Superintendent presents, answers RBUSD “myths”

19-year Redondo Unified employee Nicole Wesley began as superintendent in January. Photo courtesy RBUSD

by Garth Meyer

Amidst recent teacher and classified staff contract negotiations, Redondo Unified School District Superintendent Nicole Wesley gave a presentation at the Oct. 10 school board meeting, titled “Mythbusters,” in which she pointed out things she has been hearing in the district and said whether or not they were true. 

Are there less teachers in the district now?

Wesley said there has been attrition, but almost as many new teachers have been hired, keeping the numbers relatively the same.

Is there a proliferation of combination classes? (Grades combined in order to not have to hire another teacher for just a 15-student class, for example). Wesley said there were four, out of 177 elementary classes. 

What about elementary classes with 35 or more kids?

This year there is one, Wesley stated, while last year had four.

Is class size growing? She said the average size has gone down.

A large caseload for special education?

Wesley noted that 28 students is the limit, by state law.

“RBUSD is not going to go over 28,” she said. 

Teachers do not have enough planning time? She said that this is mainly in the schools’ hands. 

Contracts are stalled?

The superintendent pointed to the negotiating sessions that had already taken place and Nick Stephany, assistant superintendent, human resources, reported that agreements were made in the realm of payroll errors, safety and training, vacation and leave, and unit-member expenses. 

“We have reached tentative agreements on all but salary,” he said. 

Another myth, Wesley presented; is the district holding out on salary increases?

She said that RBUSD was at or above the median for comparable districts. 

She concluded by noting that Redondo Unified has been ranked the No. 5 district in greater Los Angeles by Niche, a company which compiles data and reviews by students, parents and teachers. The statistics come from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Census, FBI and the School Attendance Boundary Survey from the National Center for Education Statistics.

“RBUSD is a great place to be,” Wesley said. ER




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