March 15, 2022
Dear Dr. Durán,
Yesterday at the ASA Board meeting the issue of the change in school resource/security positions was discussed. There are several components of this change that are troublesome for school-based administrators although the issues differ by level.
An important issue for administrators is that this action is indicative of our ongoing concern regarding communication prior to actions rather than after the fact. In this case, the plan to “professionalize” the campus safety team was developed and pushed out to staff/schools without any assistance, recommendations, or collaboration with the school leadership. While there are/may be sound reasoning and requirements that support the change, making the decision without discussing it with those who it impacts and who must manage the change is not productive. APS is in an unusual situation, attempting to normalize the system post-pandemic while leaders/individuals with limited or no institutional knowledge make decisions to change processes and procedures.
Benefit of Change
The reasoning and benefit(s) of this decision are not clear. First, administrators are concerned that some of the current staff will be out of work immediately if they choose not to accept the newly created position. At the same time, it appears schools will lose some staff to fund the 5.5 FTEs for security leads. The fact that the leads will be stationed at Facilities along with a change in supervision will mean that they are not available for the duties that they previously performed on school campuses. Yet, these duties still need to be performed. The changes to school resource/security also impact schools’ ability to cover events and student activities. Prior staff in these roles had longer/flexible hours. Additionally, the resource/safety staff are important to the school environment. They interact with students and staff on a daily basis—they are valuable members of the school community and culture. It is unclear how this action will be a positive change for schools.
School administrators, particularly principals are very aware that theirs is a 24/7 job. However, they were not aware that 24/7 means that all of their hours must be at their school site. For many decades the unwritten but financed policy has been that there must be a responsible adult(s) in the building when students are in the building. The resource/security positions and faculty sponsors/coaches have filled that need, especially for high schools. Elementary and Middle Schools handle the situation differently as they have fewer activities.
The reality is that High Schools have so many activities and programs that they cannot possibly have an administrator present at all times given all their other duties. There was a time when each high school had an evening administrator. That was changed since it was not necessary given that resource assistants could handle that duty. To our knowledge, there have not been any problems or issues when resource/safety assistants were the responsible adult present.
In addition to the newly stated requirement for administrators to be present whenever students are present, ASA board members pointed out that expectations are not clear in regarding other administrative coverage, i.e., hiring, and attending transfer/hiring fairs. Administrators were told that their work hours were “infinite” with no consideration for flex hours or compensation. Policy G-1.1 indicates that work hours should be stated in each contract (including administrators), however, P-scale hours are not included in the PIP G-1.1 PIP-1.
We hope to discuss this issue with you in person. In the meantime, we hope that you will delay this action until there is more information and collaboration.
Thank you for your consideration,
Susan Robinson Barbara Thompson
ASA Director ASA President
Click here to read Dr. Mayo's Response. Make sure you are logged into your APS email
Compensation/Step Increase Proposal
When we learned about the proposed restoration of step increases not given in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2019, we immediately questioned why the steps would only be given for the years in an employee's current position. This seemed unfair for those who had lost salaries prior to a promotion. Originally, we got no response at that time but as we indicated in our email below. More recently several members reached out to us about the fact that the number of reinstated steps would only be for the years you were in their current position. Once again we raised this to Dr. Mayo and Dr. Durán and soon after they indicated that they had asked the consultants (Segal) to look into the issue and the cost of providing steps for each year. We will keep you posted as we learn more.
Dr. Mayo's email March 3, 2022
I apologize for the delay in responding to your email. I’ve been working with the consultant to rerun the impact for employees that may have moved from one position to another during the step freezes since 2011. We are currently building out a file to analyze the impact it will have, if any, to employees. Once the analysis is completed, I will be able to share more information regarding how it impacts employees.
School Board Budget Question #: 23-44
ARLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS MEMORANDUM
DATE: March 14, 2022
TO: Members of the School Board VIA: Dr. Francisco Durán, Superintendent
FROM: Dr. Dashan Turner
BUDGET QUESTION: According to an assistant principal, while we are adjusting for up to four missed steps, we are not adjusting for those missed steps if the employee is now in a different position. A simple example is a teacher who is now an AP. That person is not going to get compensated for their missed steps while a teacher. Why is this group excluded from the adjustment and what would it cost to include them? RESPONSE: During the March 8 School Board Work Session, the compensation was reviewed as a part of the budget work session. It was stated that employees would be compensated for missed steps while serving in their current position/role. Restoring missed steps based on the current positions was not exclusive to the position of assistant principal. Restoring missed steps based on current positions impacts all scales and all employees employed during the years when step increases were frozen. Currently, Segal is conducting a review to determine the cost of restoring all steps missed by staff, regardless of position or role. The findings from this review will be presented to the division leadership for review, determination of budget implications, and next steps.
January 31, 2022
The ASA executive board met with Dr Durán and members of the ELT last week. We began the meeting by expressing our appreciation for closing the system for the winter break without using leave and for the $1000 bonus. ASA advocated for both of these last fall.
We asked for an update on the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget and for the details of the plan for a new salary design. Dr. Durán indicated that if the anticipated funding from the county and state are realized the primary expenditures in the budget will be for compensation and reduction of class sizes especially in middle schools.
The compensation proposals include both a new salary scale intended to compensate for up to four years when steps were skipped and an increase for those administrators with doctorates. Their goal is to raise salaries so that Arlington Public Schools salaries will once again be in the top three school systems in our region. As you are aware, these are two issues for which ASA has advocated for many years (actually decades for the doctorate add on).
I am attaching the presentation that Dr. Mayo made to the School Board regarding the proposed new salary scale in December. The plan is to provide increases over the years for all employees. Although the percentage increase is lower for each step there are no longevity steps so employees will get an increase every year. Employees will receive additional steps based on the steps that were missed while in your current position. (We have asked for additional clarification on this proposal so stay tuned.)
Please look at the explanation of the proposed salary scale here. School Administrators may be most interested in pp. 14 -20. Central office P-Scale will have to use those scales to see what your increases will be.
We will keep you informed as we learn more about the budget. In the meantime, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me email@example.com or 703-785-7571. If you have related or other concerns or suggestions, please use this form on our ASA website.