Aug 12

The Value of Membership

Aug 12

Vallejo Teachers Shop for Free

Free teacher supply store open at Vallejo High School

A few of the ‘pink shirt’ volunteers await teachers at the free Vallejo Teacher Supply Store on the campus of Vallejo High School. RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN — TIMES-HERALD

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald

 

Former school board member, Hazel Wilson, who helped found the Vallejo Teacher Supply Store and supervises the student volunteers, gives the Times-Herald a tour of the merchandise.RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN — TIMES-HERALD

Many would agree that it’s hard enough to be a public school teacher without having to come out of pocket for classroom supplies. So, some Vallejo folks created a way to help.

With signs around the walls saying, “You are a VCUSD Superstar,” and “We celebrate VCUSD educators,” the 4-year-old Teacher Supply Store occupies two portables on the Vallejo High School campus. It stocks a wide range of donated school supplies and all Vallejo City Unified School District teachers are welcome to stop by and stock up, former school board member, store organizer and head volunteer Hazel Wilson said.

“The first year, we began as part of the Napa Teachers Resource Store,” but its organizers decided to exclude Vallejo teachers, so Wilson, along with teachers union president Sheila Gradwhol, started their own, she said. They took the best parts of what Napa had done, incorporated some things Wilson found online that other districts are doing, and the Vallejo Teacher Supply Store was born.

Now, the store gets support and volunteers from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Vallejo High School football and cheer teams and the Hospitality and Health and Fitness Academies, she said.

 

Nearly all the items available are donated from various sources, with the single largest donor being CC Sabathia and Amber Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation.

“Amber and CC have not forgotten this community; they have not forgotten the children of Vallejo, so I’ll volunteer for anything they come up with,” Wilson said.

Teachers from any Vallejo school can come in when the store is open — 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays in the weeks before school starts for the year, and then again in advance of the second semester in January — and shop for free pens, paper, binders, and more.

Jhon Charlie King, a 17-year-old Jesse Bethel High School Law Academy student and store volunteer said that special boxes reserved for every first and second-grader in the district this year contain a backpack with school supplies like pencils, folders, a binder and a notebook, as well as crayons, markers, a stapler, a pencil sharpener and other items.

Each year the entire student body of one school also gets a full backpack. This year, it’s Cooper Elementary School, Wilson said.

“We stuff the backpacks for a specific number of students per class and we hand them out before school starts,” Wilson said.

Teacher Supply Store teacher/shoppers will notice limit signs on most items — like, “take one” sharpie or “limit 5” pencils.

“But, if a teacher really needs more, they can usually have them,” Wilson said.

Besides the stacks of various types of paper, notebooks and folders, the store also stocks some seasonal decorations for Thanksgiving, Halloween, winter and spring, she said.

“And we keep a wish list, of things we don’t have that people have asked for, and when we get a gift card donated, we’ll try to get those,” Wilson said.

The volunteers, most Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority debutantes, learn a slew of things from the experience that will no-doubt be useful in their adult lives.

“They restock shelves, take inventory, do customer service,” Wilson said.

“I learned organization,” said Amaya Reynolds, 18, a recent Vallejo High School graduate and former store volunteer who plans to study public relations at San Jose State University this year. “I did the scheduling, too, and other things, so, I also learned management.”

Each year, the store project kicks off at Vallejo’s Juneteenth celebration, with a Pack the Bus event, Wilson said.

Word goes out city-wide, to churches, businesses and elsewhere, that donations are needed, and people come and fill up an actual school bus will supplies ranging from dry erase markers, paper, hand sanitizer and all manner of other items, she said.

The full bus then brings the items to fill the Teacher Supply Store shelves.

The store also maintains a stash of recycled plastic bags and one shopping cart, to help shoppers haul away their “purchases.”

Jesse Bethel Filipino language teacher Lucy Marte said she frequents the store every time it’s open. She said she spends about $1,000 annually out of her own pocket even with the help.

“I give a lot of it to my students. We do projects every year, and we use a lot of this stuff. It’s very helpful,” she said of the store. “I wish we have more places like this for the students.”

For more information or to make a donation, contact teachsupvjo@gmail.com.

