FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun School District, which spent $616,596 last fiscal year on travel and conferences, says the professional development that takes place at such events “is the anchor of public education.”
The school district has a reputation of offering high-quality professional development, the district said in a press release.
Employees can attend professional development inside and outside the school district, it said. Some professional development events outside the district may also be located out of state, the school district added.
“Usually, the out-of-state events boast speakers who are extraordinary leaders in education such as Robert Marzano, Richard DuFour and more,” according to the school district. “Sending educators to see these cutting-edge educators is cost-effective because the educators share the information back at their own sites and throughout the district.”
“Out-of-state trainings are often less expensive than trainings held in some cities in California – San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, etc.,” the district continued. “Additionally, the out-of-state events provide opportunities for our educators to network with fellow educators who are not from California.”
Such networking, the district press release said, “infuses our educators with even more ideas to share back ‘at home.’ ”
Marzano, described by the Fairfield-Suisun School District as “one of the nation’s top educational researchers,” is a keynote speaker at a Common Core standards conference scheduled April 29 to May 1 in Glendale, Ariz., at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa. Four teachers and an assistant principal from Armijo High School will attend the Arizona conference that costs about $1,650 per participant.
Marzano is also a keynote speaker in Las Vegas for a Leadership Now conference April 1-3 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Six teachers and an assistant principal from Armijo High School will attend the event that costs about $1,700 for each participant.
DuFour is described on the Solution Tree website as a consultant who is one of the leading authorities on helping school practitioners implement Professional Learning Communities at Work.
Out-of-state travel costing $14,750 – including trips to Seattle by seven teachers, the principal and a secretary from Dan O. Root Elementary School – goes before school district trustees when they meet Thursday. Dan O. Root staff will travel June 24-25 for the No Excuses University.
The website for No Excuses, which believes every student has the right to be educated in a way that prepares them for college, said the Seattle conference will take place at the Tulalip Resort Casino. No Excuses’ website describes the site “as one of the premier resorts and conference destinations in the Pacific Northwest” and states that the resort “offers a captivating blend of Native American culture and contemporary sophistication just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle.”
“Our Seattle luxury hotel will bring one word to your lips again and again during your stay: Wow!” the No Excuses website adds.
Martha Lacy, principal at the David Weir Preparatory Academy in Fairfield, has attended No Excuses conferences and calls them “probably one of the most valuable professional experiences I’ve had.”
“It really does wonders for moving our kids forward,” she said of No Excuses. “I’m very passionate about it.”
Lacy, who is from Seattle, said the Tulalip Resort is very nice, “but it’s not like living large.”
The trip in late June means teachers will be attending on their own time and the school district doesn’t have to cover the cost of substitute teachers for classes in the Fairfield-Suisun district, she said.
David Weir Preparatory plans an April 9-11 trip to take 10 students to Oregon State University. Total cost for the students, Lacy and a teacher will be about $2,200.
Other travel before trustees includes Vanessa Walling-Sisi, coordinator of English language development at Armijo High, attending the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Expo in Portland, Ore., March 26-29 at the Oregon Convention Center. The cost is about $1,750, according to the school district.
Travel and conference costs for Fairfeld-Suisun School District so far this fiscal year total $457,484.
Trustees meet at 6 p.m. in the district office at 2490 Hilborn Road, Board Room No. 108, in Fairfield.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]