October 11, 2022
Dear ESUSD Family,
Based upon the number of inquiries I have recently received, in this communication I would like to specifically provide an important update on middle school sports and high school athletics for our families who are seeking clarity.
Middle School After School Sports
The middle school years are indeed an important time in our children's lives and it is imperative that extra-curricular opportunities occur such as clubs, sports, interventions or enrichments, which can genuinely enhance a student's experience and lead to the development of a greater sense of belonging overall at school. I would like to provide all families with an update on after school middle school sports. I have made a recommendation to the Board of Education to approve a Middle School Sports Coordinator job description. The job description outlines the responsibilities and essential functions of the adjunct teaching assignment that would oversee athletic offerings for El Segundo Middle School (ESMS) students. In addition, the Personnel Action Order includes a recommendation for Greg Mazzotta, Richmond Street School (RSS) Physical Education (PE) Teacher to serve in this capacity. If approved, Mr. Mazzotta would still continue in his current PE assignment at RSS and then work with our ESMS Bulldogs in the afternoons.
Ms. Sarah Davlantis and Mr. Mazzotta have met multiple times to create the after-school sports opportunities for the Fall. Parents of middle school students are encouraged to have your child complete the interest form by Wednesday, October 12. Fall sports include after-school activities for Girls Volleyball, Boys and Girls Flag Football, and Boys and Girls Cross Country. Fall sports will not have full competitive games, but we will have practices twice a week starting Monday, October 17th. Seventh grade students attending Outdoor Science School can start the week of October 24th. Principal Davlantis is pleased to share that ESMS is planning to run regular season sports competitions for the Winter and Spring seasons.
Lastly, it is clear that the ESMS Bulldogs have been elated to access their expansive new green field space. When visiting the middle school last week, I was pleased to observe our students actively enjoying the field during PE and lunch. At this time, the fields are for school and our middle school sports practices usage only. Our grounds crew are closely monitoring the field and adjusting the watering schedule and sprinklers to ensure it is well-maintained. As the new grass becomes more rooted, we look forward to allowing community group users an opportunity to access the field in accordance with our facility use policies, ideally early in the new year.
El Segundo High School Coaching Periods
As I previously shared, El Segundo Teachers Association (ESTA) is the exclusive representative for all certificated employees in ESUSD (non-administrative). Thus, any certificated teacher who coaches falls under this umbrella of representation as well. Recently, the District received a request to meet and confer from ESTA on the topic of reinstatement of coaching periods. I am pleased to share that today select members of the District and ESTA bargaining teams met to address this issue.
Due to the community interest regarding coaching periods, I would like to further define some terms and the specific contract provisions that directly and indirectly impact establishing coaching periods:
- Article 9.11 states the District may assign up to eight extra period assignments (one-sixth assignment) per site. El Segundo High School currently has six extra period assignments due to enrollment in specific courses based upon student requests and requirements for classes. Adding coaching periods would result in exceeding the number of extra period assignments and being a violation of the contract. Thus, collective bargaining is required to proactively address this issue.
- One-sixth assignment – High school teachers teach five periods and receive one period as a conference period for the purpose of duties such as, but not limited to planning, preparation, and evaluating student work. A teacher who agrees to teach a one-sixth assignment agrees to not have a conference period within the standard work day.
- When Teacher A is assigned a coaching period, this requires Teacher B, who is credentialed in the appropriate content area, to pick up the class assignment and is compensated for this additional assignment in accordance with Article 7.2.1 of the collective bargaining agreement. Teacher B now teaches six periods and no longer receives a conference period. All of Teacher B’s planning, preparation and evaluation of student work takes place outside of the school day. Teacher A teaches four periods, has a conference period, and has a coaching period to work with their team in season.
- One-sixth assignments are voluntary as is any extra duty assignment. Thus, in order to make coaching period implementation an option for the Principal of El Segundo High School, filling an extra duty assignment is an essential part of any equitable and viable solution.
I hope this information clarifies why this is a collective bargaining matter. Please know that the District and ESTA teams have a shared interest to expediate a comprehensive and systemic solution to this staffing challenge. ESUSD is fortunate to have ESTA as collaborative labor partners who represent their membership fairly and work with the District as active solution seekers.
Vacant Coaching Positions
ESHS has two Spring Sport coaching positions that are vacant at this time and have been posted to invite applications. Our school district is fortunate to reside in an engaged and active sports-minded community that offers robust youth programming which feeds into the high school. In the event you may have further questions about coaching at ESHS, or know of potential applicants for these open positions, you may contact Athletic Director Steve Shevlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Principal Steve Gebhart at email@example.com.
Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the proper channels, including collective bargaining, to address staffing concerns. I would once again like to encourage all to consider a mindset of “assume good will.” Using the analogy of a crew team, when we are all rowing in the same direction, we can move faster and accomplish so much. When we all listen with an open mind and an open heart and assume good will on the part of all stakeholders, our schools, district, and community succeed.
Melissa Moore, Ed.D.
El Segundo Unified School District