Board of Education, Lindbergh teachers pleased with direction of school district

Lenz says collaborative effort part of school district’s culture

By Mike Anthony

Lindbergh Board of Education members and Lindbergh National Education Association teachers are pleased with the direction of the school district.

At the annual Board of Education/LNEA dialogue session last week, board members and teachers reflected on Lindbergh’s accomplishments, including academic achievement and the financial strides the district has made since the passage of Proposition L. District voters approved Prop L, a 65-cent tax-rate increase, in the November 2010 election.

At the Jan. 24 meeting, school board President Vic Lenz told LNEA members, “… This is a really very positive kind of time to reflect for me. I look back at things that have occurred over the last couple of years and at looking at Lindbergh, I mean we’re No. 1 in the state (in academic achievement) two years in a row. We wouldn’t be there without you guys and without the working relationship we have …”

Noting the district has attained Distinction in Performance 11 consecutive years, he said, “… That shows, I think, a long-term relationship that we’ve had of working together. This is nothing new. I think it’s the history of Lindbergh, the culture of Lindbergh that we work together, the board and the teachers …”

The board president cited a number of district and teacher accomplishments, noting Lindbergh boasts 21 National Board certified teachers. Lenz also thanked teachers for participating in training for the Lindbergh INteractive Classroom program designed to establish the district as a regional leader in instructional technology and for their help in passing Prop L.

“The effort that we did together last year to get a tax levy passed — a 65-cent tax levy at a time of a national election when the country was going through the things we were going through — that’s unheard of,” he said. “I tell people around the state we passed a 65-cent tax levy last November (2010). They don’t believe it. But thank you for your help in getting that done …”

At the start of the current school year, Lindbergh opened a new elementary school and a new middle school, Lenz noted.

“We went through redistricting. We opened a new elementary school. We opened a new middle school. I know that was traumatic for a lot of people,” he said. “But we held tough and I think we got through it and everybody’s flying along pretty happy with it now. So I can say the board is really happy with that piece of it, too. So I think we’re in a great place right now …”

LNEA President Scott Fleming said, “… I’m going to say we must have the same notes because almost everything that you talked about I was going to mention briefly, so we are thinking a lot of the same things. But as representatives of Lindbergh NEA, we would like to share gratitude with the board for several improvements in the district over the last few years.

“Thank you for the vision to pursue a tax-levy increase in a time of financial hardship for many residents. I don’t think many people would have done that. Certainly without your leadership, the election would not have been a success …”

He also thanked the board for its decision to open a second middle school and for approving a salary increase for staff.

“… We know that money is still tight. But what that did was it allowed us to keep some high-quality teachers in our district and it also reinforced the feelings that we have that you know that it’s important that we continue to be competitive in our salary schedule. So we hope that those past experiences will lead to more in the future …”