Edmonds School District OKs tentative contract with office staff, hears from elementary students on Title 1 Math

After months of negotiations, the Edmonds School District has struck a tentative deal with the district’s office personnel over salary contracts.

At its Feb. 25 business meeting, the Edmonds School Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve a tentative four-year bargaining agreement between the district and the ESD Association of Office Personnel Employees that include wage increases, more money for health benefits and changes to work conditions, said district spokesperson Harmony Weinberg.

“We are pleased we have finalized an agreement with our office personnel staff,” Weinberg said. “We value the work they do for our district and believe we have negotiated an agreement that represents that value. We appreciate the work of district staff and the employee group in getting to an agreement that was ratified by the union and approved by the school board.”

Negotiations between the district and office personnel have been ongoing since May. In the past, the district has determined the union’s contracts based on the midpoint wage and benefits for surrounding school districts. Prior to the agreement, staff accused the district of trying to find a way around paying the area midpoint.

Beverly Elementary School Office Manager Lauri Velasquez — who serves as the Edmonds-OP Chapter of Public School Employees of Washington SEIU chapter president — said that the majority of office personnel are satisfied with the agreement.

“We feel like it’s a good agreement that benefits all of our members,” she said.

The agreement is retroactive to September 2019 and runs through August 2023. Since the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, office staff have been working under the terms of their previous contract. Office staff will receive back pay under the terms of the new agreement.

In other business, Meadowdale Elementary School students presented to the school board their work with a new program aimed at helping students struggling with math.

Third- and sixth-grade students made a presentation about Title 1 math — a federally funded program designed to supplement classroom reading and math instruction. Students are selected based on district-wide assessments and meet daily in small, flexible groups.

According to the students’ presentation, last year the district focused primarily on K-4th grade literacy. With additional funding this year, Title 1 was offered to all of Meadowdale Elementary’s 3rd-grade students and select 6th-grade students, which were the grades in most need of the program’s math interventions.

For 3rd graders, the program’s goal was to increase communication and problem solving in math by using a “push-in” model, where learning support teachers work with regular teachers. In 6th grade, based on how deep the gaps were, the intervention was a “pull-out” intervention with 30 minutes of remediation every day and 45 minutes of the core. The class runs five days a week for 75 minutes a day. A total of 13 6th-grade students participated.

Also during the meeting, the board recognized the district four new National Board Certified teachers:

  • Adam Bazant, Mountlake Terrace High School
  • Veronica Mun, College Place Middle School
  • Noel Shahbazian, Beverly Elementary School
  • Martha Strachan, Meadowdale High School

The board also recognized the Edmonds Education Association National Board Certified teachers who achieved renewal. To view a full list, click here.

–Story and photo by Cody Sexton

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