For Immediate Release
February 25, 2011
Arroyo Grande, CA.- Lucia Mar Unified School District teachers overwhelmingly vote in favor of implementing The System for Teacher and Student Advancement (TAP) in seven of the eight potential TAP schools. LMUSD is the first public school district in California to implement TAP. TAP will be introduced at Nipomo Elementary, Lange Elementary, Oceano Elementary, Fairgrove Elementary, Mesa Middle School, and Judkins Middle School. A vote was taken today by certificated staff at the six eligible schools that were originally identified in the $7.2 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Grant. The TIF grant will provide the funding for TAP. The six schools that were originally identified by the TIF grant, and that voted today include: Nipomo Elementary, Oceano Elementary, Fairgrove Elementary, Dana Elementary, Lange Elementary, and Mesa Middle School. There was also a vote at two alternate schools which include: Grover Heights Elementary and Judkins Middle School. The alternate schools were selected as possible replacements if a school were to opt not to implement TAP. This was the case today as Dana Elementary did not receive a 75% vote, but Judkins Middle School did. Therefore, Judkins Middle School becomes eligible for TAP and will be implementing it. A maximum of six schools can be funded through the TIF grant.
TAP could only be implemented if at least 75% of the certificated staff voted in favor of it.
In order for a school to be eligible for TAP, it must be considered high-needs, and be eligible to receive at least 50% free and reduced lunches.
What is TAP?
TAP is a comprehensive school reform that restructures and revitalizes the teaching profession with a goal to achieve measurable gains in student performance. It is also used to help attract and retain quality teachers. TAP does this by providing teachers with powerful opportunities for career advancement, ongoing professional development, a fair accountability system, and performance pay bonuses for teachers and principals. Each elementary school will introduce one master teacher who will be fully released from the classroom, and two mentor teachers. Grant funding will allow for one-hour weekly cluster meetings which will be led by master and mentor teachers. Cluster meetings will provide continual professional development for teachers who will analyze student data, plan lessons, and learn and collaborate on new instructional strategies. TAP was launched in 1999, and by the 2011-2012 school year will impact more than 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students nationally.
How is TAP Funded?
Lucia Mar Unified School District was awarded a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Grant in September 2010, worth $7.2 million to be used for TAP. The five-year $1.2 billion federal TIF program was started under President Bush and significantly expanded under the Obama administration. The purpose is to strengthen the education profession by rewarding excellence, attracting teachers and principals to high-need and hard-to-staff areas, and providing all teachers and principals with the feedback and support they need to succeed. In particular, the grant is aimed at high-needs schools. The TIF grant also mandates a bonus pay system for teachers and principals that include student growth, school growth, and teaching competency as the three components.
At least eight additional teaching positions will be added. Selected teacher leaders and principals will attend a national TAP conference in March. LMUSD will also be scheduling additional training for all the principals, master teachers, and mentor teachers to learn the TAP instructional rubric which will help provide teacher feedback. The first year of TAP will focus on the planning and the actual implementation of the system. The full TAP system will be implemented beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
LMUSD would like to sincerely thank all the teachers that took the time to learn about TAP, and the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association. Without the cooperation and collaboration with the LMUTA and all the involved teachers, TAP and all its benefits to our schools, teachers, students, and community would not be possible.
For more information on TAP, and to hear from teachers and principals who are currently using TAP, you can view www.tapsystem.org