Monday, November 30, 2015

Show Your Kids; Trying and Not Succeeding is not the same as Failing

This was tweeted by J.K. Rowling:

Speaking as someone who would never have succeeded if she hadn't first failed on a grand scale, I enjoyed this.

Revised ESEA - Please Let Our Congressional Reps Know Your Concerns

The vote on the next version of No Child Left Behind is coming up for a vote this week, first in the Senate and then, next week, in the House.  

There are several issues that have come to my attention via Diane Ravitch and the Network of Public Education.

Here's a link to all the Washington State representatives and senators.  E-mail is great but there is also great value in calling their offices and registering your vote.  (I interned for an Arizona senator once and my job was taking phone calls from constituents on issues of the day.  They registered every single call.)

However you do it, PLEASE contact our congressional reps on this vote.  When you do, please note to them that this is a much better bill than the original.

Asking for Patience and the Ability to Ignore

Gentle readers.

I turned off the comment moderation.  I don't like it,  you don't like it and so we'll go back to the way we have done it since this blog started.

Most of you have noticed that we now have a person (and most of us know who it is) that blames me for his shortcomings in life.  He is being vicious and unkind and some of you even find his comments to be threatening to me.  That he has even stooped to saying hurtful things about my late husband speaks volumes about his lack of character and humanity.

Not to worry; I don't.

What I ask is for your patience AND to please ignore him.  Do not answer anything he says.  Answering him will only egg him on.

While I'm sure this immature behavior is the highlight of his day, let's not give him any kind of attention.

If we ignore him, he has no audience. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Middle College Continues Its Steady Decline

Is there an explanation for how quickly Middle College is sliding downward in just a matter of months?  And, with very little in the way of real explanation to the SPS community?

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, December 1nd
Oath of Office for the four new members of the Seattle School Board.  JSCEE auditorium from
5-6 pm.

If I had to guess committee choices for new Board members, I'd guess that Leslie Harris would like either be on the Executive or Audit&Finance committee and Scott Pinkham, Rick Burke and Jill Geary would like Curriculum&Instruction. 

Wednesday, December 2rd
School Board Meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda

(And into the fire quickly for those four new members. It's always fun to see them figure out the microphones as well as see where each member gets seated.)

- Native American program annual review
- Board self-evaluation narrative.   I liked this line:

Directors also noted the need to strengthen how the Board ensures accountability for progress on the Strategic Plan. 
This is interesting.

At the November 10 work session, Directors discussed the progress the Board has made from previous behaviors and improvements in understanding their roles and in reconciling diversity of opinions. Directors noted it took time for them to understand the governance tools and how to use them to bring about change for which Directors are looking. 

Results on this goal varied by individual Director. Most are very good at understanding the delegation of authority documented in Board policies while others micromanage when they do not agree with a decision. Not all Directors appear to feel bound by the Communications Protocol or respect the confidentiality of executive sessions. The Board has not yet found a mechanism to enforce the Code of Conduct, confidentiality agreements, and the Communications Protocol. 
- Election of Board officers: President, Vice-President and Member-at-Large.   I look for Sue Peters or Betty Patu to be elected to be Board President/Vice-President.  
- Approval of Continuous School Improvement Plans (C-SIPs).  

A School Board’s annual approval of schools certifies to the State that each school has a school improvement plan in place. School improvement plans must be data driven, promote a positive impact on student learning, and include a continuous improvement process for monitoring, adjusting, and updating the plan. Each building’s Continuous School Improvement Plan (C-SIP) includes all of these elements.

All of our schools have current 2015-17 Continuous School Improvement Plans, or C-SIPs, on file at the schools, with their Executive Directors of Schools, and in the Grants office. All C-SIPs are also posted online on our district website.

All schools have updated their C-SIPs based on student data from spring 2015 by November 6, 2015. C-SIPs are working documents and will be adjusted during the year as additional data is made available to schools (e.g. Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) data, graduation data, attendance data).
All revised C-SIPs will be uploaded to the district website by December 2, 2015.
Thursday, December 3rd
Executive Committee meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm, Board conference room at JSCEE.  Agenda not yet available.

Saturday, December 5th 
Board retreat.   JSCEE from 10 am-3 pm. Agenda not yet available.

This should be interesting to see how various members establish themselves vis a vis senior staff.  I am of the mind that since the name of this event is "Board" retreat that the Board themselves should decide what should be discussed/worked on.  Just a thought.

Sunday Open Thread

Sorry, I just flaked out on Friday.

I am reading and posting all comments (but the amount of spam we get is pretty amazing.)

What's on your mind?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Former Chief Sealth Principal Passes Away

Update: I am attempting to get info on Mr. Kinsey's services but the West Seattle Blog has nothing nor have I found anything listed elsewhere.  Several former students have contacted me about wanting to attend any services so if you learn anything, please post it here.

end of update.

Sad news from the WestSeattle Blog:

Small Business Saturday ( and don't forget your local bookseller)

As reported at Crosscut:
After the big box madness that has become Black Friday is the totally lovable celebration of Small Business Saturday. Saturday also acts as Indies First, a day to show your love for local booksellers and meet authors as they talk to you about books at the counter of your local bookstore. Sherman Alexie, the mastermind behind the event, will be at Elliott Bay offering book recommendations, Book Larder will be hosting a bunch of local cookbook authors (including Renee Erickson), and there will be a YA panel and sci-fi panel at University Bookstore. Don’t forget about Ravenna Third Place, Phinney Books, and Ada’s Technical Books, among others, and make this holiday one where you give the gift of books (I’m pretty excited to give my sisters an adult coloring book and Humans of New York: Stories).
Big shout-out to Ada's Technical Books, one of the coolest bookstores around.

I also endorse the coloring books for adults (but I have not yet seen an "adult" coloring book).  Coloring can be very zen thing that is good for all kinds of emotions including grief.

Lastly, yes, Amazon is a cheap bookstore and I have not seen their U Village bookstore but please, let's keep our real independent booksellers alive and well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving; this blog is thankful for all our readers.

Two fun things, one for vegetarians and one from Ellen for the hope that is education. 

Kids really are little sponges.  "My little brain just remembers." 

Good News in Seattle Public Schools

A wonderful story from KING-5 news - Franklin High School was the surprise receipt of $17K worth of new band instruments via Stub Hub/Mr Holland's Opus Foundation.  Music teacher Geoff Ogle made it happen and, looking at the faces of his students, they are happy he did. 

Orca K-8 put in a new playground.  According to district Communications:
The project is the culmination of a handful of funding partners including Orca PTSA, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, King County, the Norcliffe Foundation, Windermere, Microsoft and hundreds of volunteers who helped put it all together.
 Good work to all those parents and community members who made this happen.

Big shout-out to Garfield High's football coach, Derek Sparks, an award from Angels in Sports,  for his hard work in supporting student athletes.  Angels in Sports is a non-profit org for "high striving underprivileged youth applicants that require assistance in achieving their athletic and academic goals." 

Middle School Ultimate Frisbee news:

- Aki Kurose, A pool champions
- Madison, the A2 pool champions
- South Shore K-8, the B pool champions
- Hamilton, 6thA champions
- Hazel Wolf K-8, 6th B champions
- Salmon Bay and Washington, Co-Spirit champions

Aerial shot of the work for the Hazel Wolf K-8 building from NAC Architecture

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