$128,900 consultant’s pact goes before school board

By From page A3 | July 10, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A $128,900 contract for Capturing Kids’ Hearts training goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday and includes costs for $300-an-hour calls to school district administrators – along with the option for additional $3,000-a-day consulting.

The Flippen Group in College Station, Texas, will provide professional development in Fairfield “to promote positive school and district cultures,” according to the yearlong contract.

“We help ‘grow greatness’ by developing relationships and processes that bring out the best in people,” a project overview by The Flippen Group states in part.

Monica Brown, a teacher at Green Valley Middle School, questioned the contract with the consultants.

“For $128,900, this is insane,” she said.

“They could be having a summer school program and working with children,” Brown said of the school district. “They could be hiring students to give them jobs for the summer.”

“They could be working with the city of Fairfield reducing crime,” she said.

Brown also wonders why the Fairfield-Suisun district will contract with a Texas company.

“There’s nothing closer?” she asked.

Sheila McCabe, executive director of administrative services for the Fairfield-Suisun district, said the professional development series addresses student engagement and customer service. Training for administrators and teachers will address discipline referrals, attendance rates and academic performance.

“The contract includes multiple workshops and follow-up coaching for central office and site staff,” she said. “In addition, central office staff will be receiving training to provide support to our first pilot schools.”

McCabe added that “after careful consideration, we believe that Capturing Kids’ Hearts is the best program to support our staff.”

The work by the consultants aligns with a survey of the educational community and a review of data, she said.

Susan Flippen, whose husband Flip Flippen founded the Texas company, said the six, hourlong phone calls at a total cost of $1,800 can involve the consultant analyzing trends in the school district.

The $3,000-a-day provides consulting about strategies of Capturing Kids’ Hearts, said Susan Flippen, CEO for the Texas-based company.

“It’s not a profitable thing for us to do,” she said of the work that requires air travel by the consultant.

People can attend training but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can undertake the work themselves, she said, so additional consulting may be necessary.

A session called Leadership Blueprint, a part of the contract, involves two training days in Fairfield for up to 30 administrators in the school district and will be occur Aug. 26-27 at a cost of $20,000. Two training sessions covering three days for up to 50 people will cost $40,000.

Two-day Process Champions sessions that include group and one-on-one consulting with school district administrators will cost $12,000. Campus consulting will take place in the fall and spring at a cost of $24,000.

The contract includes $17,100 for travel expenses by The Flippen Group.

Video or audio taping is prohibited without The Flippen Group’s written approval, according to the contract. Media representatives are not allowed to attend training without written approval.

Susan Flippen said the company just wants people to secure permission first for taping and that in most cases The Flippen Group allows such recording. She said the requirement for media to get an OK is also just a request for advance notice.

The contract is separate from a conference this month when 15 Fairfield-Suisun district employees will travel to San Diego to attend a Capturing Kids’ Hearts conference. Costs for the 15 school district employees to stay at the San Diego Marriott while attending the conference will total $10,886.

Fairfield schools administrator McCabe said the school district is receiving 14 stipends for staff to attend the training in Southern California.

Five school district administrators, five site administrators, two school board members, one teacher, one counselor and the president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association will attend the July 21-24 event.

The Flippen Group, which conducts the conferences, charges $555 per person for such events, according to its website.

Flip Flippen is a psychotherapist who founded the Texas company in 1990.

The Flippen Group is now one of the largest educator training companies and one of the fastest-growing leadership development organizations in North America, the company said. Flippen earned a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Trustees meet at 6 p.m. in the central district office board room at 2490 Hilborn Road in Fairfield.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 9 comments

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  • 2realJuly 10, 2014 - 5:48 am

    Are you kidding!?$$$

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerJuly 10, 2014 - 6:15 am

    So, we are paying staff to travel to attend a Flippen seminar (because they're going to learn sooo much!), but we are still paying a Flippen group to travel here as well (because we're going to learn sooo much!) Are you Flippen serious?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rob ThomasJuly 10, 2014 - 6:54 am

    What our schools needs are counselors who can work with our troubled students especially in the middle schools. After school programs for homework help and supervision especially for kids who come home to empty houses. Much needed money doesn't need to be wasted on some "flippen" scheme that will fall by the way side with all the other gimmicks. Let's invest this money into our school sites to give kids, parents, and school site employees the support they need to make our schools our safer place to learn.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dexter FowlerJuly 10, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Good for Monica Brown questioning this nonsense!! This is so outrageous. Ever hear of webinars? Doesn't matter what the sheeple say they will do what they want then in a few months cry how broke they are and beg the sheeple of Fairfield for a tax increase.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Flippen unreal....July 10, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    Someone needs to show some 'flippen' sense about this nonsense, or before long someone will be shown a 'flippen' finger. Taxpayers, are you 'flippen' out yet?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MikeJuly 10, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Here's what will happen. This will go before the Board, staff will praise the merits, Board will pass. Regardless what is written here, or said at the meeting. Rubber stamped by the Board.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Been There, Done ThatJuly 10, 2014 - 7:27 pm

    I went through 36 years of this kind of "inservice training" as a teacher, vice-principal, principal and beyond. The vast majority of it is a waste of everyone's time and district resources. A majority of the staff required to participate in the training thinks so, too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rudy MadronichJuly 10, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    How about putting this before the voters. I vote NO! NO! NO! Then let's vote them all out. This is just another waste of taxpayer money

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EricAugust 05, 2014 - 11:54 pm

    Flippen is a fraud. Investigate his credentials fully.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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