Everett teachers OK contract with early Friday releases

EVERETT — Teachers in the Everett School District voted Thursday night to approve a new three-year contract that calls for all students this school year to be released early every Friday for most of the year.

The contract also calls for 2 percent raises each year of the contract and gives elementary school teachers $15 for each student day above a set classroom-size limit.

“I can’t think of any significant issue that wasn’t addressed in some manner that we brought to the table,” said Mike Wartelle, a negotiator for the teachers union, speaking to hundreds of teachers at Everett’s Civic Auditorium.

The Everett School Board will vote on the contract in September.

All students would be released 75 minutes early at all schools in Everett and Mill Creek every Friday from Oct. 5 through May 31, 2013.

In an email sent to parents, Superintendent Gary Cohn said the Learning Improvement Fridays are intended for teachers to work together, “discussing and analyzing student learning results, planning lessons together and designing ways of teaching that improve each student’s learning.”

The school calendar reduces the number of two-and-a-half hour early release days.

The new Friday schedule is set for only the first year of the contract, but could be renegotiated for the remainder of the contract, which expires in 2015.

“The district wanted this to be a two-year test period,” Wartelle said before the teacher’s voted. “The situation warrants the parties coming back together and saying here is what went wrong, here is what was good, here is what we should change. There’s going to be some rocky roads in places.”

According to the contract, Everett Education Association, which has about 1,100-members, and the district agree that the primary purpose of the early release days are for teachers to work together to improve instruction, school programs, professional growth and student learning opportunities, he said.

The union was told by the district that it wants to carve out some time for the teachers, and then trust them with how they choose to spend that time, Wartelle said.

“I want you to remember those words,” he said. “I want you to use those words the first time and any time an administration person in good faith, or in ill will, or unwittingly says, ‘You should be working on this’ or ‘You get this done’ or ‘Something that came from our faculty meeting, next Friday, that’s the time for you to complete this.’”

Additional details in the contract include setting up a move from a trimester to a semester grading basis in all elementary and high schools, beginning this school year, and in all schools starting in the 2013-14 school year. The school year starts Wednesday in the district, which has about 19,000 students.

Everett school director Jessica Olson said she believes the public should have a chance to address the new Friday schedule.

“If the public has objections to this they should be able to voice their opinion to it,” she said.

The Everett School Board will consider the contract in an open public meeting next month, district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Sept. 11.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Higher tolls could improve traffic speed in I-405 toll lanes

A report recommends lifting on the maximum toll and charging only by segment.

Most Read