Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NSSLHA Meeting 1/28 Notes

Happy New Year! We just had a successful first NSSLHA meeting of the year this past Monday, featuring our guest speaker, alumna Susan Simon, SLP and recruiter for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). She has been working for LAUSD since 1998, and came to speak with us about the benefits of working for a school district, and for LAUSD. 

Here are some snippets from our meeting:

LAUSD is the second largest school district in the United States, covering about 700 square miles, and employing 450 SLPs and 25 SLPAs.

Benefits of working with LAUSD include:
·      Caseload variety: The 700 square miles cover schools that have inner city urban areas, suburban areas, cutting edge and lab schools, dual language immersion schools and special education schools. Clients range from 3 to 22 years of age. The entire continuum of speech and language services is self-supported within the LAUSD. You would have the opportunity to fill out surveys at the end of each school year to request for a change of setting, thus developing and expanding as you work with new types of caseloads.
·      Opportunities for advancement and leadership opportunities: Besides moving horizontally in the school-based SLP field by requesting a variety of disorder areas to work with, you can also move vertically. LAUSD has a program on site in LAUSD campuses to get your administrative credential through CSULA or CSUN.
·      CFY and RPE supervision: 9 months of clinical supervision, with a supervisor available to answer your questions during your new transition from student to clinician.
·      New therapist orientation and support: There is an intense training to guide you as a new therapist, and help you with scheduling your clients.
·      District Sponsored CEUs: The state of CA has licensed LAUSD to provide CEUs. You would need 12 units per year, or 24 every two years.
·      Web-based IEPs and a provided laptop: All records for clients are now web-based, so all related professionals are going through the same files. This benefits you with a bigger picture of the client. A company provided laptop allows you to document daily from your site.
·      Collaboration with other related professionals: Work with a team consisting of a teacher, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a school nurse and a behavioral specialist to work together and problem solve for language and literacy prevention and intervention services.
·      The latest therapy materials: assessment and curriculum based therapy materials are provided, so you do not need to buy your own!
·      Competitive salaries: scroll down for detailed salary information
·      Paid holiday and illness leave: Sick leave is rolled over and banked when unused. If you use them up, there are half-days available. Sick leave follows you in the state of CA, so it will transfer with you if you relocate to another district.
·      District paid medical, dental and vision insurance: for the employee, a spouse or domestic partner, and up to 25 dependents.
·      District paid life insurance
·      State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) membership: After 5 years, you are guaranteed by the state of CA, a monthly income upon your retirement until death. That amount is based on how many years you have served, your age at retirement, and your highest salary. 8% of your salary is taken off your gross pay, pre-tax, and placed into an account where the money is invested. This is unlike a 401K, where the money can decrease. The money is invested so you get interest on it. See www.calsters.com for more information.
·      Loan Forgiveness Program: There is up to a $17,500 federal loan forgiveness program in effect for those who dedicate 5 years to work in Title 1 schools.
·      Los Angeles Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program and Credit Union

Employment requirements:
·      Masters degree in SLP or COMD
·      Eligibility for CA SLP or SLP credential
·      CBEST
·      Successful interview
·      Health and TB clearance
·      Fingerprint clearance
·      2 sets of transcripts from each school you have attended
·      Employment eligibility documents
·      Selection by the Speech and Language Program for assignment
·      Letters of recommendation

Salary: for 180 work days, 10 weeks off in the summer, a winter and a spring break.
·      Starting: $61,433
·      2nd year: $64,000
·      3rd year: $68,000
·      4th year: $72,000
·      5th year: $76,000

Additional notes and advice from Susan:
·      Always ask about the CF year, and the salary during your CFY to all prospective employers. Not all companies will have a competitive CF salary.
·      Take your CBEST now! She has seen many applicants postpone taking the exam, and end up losing their offered positions. Take the exam as early as possible. It is not a hard exam, and it is good forever.
·      Be aware of the differences between working with a school district vs. an agency. School districts offer union protection to grieve a caseload if it is over 55. Agencies do not provide this protection.

CSU Scholarship opportunity:
Currently, they are offering scholarship stipends for graduate students that are graduating by August 2014 a $5,000 scholarship stipend that is tax-free. Student teaching with LAUSD is available. There is a 2-year employment commitment. Email Susan for more information.

Contact information:
Susan Simon

SLPA jobs: www.lausdjobs.org

Early turnout, we ended up with a great crowd of about 80 students!
Some of our favorite 2nd year Graduate SLP students.
NSSLHA meetings make us smile!
Susan Simon talks shop with Mr. Paulson

Thank you Susan Simon for dedicating your time to speaking to us!

Hope to see everyone at the next meeting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013