Bainbridge school board nears agreement on two-year teachers' contract

The Bainbridge Island School District is poised to approve a new two-year contract with its teachers' union.

The school board will consider the proposed agreement with the Bainbridge Island Education Association at the board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Negotiations with the union wrapped up on June 28, and the association later approved the agreement on a vote of 198-3.

The new contract includes changes to planning days; a modification to how tech time is used by teachers; additional collaboration between the district and teachers on the content of professional development sessions on early release Mondays; and a possible bump in pay for teachers if the district's fund balance exceeds 5.5 percent by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Other aspects of the new contract include a letter of agreement that will prompt a two-year comprehensive review of the district's special education program this fall; the return of elementary counselor staffing to the counselor-student ratio set in the 2009-2011 contract (1:450); and compensation at two hours of the curriculum pay for high school teachers for each letter of recommendation for students past the fifth student.

A change to planning days will occur in the first year of the contract. Kindergarten through fourth-grade teachers will get five days for collaborative planning, and fifth- and sixth-grade teachers will receive 2.5 days for collaborative planning. (In the second year of the contract, kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers will get an average of 50 minutes per day of planning time with no less than 40 continuous minutes daily, or 30 minutes on early release days.)

Also, the six hours of tech time that teachers use throughout the year will now be offered in a two-day period before the start of each school year.


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