Sunday, March 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

Peace and patience: Quilters gear up for show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1Comments are off for this post

 
School bands compete in Pageantry on Parade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Calling someone a ‘smoker’ is hilarious

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Conservancy plans next Quail Ridge Reserve walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Police seek suspect in armed robbery

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

4-H Presentation Day brings fun, education to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

By Christine Macgenn | From Page: C4

What you eat can affect your medications

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

 
Rollover in Suisun City

By Aaron Rosenblatt | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
State schedules ramp closure at freeway project site

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Appointments on tap for Board of Supervisors meet

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Tri-City NAACP honors community members at gala event

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
CAASC 18th Annual Chinese New Year and Scholarship Celebration

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
NY, SF town house prices through the roof

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Force draws many from South, middle class

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Christie to Calif. Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US missionary abducted in Nigeria is courageous, friends say

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Dress that ‘greatly resembles’ stolen Nyong’o gown found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Churches, synagogues, mosques bear tough New England winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hyundai recalls 263,000 cars due to power-steering problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Details about proposed national monuments in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
National monument supporters in California get antsy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Attacks kill 37 people in and north of Iraq’s capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

US drone strike in Yemen kills 3 suspected al-Qaida fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nemtsov a possible ‘sacrificial victim,’ investigators say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
New school funding plan remains on bumpy path

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Even Gruber deserves a break sometimes

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
I might just vote for a Democrat next time around

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

Aging Fairfield housing agency faltering

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

With numbers falling, Houston-area nuns’ future uncertain

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Take a look – Dr. Seuss has a new book

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Publisher launches line of Warhol e-books

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Q&A: Opera star Deborah Voigt writes of turbulent life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ has realistic plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Vikings girls looking for first section title

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local Report: Vaca’s Aquino wins Masters wrestling title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Phegley hopes his style will catch on in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A year after meeting Tiger, Indian golfer on the rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Jeff Gordon takes a final spin at track that meant so much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Defending champ Federer beats Djokovic to retain Dubai title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Safarova beats Azarenka to win the Qatar Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Environmental activists disrupt meeting by Olympic officials

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamilton hones Mercedes with fastest time at F1 testing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors center Festus Ezeli suspended for a game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reichelt leads Austrian World Cup downhill sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Players’ union head: future spring games in Cuba possible

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harrington takes 36-hole lead, then more rain in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta for 3rd year in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in suburban Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Nevada casinos keep $953.7 million in winnings in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Historic snows causing headaches for real estate industry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: hand trucks, ceiling fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Greek prime minister rules out third bailout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9Comments are off for this post

AP Exclusive: Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Thomas Browning

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Leah E. Hoffman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

John W. Van Wart

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Virgil Albert Hanson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics