Covina

Education Through Music Fine Arts Family Day Camp

Hurley Elementary School

June 30 – July 3

Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ages 6-13 Tuition: Ages 9+ $95 Ages 6-8 $75

Wee Ones Program Ages 3-5

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Tuition $40 per person (Parent MUST attend with child)

About the Camp: Inspired by Richards Institute Master Teacher Dr. Randy McChesney, institute staff will guide camp participants in song and play through the song experience games of ETM, visual arts activities and storytelling. Participants from all generations learn by watching, listening and observing while they play, create and interact together.

Rainbow Preschool looking forward to new room at Rowland High

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Rainbow Preschool at Rowland High is literally a three-ring circus. While clowns entertained the tots outside, workers are finishing up the new preschool facilities inside.

The tiny preschoolers were treated to some circus fun on Thursday. The La Puente Valley ROP students decided to entertain the youngsters with feats of daring.

Meanwhile, work crews were getting ready to lay cement in the new tot lot on the Rowland High campus. They have spent the past year rebuilding the old preschool classroom.

Contractors began by tearing the walls out down to the original studs. Crews installed new wiring and plumbing, before adding new insulation and sound deadening material.

“We’ve waited more than 30 years for this remodeling,” said preschool director Patricia Hakim. “But it was worth the wait!”

Hakim credited district officials and Principal Mitch Brunyer, who actually attended the preschool when he was young.

“Our new preschool center is actually bigger because they took out an office and storage area next door,” Hakim noted. “Now, we’ll have enough room to separate the 3- and 4-year-old groups.”

The new carpeting, walls, windows and lighting are just the beginning. The preschool also received new furniture for the popular ROP program.

Tiny, bright red chairs sat stacked against the classroom wall. Small blue cots will replace the vinyl mats the tots used to take naps on. The sturdy little cots have plastic legs and canvas bedding.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PRESCHOOL.

Rainbow Preschool creates circus at Rowland High in Rowland Heights

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.

John Roach named interim superintendent at Rowland Unified

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.

John Roach

John Roach

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.

Rowland Basketball Camp has spots open for June 16-20

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!

Registration forms are available at www.RowlandBasketball.com or please email  jasonzvillanueva@gmail.com

Rowland High School is located at 2000 S. Otterbein Ave. in Rowland Heights. (626)965-3448

Nogales High School graduation

Padilla Grad Photo

Former Nogales High School Principal Dr. Nancy Padilla (who retired last year) got a surprise as she was allowed to present the diploma to her daughter, Allison Padilla, pictured with Rowland Unified School District Board of Education Clerk Angelena Pride.

NHS Val Jannette Choi

 

Nogales High School Valedictorian Jannette Choi began her speech with a “selfie” photo of her and her classmates.

 

 

The Class of 2014 at Nogales High School ceremony featured the release of doves over the heads of the 491 graduates in La Puente.NHS Doves at Graduation