May 20

VEA Officer Election Results 2018-2019 School Year

Here are the VEA Officer Election results as reported by VEA Elections Chair, Marie McPherson:

President – *Sheila Gradwohl – 346 votes
Treasure  – Write in – *Henry Sun – 38 votes
Adult School Director – Write in – *Effie Dudley – 15 votes
High School Director  – *Steve Quinlan – 173 votes
    –  Scott Heinecke – 142 votes
Elementary Director  – *Kelly Lawrence – 321 votes
Middle School Director – *Linda Holt  – 321 votes
Special Ed Director  – Write in – *Kathy Hellfeier – 9 votes
    – Write in – Anthony Woo – 3 votes

*Denotes winner

Total votes cast 365. No schools were disqualified.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

Sheila Gradwohl
VEA President
707-552-8487

Jan 23

Charter School Resolution

 

 Charter Resolution

 

The Vallejo Education Association supports quality neighborhood public schools and opposes privately- run unregulated charter schools that are harmful to Vallejo and all Solano County students.

 

WHEREAS, unregulated charter schools do not have an elected board of education and are not accountable to the public, and

 

WHEREAS, unregulated charter schools receive millions in taxpayer dollars but are not held to the same standard of accountability and they don’t sufficiently disclose how they spend tax payer dollars, and

 

WHEREAS, unregulated charter schools take funding and resources from students in our neighborhood public schools, and

 

WHEREAS, unregulated charter schools often exclude or push-out students that need extra help, such as children with disabilities, language learners, or children with behavior challenges, and

 

WHEREAS, unregulated charter schools are exempt from major sections of California Education Code that protect students, and

 

WHEREAS, the current rules regarding transparency and accountability have not been sufficient to support the oversight of charter school operations and the California legislature has not yet passed legislation such as AB 1478 and SB 808 to ensure more oversight, transparency, or accountability, and

 

WHEREAS, the Vallejo Education Association believes that undermining local public schools undermines the future of working families in the region,

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Vallejo Education Association opposes bringing more privately-run unregulated charter schools that harm our students into Solano County.

 

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Vallejo Education Association urges the Vallejo City Unified School District and the Solano County Solano County Office of Education to explore a process, working with State and Local elected officials, for bringing forward requirements that applications for charter schools have the same level of oversight and accountability that Public Schools provide.

 

The foregoing resolution was acted upon at a regular meeting of the Vallejo Education Association and approved unanimously on December 7, 2017.

 

Attest:

 

 

____________________
Sheila Gradwohl
VEA President

Jul 25

Member Benefits Highlights 2018-2019

Member Benefits Highlights 2018-2019

(Left-click image to open PDF)

Jun 04

VEA Officer Election Results

VEA Election Results

Vice President:                   Marnee’ McKenzie
Secretary:                            Sue Levy                    
High School Director:        Bruce Wilson
Elementary Director:         Kevin Steele
Child Care TK Director:    Loree Tackmier
CTA State Council:            Lynette Henley
K-8 Director:                       Dana Drane

Thank you to everyone who participated in this election.

Jun 04

VEA Bargaining Brief – June 1, 2017

VEA Bargaining Brief- June 1, 2017

 

We met with the District for the first time since our agreement was ratified in the fall. It was a productive exchange of ideas.

 

 

  • The District reports that they have a large pool of qualified, credentialed new hires to begin next school year. We are all looking forward to having positions filled at all levels.

 

  • An MOU has been signed for Elementary and K-8 Sites to schedule the District and Prep days for next year. The days follow a similar format to last year, with the exception of the first day of school; next year it will be a Teacher Prep Day.

 

  • We discussed ideas about a new article to add to the contract around just cause/ due process, set our bargaining calendar for next school year, and made commitments for our next meeting in the fall.

 

 

Enjoy a well deserved break! Your Bargaining Team looks forward to representing you at the table in the fall!

For immediate bargaining updates, please send your personal email to your bargaining contact below:

Marnee’ McKenzie– eenram@aol.com : Wardlaw, Cooper, Steffan, Beverly Hills, and Pennycook.

 

Carol Bishopcairolouise@comcast.net :  Jesse Bethel, Vallejo High, Franklin Middle, Hogan Middle, and Regional Education Center.

 

Leanne Dudenleanne.duden@gmail.com : Mare Island, Patterson, Federal Terrace, Vallejo Charter, Highland, and Cave

 

Kathy Hellfeierkhellfeier50@comcast.net : Loma Vista, Widenmann, Everest, Dan Mini, Glen Cove, and Lincoln

 

Bruce Wilsonbrucequaker@gmail.com : Solano Middle, Hogan Middle, John Finney, and Vallejo High

Jun 04

Teacher Support Program

Teacher Support

Apr 16

2017 VEA Officer Election

2017 VEA Elections

Apr 16

VEA Officer Election

VEA Officer Election

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