Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Travis School District kills pact for recess consultant

By
From page A5 | May 14, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A proposed $47,900 pact with a nonprofit to consult about recess died Tuesday without discussion by Travis School District trustees after the superintendent took the proposal off the agenda, where it was part of routine items for approval.

“It’s a dead issue,” Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak said as she left the school board meeting. “That’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Trustees did not discuss the proposal that included the option for additional consulting at $2,000 a day – plus travel costs – by the Bay Area nonprofit Playworks. But during public comment, two parents of students in the school district sharply questioned the contract.

“Children inherently know how to play at recess,” parent Tracy Young said. “Let the kids be kids.”

“It is a complete waste of time to spend nearly $48,000 on a program for recess,” she said.

Young, noting Playworks’ recommendation for implementing “recess systems,” asked, “Why do we need a ‘system’ for recess?”

Parent Mark Ackerman told trustees the school district already has specialists who know about play – P.E. coaches.

“Do we need to have expert consultants to teach our kids how to play?” he asked.

Travis Trustee John Dickerson, who said Monday he wanted to know more about the contract and that the $2,000 represented a “monstrous payday” and was “outrageously high” for a playground consultant, said after the school board meeting that the agreement could conceivably return to trustees.

“It’s a nonissue now,” he said.

Elizabeth Cushing, president and chief operating officer for Playworks in Oakland, said in an email Tuesday before the school board meeting that when Dickerson speaks with principals, teachers and students, he’ll hear their concerns and the reason why the district requested help from Playworks.

“In general, what we hear from principals and other school officials and teachers around the country is that recess is often an unsafe and scary place for children,” Cushing said. “There is fighting, bullying and chaos. And children’s experience on the playground is unfortunately becoming a significant detractor from the teaching and learning that is the focus of schooling.”

“Playworks’ addresses these concerns by offering a program that enables all children to feel included and to resolve problems without resorting to unsafe behavior,” she said.

Cushing said the program receives $2 million in federal funds for AmeriCorps members who are trained by Playworks to serve as coaches in schools across the country. No AmeriCorps members were part of the proposed contract with Travis, she said.

Ivery Hood, president of the board of trustees for Travis, said of the proposal that, “There really wasn’t enough information for the board to make a decision.”

He declined to say whether the $2,000-day-consultant fee was excessive.

“People are providing services and they make their proposals,” Hood said.

The proposed contract with Travis School District included “recess implementation training,” “consultative visits” and a “coordinated recess system that helps shift the entire school culture.”

Consultant visits would have included recess observations, modeling of games with children and a playground assessment. The contract would have paid $30,000 for 20 consultant visits.

Playworks is a nonprofit public benefit corporation operated for charitable purposes, stated the proposed agreement with the Travis district.

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

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 10 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • MikeMay 14, 2014 - 5:05 am

    Travis' staff should be admonished for bringing this proposal forward. The trustees didn't propose this, the staff brought this forward on the agenda, that's where the outrage should be addressed. Keep an eye on other frivolous spending.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMay 14, 2014 - 6:48 am

    Let the finger-pointing begin!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • clancyMay 14, 2014 - 9:03 am

    They want it to be a dead issue cause they hot caught trying yo cheat the tax payers. I hope it is not a dead issue and whomever tried to put this into place is fired. We need to know what else they are spending money on. Is there some kind of watch dog group that can keep us informed?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 14, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Travis Unified is a cost effective stellar school district. They are simply the best! Our Superintendent is the best in the County and works for only a fraction of what the other County School District Supes work for! I'm really happy with the job they've done----in fact, they are the only Governmental entity around here who did a great job for us. I owe them a great debt of gratitude. In this matter the District (as usual) did the right thing. Even Ryan did a good job by reporting the facts to the public.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodMay 14, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    A victory for demagoguery.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NONONOMay 14, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    You just don't get it, Rick. This idea was bad, really bad, and a terrible waste of scarce education dollars.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodMay 14, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    No, I get it perfectly. It wasn't so bad it didn't get a staff recommendation for approval. So it was at least good enough to learn about. It got yanked because of demagoguery and people who think they know better without any real research. So this was a victory not only for demagoguery but also ignorance.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinMay 14, 2014 - 10:33 pm

    If the end game was clear cut, I am all for listening at new ideas and methods. Unfortunately, this had nearly no upside. Couple that with the fact that people hear "Recess Consultant", and go "what the heck". That is like having a water closet wipe consultant. We all know what to do in that situation.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Heather KellyMay 14, 2014 - 1:27 pm

    Since when have we had news reports about children playing on the playground unsafely??? That's what teachers are for! That's what playground monitors are for! That's what children who have been taught correctly by their parents and siblings are for. They set a good example, and most 99.9 percent of the other children follow them! Why not pay the children to teach other children how to play? $48,000 is a bit much, so is $2,000 a day! Yeah for Social Media! Keep on it Mama Bears!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithMay 14, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    When I was a student at a large junior high school in San Antonio, Texas, we had our own "Recess Consultant." It was Mr. Denham, the school's vice principal. He spent every recess roaming about the playground, carrying his trusty paddle--and using it on kids who got too rough or got into fights. If you wanted to know where Mr. Denham was, you just looked for a large gathering of kids. They would follow him around the yard, much like a flock of sea birds will follow a boat at sea, hoping for some food (or entertainment, in this case). After recesses, Mr. Denham would return to his office to administer swats to those otherwise unpunished miscreants who got collared by the Safety Patrol and brought to the office to await their fate. In those days, I doubt Mr. Denham's yearly salary was much more than the $2,000 daily fee mentioned here. How times have changed!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

 
WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 4 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7