Completing contracts sets
stage for a joyful spring
I am so pleased that our School Board and professional associations approved two-year compensation agreements that will help San Lorenzo Unified School District retain and educators who share our mission of student success, equity and leadership.
Soon after that achievement, Spring Break provided a brief respite from the always busy routine for our children, families and educators. Recent weeks and the remainder of the semester are full of occasions where we can watch in awe as our scholars share their brilliance – as artists and performers, as athletes and in joyful competition with fellow students from around the region, state and nation. One of those events was our district art show on March 22, where I had a chance to welcome families.
We are truly fortunate to have so many of those proud moments, and our pride will only intensify as we approach the many recognition, promotion and graduation events in May and early June.
I hope you all join me in leveraging that pride as a supercharger for our fierce determination to see every San Lorenzo student achieve at their full potential and be ready to pursue a rewarding life fueled by a deep love of learning. Together, we ARE San Lorenzo.
Dr. Daryl Camp, superintendent
District, employee groups reach agreement
on two-year deal for net 20% pay increase
San Lorenzo Unified School District’s approximately 1,000 employees are receiving a 20% boost in compensation under newly approved two-year agreements between the district and its professional associations.
The School Board voted unanimously on March 21 and April 4 to implement an immediate 15% across-the-board raise for teachers, support staff and administrators, retroactive to July 1, 2022, followed by a 5% increase effective July 1, 2023, or its equivalent. Separate agreements were ratified by the San Lorenzo Chapter 692 of the California School Employees Association, which represents non-certificated employees; the San Lorenzo Management Association, which represents administrators; the San Lorenzo Education Association (SLEA), which represents teachers and other certificated employees; and Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which primarily represents custodial, maintenance and child nutrition employees. The SLEA agreement combines a 4% raise for 2023-24 with a 1% increase in the district’s contribution to member benefits.
For the district’s 465 teachers, the compounded two-year raises will increase salaries — based on years of service and credits of graduate education — from a current overall range of $54,418-107,360 to a new range of $65,084-128,403, not including the increased benefits contribution. For employees represented by the CSEA — using the example of a full-time, mid-level position — pay will increase from a current range of $55,342-67,417 to a new range of $66,825-81,406.
When contract talks began in September, the stated goal for all parties was to make San Lorenzo school district salaries more competitive with surrounding school districts in order to recruit and retain high-quality employees in a tight labor market for K-12 schools. Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp, who consulted with the board throughout the six-month process, expressed his appreciation to all involved for their determination to accomplish that.
“What we have achieved together puts us in a better position than ever to ensure a supportive learning environment for our students and be able to recruit, attract and retain excellent teachers and other staff to serve our students,” he said.
Karen Rosa, president of SLEA, also expressed satisfaction with the outcome on behalf of her members. “This agreement goes a long way and contributes to reducing the vacancies and making us a district that can compete in the job market for all those various education positions,” she said during the March 21 board meeting.
San Lorenzo CSEA President Glenn-Juuko
to receive statewide award for service
Julie Glenn-Juuko, a San Lorenzo paraeducator who leads the district’s Chapter 692 of the California School Employees Association (CSEA), is one of five individuals statewide who will receive the organization’s Member of the Year award for 2023.
Each year, CSEA recognizes a handful of its 230,000 members for their commitment and dedication to students, community involvement and activism in the organization. This year’s awards will be presented July 25 at the group’s 97th annual conference in Reno. SLZUSD will also receive a plaque for display at the District Office.
Glenn-Juuko, a paraeducator SP ED Level III who works at both Bay Elementary School and San Lorenzo High School, said she is “honored and humbled” by SLZUSD colleagues’ nomination and her selection for the special award. The Chapter 692 nominating committee was made up of Marlene Garcia, Lynda Garcia, Rashida Bibi and Jennifer Starr. In an email announcing the award, Marlene Garcia hailed Glenn-Juuko’s “countless hours of devotion to our members, our students and our school community as a whole.”
Glenn-Juuko joined CSEA in 2006 when she was hired as an SLZUSD paraeducator in 2006. She became first vice president about eight years ago, followed by service as second vice president, and has been president for the past five years. She said she was inspired to get involved in CSEA by the example of her late mother, Mary Glenn, who served on a fire board in San Ramon and a personnel commission in Hayward.
“It just really affects me that our members look at me as being a leader that they can count on,” she said, “and that they know I’m working on their behalf and that I’m always there. That’s what I’m being told: ‘Julie, you’re always working for our members.’”
Safety concerns spur SLZUSD to place fentanyl antidote at all schools
Amid growing concern about the dangers of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug, the San Lorenzo district has supplied all of its school sites with multiple doses of Narcan (naxalone) nasal spray, a highly effective emergency treatment for fentanyl overdose. During a program offered in February by community health care partner La Clinica, school employees received training on how to recognize and respond to an overdose.
Fentanyl, a powerful narcotic, is responsible for an increasing number of deaths among young people in California and across the country, not only through intentional use but also because it is frequently added to other illegal drugs without users’ knowledge.
Danger signs of fentanyl exposure include constricted pupils, falling asleep or losing consciousness, slow and shallow breathing, choking or gurgling sounds, a limp body and/or pale, blue or cold skin. Families have a significant influence in their children’s decisions with regard to fentanyl and other drugs. Please review this family resource information from Alameda County.
Lorenzo Manor showcases math scholars,
while Hesperian highlights grade levels
At least once every school year, each of the district’s school-site principals are invited to share a report on the activities of their students during a School Board study session. Elementary school principals John Shimko of Lorenzo Manor and Ruby Camarena of Hesperian made their presentations on April 4.
Shimko introduced African American math scholars from every grade level, coincidentally all boys, and joined with them to highlight their progress and achievement. The students were Jaylen Temporal, kindergarten (teacher Ms. Turner); Benjamin Taylor, first grade (Ms. Sandoval); Nathan Temporal, second grade (Ms. Campbell); Aurelius Martin, third grade (Ms. Vecchito); William Temporal, fourth grade (Ms. Mitchell); and Michael Jones, fifth grade (Mr. McJilton). Several of their parents also attended.
Each boy read a brief statement about his own math accomplishment, and Shimko read statements from their teachers. For example, third-grader Aurelius Martin, an aspiring engineer, said, “You can do a lot of things like multiplication. You can think about the numbers in your head and multiply. You can learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide. I like math because it’s very fun to do. (Pictured: Shimko watches as Aurelius Martin speaks, with William Temporal and Michael Jones waiting their turn to share at the board meeting.)
During her presentation, Camarena (pictured) shared the strengths of students in each grade level at Hesperian. She described kindergarteners’ excitement about visual representations of math and learning to count to 100 and beyond. She also highlighted the accomplishment of kindergarteners in the Dual-Language Immersion program, noted the compassion of many first-graders, the kindness and collaboration of second-graders, the critical thinking skills of third-graders, the emerging leadership of fourth- and fifth-graders and the imaginative and creative play of students in a Special Day Class.
Parent-organized bowling program is
great fun for students with disabilities
Parent Kristi Austin organized and continues to lead a bowling program for students with a variety of physical and mental challenges, held each Saturday at Castro Village Bowl. As many as 30 family members and student bowlers from San Lorenzo and surrounding school districts use a group of lanes equipped with guardrails for a no-pressure experience.
For just $10 a week, the student bowlers receive two games and shoe rental, and a small crowd of parents and friends cheer them on. After launching an eight-week Challenger Bowling program in January, Austin began a 10-week spring league on March 11, and she hopes to continue it this summer and next school year as well – especially because the opportunity is so popular there’s a waiting list.
A lifelong bowler herself, Austin said she and her husband, Dave, were excited to add bowling to recreational opportunities accessible to her 8- and 10-year-old sons with autism and other disabled students and their families. She is active as a member of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) advisory committee, PTA at Bay Elementary and both PTA and the School-Site Council at Hillside Elementary.
“As long as they can go and throw the ball and just be involved in an activity, that was my hope for it,” Austin said. To learn more, email to [email protected].
DECA students share real-world experiences
as they represent district on international stage
Arroyo High School junior Ruijia Gu will participate in the DECA International Career Development Conference on April 22-25 in Orlando, Fla., as NorCal vice president for the organization that helps prepare students for careers in finance, marketing, hospitality and management. She was elected to that leadership role during the group’s regional conference in January.
Gu, active in DECA since ninth grade, was one of three members of the AHS chapter who spoke about their experiences during the March 21 School Board meeting as part of a presentation on career-technical education. DECA is a component of the Tech-Links Business Academy, one of the district’s seven Small Learning Communities at the high school level.
Also speaking about DECA was fellow club officer William Quintana, who described the intense competition students face while gaining skills in time management, critical thinking and communication. Chapter President Elizabeth Gibbs said she had applied her DECA experience in entrepreneurship to help her mother start a new business. “I think programs like these really do help prepare us for careers,” she said, “and I’m really glad we have one at our school.”
All three competed in DECA’s 2022 international conference after placing in the top five statewide in their respective events. Joining the students for their board presentation was Arroyo photography teacher Jeff Baughman, who is the school’s DECA co-adviser with business teacher Christina Charlton, co-lead of Tech-Links.
Art show and reception celebrate
student learning and self-expression
On March 22, students, teachers and families came together for a districtwide art show and reception to showcase and champion students’ talents and personal growth through practice in the visual and performing arts.
The program, organized by Christine Kastanos, an art teacher at Bohannon Middle School on special assignment, was held at the District Office in the School Board Conference Room and the interior courtyard. Attendees heard a performance by the Washington Manor Middle School Honor Band (pictured), led by teacher Mary West, and drama presentations by students at Edendale Middle School (pictured), led by teacher Ed Sokolsky, and East Bay Arts High School, led by teacher Tajianna Okechukwu. In addition to the live performances, guests were invited to view scores of student photography and art works that remain on display through the building’s main corridors.
Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp spoke briefly to thank everyone who made the event possible and underscore the importance of the arts in student learning. He highlighted research indicating that engagement in creative expression reduces students’ stress and stimulates their empathy, compassion and academic capabilities.
Referring to band members seated behind him, Dr. Camp said, “Think about the amount of working together that these students need to do in order to produce the sound. If everyone were just playing by themselves, it would not sound as good as it’s going to when they play together.”
Solar panels that save district millions
receive annual cleaning over break
SLZUSD’s eight parking-canopy solar panel installations underwent an annual cleaning on April 12-13 during Spring Break. An Oakland-based crew from the district’s solar maintenance provider, Engie International, used an automated cleaning unit that sprays ionized water to remove dust from panels at San Lorenzo, Arroyo and Royal Sunset high schools, Bohannon Middle School, Hesperian and Del Rey elementary schools and the District Office.
All the panels were installed between December 2011 and April 2012 at a cost of approximately $6 million, including $1 million in state rebates. In 2022, the combined 4,348 solar modules at those locations generated 1.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity and returned about .5 million kilowatt hours to the PG&E grid, said Doug Marr, director of maintenance, operations and transportation. Last year, that equated to annual electricity savings of about $418,000. Since the panels were installed, they have yielded a net savings of $3.27 million, including the cost of maintenance and system up