Thursday, September 11, 2008

LCEA Executive Board Meeting Minutes 9/11/2008

Place: High School Room 403
Time: 4:15

CLICK HERE for a Word version of the LCEA Executive Board Meeting Minutes from September 11, 2008.

Roll Call: Dave Bergman, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag, Sharon Crawley (absent), Barb Motes
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin (absent), Allison Towne (absent), Brian Johnson (absent), Ruth Kreger
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup, Lisa Scieszinski, Jennifer Stroup, Joanna Stenlund
Kreft Reps: LoriAnn Brougham (absent), Mary Broughton, Lee Dwyer (absent)

Approval of Agenda (Dave Bergman)
• Joanna Stenlund moved that the agenda be approved, Beth Frank seconded it, and the motion passed.

Secretary’s Report (Kim Muta)
• Susan Drustrup moved that the minutes from the August meeting be approved, Mary Broughton seconded it, and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report (Jen Doorlag)
• Al Lorenz moved that the report be approved, Beth Frank seconded it, and the motion passed with one abstention.

President’s Report (Dave Bergman)
• First of the monthly meetings will be next week. Please forward issues to Dave Bergman. (Remember to follow the chain of command. Resolve it at the building level first.) He intends to discuss the Board’s representation at the arbitration meeting.

Negotiations: (Beth Frank)
• TQ money and Phase II money: It will be paid in eleven installments, beginning in October. (This year it will run from October through August.)
• Beth Frank has met with the new business manager, and they have worked through spreadsheets and such to be sure everyone is getting what they should.
• Beth Frank has made a copy of the salary schedule and the TQ/Phase II amounts.

Building Reports
• High School: We’re trying to create a pyramid of interventions for the kids who aren’t turning in homework.
• Middle School: Two questions. One is about the air quality in the auditorium and performing arts wing. Al Lorenz asked where the question should be raised: building principals or superintendent. Dave Bergman said he would ask Dr. Schweer. The second question is about the shortage of special education associates, and Dave Bergman asked Al Lorenz to raise that question with the building principal first.
• Titan Hill: The new law about not charging fees for field trips, and it is having an impact. There is also an issue with the special education teachers being told they will take on sections of Title I reading classes. There are questions about the funding streams and endorsements. Finally, the fourth grade classes are overly full—28 or 29 kids per class. There is great concern about the impact of these class sizes on the high-stakes test scores.
• Kreft: They will be meeting with Barb Grell sometime soon. There are only two bathrooms for 600+ kids.

Old Business:
• Membership dues: In August, Tom McLaughlin moved that we raise the 2008-2009 dues to $32, with the intention of raising dues by $2 each year for five years pending yearly Board approval. Loriann Brougham seconded it. The motion passed with one abstention.
• Key chains for members’ birthdays: Barb Motes is waiting for a sale on them that she thinks is probably coming.
• Arbitration meeting: Dave Bergman talked about the lack of professionalism shown by some Board of Directors and the legal representation. He will be raising the issue with Mark Schweer at a future meeting.

New Business:
• Thank you note to Chris Bern: Please send Dave Bergman any anecdotal thanks regarding his visit to LC. Dave Bergman will put together a thank you note for him.
• Super Rep envelope: Beth Frank pointed out the contents of the packet we received from ISEA, including warnings about distributing political information, the five-star local program, etc. She highlighted the response from NEA members to Iowa’s summer weather catastrophes. There is a fund, and members can apply for funds to replace school supplies and such. Finally, Kim Muta will forward future local leader meeting notices to the Executive Board.

• Barb Motes moved that the meeting be adjourned, Jennifer Stroup seconded it, and the meeting adjourned at 5:15.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Teacher Quality Monies to Arrive on October 1, 2008

LC Teachers to Split $1,029,367.99 in Third Installment of Iowa Teacher Quality Money

We can be thankful to the work done here by LCEA members in contacting their legislators, showing up at Saturday coffees with policy-makers, sending emails to elected decision makers, and for talking to supportive patrons in order to accomplish a great task for our profession in Iowa.

In just three short years, our local members have rallied to the call of their Association to pass this landmark legislation that will make Iowa an attractive place to teach for new educators, a great place to stay for veterans and a

So, when you open your paycheck/paystub on October 1, 2008 and notice the change in your salary by receiving the third installment of the Iowa Teacher Quality monies, you'll know one of many reasons to belong to our Association.

"Every indication that we receive from the ISEA Research and Political Action office, the average teacher salary in Iowa should be 26th in the country after this year," John Phillips, one of our outstanding Uniserv Director in Southwest Uniserv's ISEA Red Oak office said.

This is a substantial increase considering the fact that educators in most other states have continued to receive pay increases across the country and we will jump almost 17 ranks in average state salary.

A special thanks go out to LCEA Chief Negotiator Beth Frank who worked with the ERC to make sure that our monies will appear on the October check and run through August of 2009.

