Thursday, October 1, 2020


Home News Williams Unified cuts two literacy support staff members

Williams Unified cuts two literacy support staff members

Williams Elementary School teachers Sophia Diaz, left, and Keri Lovelady make a plea to the school board on Monday not to dismiss the two part-time teachers who provide literacy support to kindergarten students.

On Monday, the Williams Unified School District board handed out pink slips to the two credentialed school teachers that provide literacy support to kindergarten students.

The 3-2 decision came as a blow to kindergarten teachers who said the additional help has made a tremendous impact on getting English language learners ready to start the first grade. Teacher Keri Lovelady spent the weekend putting together a chart from data that shows the number of kindergarten students testing proficient increased from 25 to 47 in just six weeks of working with the part-time teachers.

“Imagine the impact they’ll have for the rest of the school year,” Lovelady said.

While district officials don’t deny the benefit of having the two teachers provide support to youngsters just beginning to learn English, the matter comes down to having enough money to make the positions permanent in the future.

“It’s a matter of being realistic,” said Superintendent Edgar Lampkin.

Lampkin said the school board had to look at the resources that are available for that school.

The two part-time teachers cost the district approximately $73,000, with neither receiving benefits.

The amount is far less than the $225,000 the district pays for the two reading specialists who help the older students, and the $75,000 the district pays for one intervention specialist at the high school, teachers said.

Emma Agnew, who teaches transitional kindergarten, said she in not against the district supporting the other schools, but targeting the entire literacy support staff at the kindergarten level was unfair.

“We are simply trying to advocate for an equitable share of our LCAP funds,” she said.

Parents who spoke to the board at the special meeting on Monday said they were impressed with the improvements their children made while receiving the specialized help.

Kindergarten typically has the most English language learners, and parents and teachers agreed the students deserved the extra support.

“Every tenured K-3 teacher signed a letter in support because they understand the impact these support positions have on (the students’) literacy and language skills,” Lovelady said. “This is an investment that will trickle up for these students to be successful in our K-12 school system.”

Trustees Rosa Orozco-Lopez and Yareli Mora also agreed the benefits from the additional teachers justified their cost.

Both voted against their dismissal.

Although the school board eliminated the positions next year, Williams Elementary Principal Melissa Willes said literacy support would not go away.

She said she hoped the kindergarten teachers would be willing to work with her on carving out a new instructional model to provide all students with the best education and intervention possible.

“We are looking at some really positive things,” Willes said. “I’m optimistic.”

Willes said she understands that making a change to a program that is working is unsettling, but that the district is looking at other ways to make up for the loss of the positions.

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at

More News

Sex offender registry to see dramatic change in 2021

Two convicted child molesters were sentenced last week for failing to register as sex offenders, a consequence that could jeopardize their chances of getting...

Surviving the election: How to protect yourself from the stress of politics

We interrupt your latest binge of breaking political news, fear-provoking campaign commercials and angry posts from your favorite pundit to report that politics can...

Social Media and Kids: What Parents Can Do to Ensure Safe Use

The negative effects of social media have been much discussed as of late, thanks to the recently released documentary on Netflix, “The Social Dilemma.” The...

FBN – Amedee’s Flower & Gift

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000080 Date filed: September 28, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: AMEDEE’S FLOWER & GIFT Business Address: 734 E. Street, Williams,...

Quilters serve local needs, fire victims

Had it not been for a coronavirus pandemic, the Pacific Flyway Quilters would have held their annual Community Service Giveaway Night with a little...

Local Government

Colusa Unified to address online etiquette

Sharing yourself with others inside your personal space has been a challenge to students in COVID times. That is what some students said about distance...

City grants permit for cannabis expansion

Colusa’s first cannabis nursery is now looking to expand operations to include full marijana cultivation. The Colusa City Council voted 4-1, on Sept. 15, to...

Local governments spending CARES to boost IT infrastructure

In order to reduce physical interaction between individuals in the era of Covid-19, local governments are using CARES Act funding to invest in better...

Public & Legal Notices

FBN – Terra Organics; Aurora Seeds

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000075 Date filed: September 23 2020 The following persons are doing business as: TERRA ORGANICS and AURORA SEEDS Business Address: 311 N. BUTTE...

FBN – Maribel’s Janitorial Service

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000076 Date filed: September 24, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: MARIBEL’S JANITORIAL SERVICE Business Address: 203 5TH STREET, ARBUCKLE, CA...

FBN – Market Street Grill

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000077 Date filed: September 25, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: MARKET STREET GRILL Business Address: 415 MARKET STREET, COLUSA, CA...

Notice Inviting Bids – Cortina Community Services District

CORTINA COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT NOTICE INVITING BIDS Sealed bids received by the undersigned will be opened at the Arbuckle Golf Club, 5918 Hillgate Rd., Arbuckle,...

Notice of Petition of Administer Estate of Loyd Paul Locvich

NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE OF LOYD PAUL LOCVICH Case Number PR8246 To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise be interested...