January 2017: President's Message

Happy New Year everyone.

The school year is about half way over and spring is right around the corner. Already, there is so much going on: 

Vista Teachers Association and VUSD District Office are gearing up for another bargaining session (Updates will be posted on our website as they become available) .

VUSD is offering a retirement incentive. 

NEA-RA State Representative position elections are coming up.

There are a number of great conference opportunities that VTA/CTA are offering. We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in attending. 

The VTA Scholarship fund is getting ready to award money to deserving students and to our own dependents.

And as always, I would encourage anyone interested in getting more involved to contact their rep or the VTA office.

Tod Critchlow                                                                                                VTA President                                                                         vtapres@gmail.com

Important Dates - Please contact your site rep or the VTA office if you                                have questions about these events.

       Jan 19, 4:00 - 5:30 Innovation Center, 836 Olive Ave                                                                       VUSD Teacher LCAP Forum #2

       Jan 23, 4pm- VTA Office: Rep Council Meeting

       Feb 3 (location and time TBD): New Teacher 100 day celebration

       Feb 8, All Day: K-8 Professional Development Minimum Day

       Feb 17-20th: No School for President's Birthday Weekend

       March 17-19th: Orange County, CTA Good Teaching Conference

       March 27-31: No School, Spring Break

It’s A Good Idea to…

Check your STRS account on a regular basis and do your research for retirement.  

Bargaining Update

Our bargaining team is now in the process of meeting and discussing what our issues for the contract will be. This year the whole contract is up for negotiations and there is lots to consider. If you have issues or ideas that you would like to share with the bargaining team please contact your rep and have them bring it up at our next rep council meeting.

Alternatively you can click HERE and leave feedback.

LCAP Feedback: January 19th

The Blueprint/LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan)  community feedback survey is now live. If you can’t make it to the the Teacher LCAP Forum #2 and you still want to provide feedback here’s your chance. I hope you will all take a moment to reflect on how our new LCAP/LCFF process is affecting your job. Your input is wanted. The survey response window will close on January 31, 2017. Thanks in advance for your input.  

                                                                Click HERE to access the survey.


VUSD Retirement Incentive

VUSD has chosen to offer a retirement incentive in 2017.

While this is an incredibly complex decision, the gist is that if enough members decide to participate, the District will offer 70% of the members 2016/2017 salary. By this time, if you qualify for the incentive, you should have received an information package that outlines your options from PAR.

If you want to participate in this program you must submit your paperwork by Jan 31, 2017.

There have been two orientation meetings already and there are two more dates scheduled: Thursday Jan 19 and Thursday Jan 26.

If you have any questions you should contact the Human Relations department for assistance.

VUSD School Board Update


Our current school board president, Rich Alderson, was re-elected in Nov. Here’s some info about Rich. He spend 38 years in public education; 18 years as a high school teacher. He was also had various roles at the administrative level including 7 years as the principal of RBV.  Rich has lived in Vista for the past 18 years and he owns his own company: Alderson Education Advocates which is also based in Vista.  

Here’s a quote that says a lot about him, “I believe that public education is the most important profession in our society. Nothing is more important than educating our children. I believe in two fundamental goals - fiscal responsibility and improving academic achievement for all students.”  

Rich can be reached at: richalderson@vistausd.org

Rosemary Smithfield’s contact info:  rosesmithfield@gmail.com

Cipriano Vargas’ contact info:  cvargas.trustee@gmail.com

CTA Conference Opportunities

CTA Conferences are a great place to meet CTA members from other districts. A CTA conference is also a great chance to participate in events that help shape the focus of CTA. CTA conferences can be great learning experiences. VTA sponsors members to attend various conferences. Please contact VTA if you are interested.

     2017 NEW EDUCATOR WEEKEND Date: March 10, 2017

     GOOD TEACHING CONFERENCE SOUTH Date: March 17-19, 2017

     Joint Ethnic Caucus Issues Conference Date: May 5, 2017

     SUMMER INSTITUTE - Date: July 30 – August 3, 2017


Did you know you can represent VTA/CTA at the NEA Representative Assembly.  As a member of VTA you are also a member of CTA and the NEA.   The NEA is governed by the NEA Representative Assembly, the largest democratic deliberative assembly in the world. California sends more than 1,000 delegates to the NEA RA each summer. During this annual meeting, CTA members help set policy and chart the direction of NEA business through participation on various committees, constituencies, caucuses, and leadership groups. The NEA Representative Assembly for 2017 will be held July 2-5 in Boston, MA with the first caucus meeting set for June 30. Deadline to submit the official Declaration of Candidacy form is Jan. 31. The 2017 Declaration of Candidacy form will be available soon. Please check this WEBPAGE for additional information.   Last year VTA was represented by Kim Lunde and Paula Keen. Barbara Dawson also attended. If you want to have an impact on the state of education in America, please consider running for one of the open positions. I would love to have as many VTA members as possible attend the NEA - RA.

And remember you can access lots of info at the CTA Website. You can find out About CTA. Or read the CTA Mission Statement. And I want you to know that our State Council Representatives are Tod Critchlow, Reagan Duncan, Paula Keen and Therease SilvaBaroa (alternate).


Member Benefits

Another aspect of being a member of VTA and thus CTA and NEA are the many benefits.

This month I’m including a link to CTA DISCOUNTS. Check it out and save.

And don’t forget you can go to www.CTAMemberBenefits.org for other benefits.  You might be able to REDUCE DEBT (Student Loan Forgiveness), save time by watching this Video on Benefits, Save Money by ACCESSING DISCOUNTS and prepare for your future with these RETIREMENT TOOLS.

LOGO/Slogan Contests


VTA needs a new logo and a new T-Shirt. I am very proud of our current Valued Educators + Inspired Students = Excellence ones, but I think we can do better and a new shirt is always fun. So I am announcing a VTA logo contest.

I also would like some help with a catchy acronym. We are VTA, the Vista Teachers Association, who can come up with the best Very Terrific Always type slogan that we could use with the letters V, T and A.

Entries are due by Jan 31 and will be judged by the Executive Board.

A Free T-Shirt and other prizes will be provided. More details to follow.

The Slogan and Logo can be separate or together.

VTA Scholarship Fund

With the school year almost half way over our seniors are getting ready to finish their time in VUSD. These are our students and whether you tied their shoes in kindergarten, tutored them on an AP exam or anything in between you made a difference. Now it’s time to recognize the achievement of these outstanding young,people. And you can help. Please consider using our monthly payroll deduction to contribute directly to the VTA Scholarship fund. Please consider giving $3, $5 or even a bit more every month. For more information please check out the website. Or click HERE to get the payroll deduction form. Together we can make an even bigger difference.