Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Salinas City Teachers going to Las Vegas

A concerned reader alerted us to a three-day trip  17 teachers of the Salinas City Elementary School District will be taking April 1 through 4. The trip will cost the district a bit over $25,000, and the reader was concerned perhaps the money could be better used elsewhere.

Say, by bringing the training to the district instead of sending the teachers to Las Vegas.

But Superintendent Juvenal Luza says it's better for the teachers to go where all the professionals will be. The topics covered during the conference, mostly about developing "learning communities," work better when all the teachers are on board, he said.

"We discourage just sending one or two teachers. Sending 10 people is wonderful because the culture of the school is going to be better. At the end of every session, every day, participants debrief with the principal to say how can we move with this transformation? If a principal comes with one or two people, I don’t encourage that."

"Learning communities" is a fancy way for schools to say the teachers collaborate and learn from one another. It sounds simple, but in the hectic world of teaching, developing a culture where teachers sit down to share ideas and practices is a bit more complicated.

The trip has been authorized for eight staff members of Loma Vista and nine of Los Padres elementaries. 

Besides, sending several teachers and administrators on a trip is not new for the district, Luza said. About five years ago, the district rented a plane to send 100 teachers to Las Vegas, he said.

And going to Las Vegas is actually cheaper than going to Los Angeles, Luza said.

It must be all the free buffets the casinos seduce you with.

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