Local teachers ask that pink slips be rescinded

Several Del Mar Union School District teachers wore pink to the board of trustees meeting on April 28 to encourage the board to rescind the 44 preliminary pink slips that went out to teachers in March. It was their hope that most of the slips would be rescinded at a special board meeting on May 5, said Danielle Roche, the acting president of the Del Mar California Teachers Association.

While the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation’s Extended Studies Curriculum fundraising will save some positions, many of the teachers’ pink slips were tied to potential class size increases. The board could opt to boost class sizes to 24 to 1 in primary grades and 30 to 1 in the upper grades as a cost-saving measure. Teachers are hoping for a cap on class sizes at 20 to 1 and 27 to 1.

During public comment, Ashley Falls teachers Sandy Johnson and Melissa Davis said parents value keeping class sizes low and teachers as a whole are against increased class sizes.

Roche said until the class size increase issue is resolved, many teachers remain concerned about their future with the district.

Ocean Air childcare contractor selected

The board of trustees voted to approve a pre-construction agreement with Barnhart Balfour Beatty for the new Ocean Air afterschool childcare center. Randy Wheaton, district maintenance supervisor, said Barnhart was selected due to its 13 years of experience with the district. Of the two construction companies to submit packets to the district, he said Barnhart could promise the work would be done in a two-and-a-half-month time frame this summer.

Ocean Air is the only school in the district without after-school childcare facilities. To deliver the new facility, the district has opted to use an increasingly popular method called “lease-lease-back.” It gives the district contractor the opportunity to select subcontractors to bid on the project and when the bids are awarded a guaranteed maximum price is delivered to the district.

This provides the district with the most qualified and competitive project team, said Glynna Hoekstra, executive vice president of business operations at Barnhart. The guaranteed maximum price is expected to be around $990,000.

“We’ll get a good competitive number,” Hoekstra said.