As was the case last year, as was the case the year before, your Association has secured a better future for you, your family and your profession.

Equally important to this fact is the fact the ISEA lobbying efforts have rolled these raises into the general state aid formula, So, thanks to all of you for your efforts, your team-mindedness and for understanding that our work in the classroom is really only a portion of the job that we do.

Thanks friends.

NEA Toolkit for Improved Instruction

In This Issue
  1. Setting Up Your New Classroom
  2. Classroom Management: When the Ship Sails Adrift
  3. Team Teaching: Two Cooks in the Kitchen
  4. Dress to Impress
  5. Retired Educators Love Technology
  6. Lesson Plans, Classroom Resources, And More

Sponsored By: NEA Teacher ToolKit
It's about time... that teachers can focus on students rather than paperwork! Are you looking for an easy, convenient way to record and retrieve student data? The NEA Teacher ToolKit can help. This exciting new classroom resource for teachers is a fully integrated web-based application that can help save you time. Learn more at NEA Teacher ToolKit... classroom tools designed for teachers by teachers.

Visit the web site!
    Your classroom is your home-away-from-home 5 days a week -- for you and your students -- so make it a fun, productive learning space. Get started with tips for assessing your space, arranging the room by function or activity, and decorating with a theme.
    Already feel like your classroom's sailing between Scylla and Charybdis? Your colleagues offer advice to get back on course.
    These days, you might be sharing your classroom with another teacher. Can you work effectively together -- without spoiling everything? Find out what teachers are doing to make it work.
    For an aspiring educator, knowing curriculum and classroom management aren't the only things that make you a teacher. You've gotta look the part to be at the head of the class.
    When someone says "techie" you're likely to imagine a pimply-faced teenager or twenty-something hunched over a keyboard surviving on a diet of chips and soda pop, but these members are making the most of their 21st-century retirement.
Check out these articles and many more resources for educators at!

Sponsored By: NEA Teacher ToolKit
It's about time... that teachers can focus on students rather than paperwork! Are you looking for an easy, convenient way to record and retrieve student data? The NEA Teacher ToolKit can help. This exciting new classroom resource for teachers is a fully integrated web-based application that can help save you time. Learn more at NEA Teacher ToolKit... classroom tools designed for teachers by teachers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

ISEA President Chris Bern to Visit LC

originally posted on August 26, 2008

ISEA President, Chris Bern to Visit LC September 8-9, 2008
in the SWUU Arm of His ISEA President's Tour

You're all invited to help us welcome our new ISEA President to LC early next week.

Many of us in ISEA have had the honor of working with Chris on a variety of levels within the Association. Not only is he an awesome ambassador for our profession, a thoughtful planner, and an articluate speaker, he is a wonderful, upbeat person. A real people's person, he puts our students, our schools, our colleagues and our Association first.

A former Southwest Iowa Uniserv Unit president, Chris is truly one of us in so many ways. Some really thoughtful, member-driven, changes are in store for the ISEA.

Veteran Knoxville High School math teacher, Chris Bern, will visit LC on September 8-9, 2008 while doing his annual ISEA President's tour. His ambitious plans include visiting districts in each of the 19 uniserv units in the state. He will also be a guest of honor and a keynote speaker at the local leader's meeting in Council Bluffs next Tuesday evening and in Clarinda next Wednesday meeting. All of our Association Reps and members to attend this meeting on Tuesday evening. Enjoy a free dinner and a meeting with your colleagues from Southwest Iowa.

We are busy booking Chris in as many buildings and classrooms as possible.

Chris is trained by the NEA in its national Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harrassment training and does a wondeful job offering this training for students and education professionals. He can speak to the important of civics and involvement in elections or Election 2008. Rest assured, that he will not advocate for any one candidate. He could speak to students about the importance of communication skills (speech, writing, reading) to advance one's career. He could teach a math lesson, read a book to an elementary classroom, visit with teachers durng planning periods, and more... Our potential is unlimited. Let's use this opportunity to show off your classroom. We're trying to work with the Non-Pareil to get some strong media coverage for Bern's visit.

Amongst Bern's first accomplishments as ISEA President was in organizing and working for the ISEA Iowa Disaster Relief Fund for our colleagues who were devastated by the flooding and tornado disasters of last spring and this summer. To date the fund has raised $40,000.00 for our colleagues and schools that were damaged in the disasters.

Chris has already taken "the show on the road"
and given our organization, members and communities another strong professional face. Bern's Blog will document his travels and experience. Check it out at

Chris Bern, a veteran Knoxville High School math teacher, has been elected president of the nearly 33,000-member Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). He was elected April 4, by nearly 400 delegates attending the ISEA annual meeting in Ames.

Bern, who has served as ISEA vice president for the past two years, defeated Jean Seeland, an elementary teacher from Waterloo; and Bruce Jensen, a retired elementary teacher from Moulton-Udell. He will replace current ISEA President Linda Nelson who will return to teach at Carter Lake Elementary School in Council Bluffs next fall after serving two, two-year terms.

Bern began his career teaching junior high math in Woodbine. He moved to Knoxville in 1988 where he has taught at the high school, alternative high school, and middle school levels over the years. Bern has also been an Association activist throughout his career -- first as president and chief negotiator in Woodbine and now in Knoxville where he has held virtually every leadership position including two, two-year terms as president.

A member of the ISEA Executive Board since 2002, Bern spent 11 years on the ISEA Resolutions and New Business Committee and served as its chairperson. In addition, he has been a member of the ISEA-PAC Central Committee since 1994 and has been involved in several political campaigns. On the national level, Bern has been a member of the National Education Association (NEA) Resolutions Committee for the past six years and he is a certified trainer for the NEA's program on school safety and anti-harassment issues.

Bern graduated in 1977 from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake with a degree in mathematics. He will take a leave of absence from his teaching duties to serve a two-year term which begins in June.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Step Up for Kids Day in Iowa

Every Child Matters is organizing a non-partisan, nationwide event, "Step Up for Kids Day," on September 16, 2008 to draw public attention to issues affecting America's children. Help us raise public attention in Iowa and across the country.

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Time: 11 a.m. CDT
Location: State House Rotunda - Battle Ship Iowa Memorial
Festivities: This will be a family friendly event. Please bring your children!
Volunteer: We are looking for assistance promoting the event to children, families, and community organizations. We are recruiting entertainers that would appeal to youth and children; recruiting organizations interested in hosting children's activities (games, art projects, civic engagement activities, etc.).


>Email updates


Super Discounts for Super Teachers

Did you save 40% on a Philips flat screen tv? How about a free Motorola RAZR cell phone? Did you save up to 70% off of watches and jewelry? You can receive these savings and much, much more by signing up at TeachersDiscount. It's totally free for teachers and totally great for your wallet.

Read the TeachersCount blog

The TeachersCount blog is alive and well – please check it out! Recent topics include access to college, morale and safety in schools, the excitement of returning to school, the importance of supporting new teachers, the hype around failing schools, and great ways to get students of all ages engaged in the upcoming presidential election. Click here to catch up.

Progressive Learning in the Classroom

Ariel Sacks, who teaches English to 8th graders in Brooklyn, NY, fields questions for the latest edition of TeachersTopic, entitled, "Implementing Progressive Education in New York City Public Schools." Ms. Sacks discusses the value of designing lessons that focus on the overall developmental level of students. She discusses her experiences working in a high needs New York City public school, the impact policy makers have on the classroom, and much more. Please take a moment to check out Ms. Sack's wisdom and wit in this online interview .

Do prayers belong in school? Tell us what you think

Last year, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law requiring all public schools to reserve time at the beginning of each school day for "silent prayer or silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day." The law quickly generated controversy and a lawsuit regarding the separation of church and state. What role, if any, should prayer play in public schools? Click here to tell us what you think.

New faces join the PSA Campaign

What do Private Practice actor Taye Diggs, Curb Your Enthusiasm actress Cheryl Hines, and legendary NFL quarterback Steve Young have in common? They all want the world to know that they support teachers and the teaching profession. All three of these socially conscious celebrities have recently joined the "Behind Every Famous Person Is a Fabulous Teacher" Campaign. The PSAs featuring Steve Young and Taye Diggs are now available online. The ad featuring Cheryl Hines is coming soon.

Find resources for new teachers

The latest edition of Best of the Web features resources that are perfect for new teachers. There are a lot of education resources on the Internet, some better than others, of course, and Best of the Web will point you toward the cream of the crop. Be sure to check out Best of the Web archives also. There are over 25 archived editions in the vaults that cover a range of topics, including, "Stress Management for Teachers," "Financial Literacy," "The Traveling Teacher," and many others.

New! Free! Posters for your Classroom!

You asked for it and now you've got it! The terrific success of our "Behind Every Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher" campaign, made possible by the generous support of Jones New York

In The Classroom, produced hundreds of requests from teachers for poster versions of the ads for their classrooms. WNBA star Michelle Snow, Pineapple Express and SpiderMan star James Franco, superstar fashion designer Zac Posen, and winner of the NFL Teacher of the Year contest, Kansas City Chief Eddie Kennison honor their teachers in the latest round of posters from the campaign. 200,000 posters have already been sent to schools by McGraw-Hill which has generously underwritten the current posters.

Posters featuring Golden Globe Award winning actor America Ferrera, Grammy Award winning rapper and actor, Ludacris, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, and Emmy Award winning actor Tony Shalhoub are also available. To get your free poster, send us an email at Be sure to include which posters you want and where you would like them sent. Limit of 1 of each (8 total) while supplies last.