Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Fun and Help

From Seattle Public Library:

- Summer of Learning Early Learning
- Summer of Learning for Kids
- Teen Book Bingo
- Adult Book Bingo

From the City of Seattle:

The City of Seattle funds a summer meal program, providing no-cost breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for kids and teens ages 1-18 years. The 2018 program runs from Tuesday June 26, 2018 through August 24, 2018. 

Summer Fun for Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids

Help Your Anxious Child

Special Olympics in Seattle  
July 1st 

Free summer concert line-ups, info from Red Tricycle

Free outdoor movies , info from Red Tricycle

Regal Theaters is having cheap ($1) movies on Tuesday/Wednesday mornings.

Olympic Sculpture Park - free fun every Thursday night; live music and an activity for the kids, starting July 12th.  Saturdays, they have free yoga in the morning and Zumba in the afternoon.

Free bowling for kids

Free showings of World Cup games in Pioneer Square

From King County:

This summer, kids and teens ages 18 and under can eat free at more than 200 sites throughout King County.

Meals are healthy, tasty, and available at participating parks, libraries, community centers, schools, and more. Most sites offer a combination of breakfast, lunch, and morning or afternoon snacks.

Community summer meal programs are open to all families without paperwork or registration — just drop in! Many programs also offer arts and crafts, games, and hands-on educational activities to keep kids active and engaged all summer long.

Celebrate the free Summer Meals program at a free, all-ages field day near you. Enjoy a bounce house, music, and free games and activities for the whole family, including face painting, crafts, an obstacle course, and more! A free lunch will be provided to all kids, teens, and adults.

Date Time Location Address
Thursday, June 28 Noon – 3 p.m. Roxhill Park 2850 SW Roxbury St. Seattle, WA 98126
Thursday, July 12 Noon – 3 p.m. Northacres Park 12718 1st Ave NE, Seattle WA 98125
Thursday, July 26 Noon – 3 p.m. Othello Park 4351 S. Othello St, Seattle WA 98118

Friday Open Thread

Last day of school, always a mixed feeling.  I have to smile looking at the window at this typical "summer" day for the last day of school. 

The district will be participating in the Gay Pride Parade this Sunday:

All students, staff, families, and friends are invited to join Seattle Public Schools in the Seattle Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24 at 11 a.m. 

You can ride on the yellow school bus float or march alongside. We will provide snacks and fun items you can hand out to the crowd. Meet at the parade staging area on 4th Avenue early if you would like participate. The parade ends at Seattle Center where there will be a rally, music, food, and entertainment. 

Surprised to see this but there is Work Session scheduled for Monday the 25th from 4:30-6:30 on BEX V.  

I'll have a separate thread but apparently the Trump administration wants to merge the Department of Labor and Department of Education.  Something about overlapping interests, cost-cutting but really, it's much more about aligning education to work. 

Again, there is a huge difference between educating and training and we need education to have citizens who are not only productive but also able to have the skills to vote and participate in civic life.  Not be told how to vote or who to vote for or what is real news or fake news but to be able to do those important items themselves.

Given the events of the past weeks on immigration, I don't believe a word being said by this Administration nor do I trust their motives for this merger (which Congress would have to vote for and I'm not sure that can be done).

The issue of meetings around union contracts being open to the public is discussed here in an article from the Tri-City Herald where that district's school board is going to vote in July on opening those meeting up.

Apparently other districts are considering this and one, in Pullman, has done so.  Thoughts?

There are no director community meetings this weekend (and likely not again until August).

What's on your mind?

High School Science Updates (almost) Straight From the District

I was sent a couple of memos that went out from the head of the district's Science Department, MaryMargaret Welch.  Pretty eye-opening but more to the point, troubling.  It sounds like this whole revamping needs a reset (and some oversight by the Board).  I'll print the key memo at the end of this post but here are the concerning issues.

1) Physics A

In early May, Welch told one Science teacher this:

The adoption is fully funded.  Monies have been allocated for instructional materials purchase.
The application will be made available in the fall. Please watch the web site and do plan to apply.

However, it appears that schools may have thought this was an adoption and that the adoption had happened but neither thing is true.
Here's a reply from one school:

Thanks for the information. Consider the cost of PEER, 420 per unit per class, 3 units of phys A is 1260, 9 physics A classes in (BLANK) cost $11340 annually. We can’t afford even  half of the cost year after year.

2) Then there was a memo dated June 21st.  

- The head of the Science department says that they didn't know what kind of science budget high schools have.

We had NO idea the size of your building budgets. They are super small and it truly amazing how much you do with so little. We are a bit embarrassed that we even asked about the cost sharing when we found out how little you have for your entire department

- As well, she admits that  - probably for months - that some teachers didn't know what she was talking about because her communications were not clear on what an adoption is and what this current effort is.

Like these changes coming to high school sciences are not an adoption so it's not the same as one, including funding for resource materials.

- They will figure this out by the end of July?  Boy, that doesn't leave a lot of time for teachers to get up to speed on whatever materials are selected AND write lesson plans to work with those. 

- They want teachers to share class sets.  I'm not a teacher in a department but I'd lay odds that sharing is probably not an easy thing.

It would be helpful to get a quick head count per school who wants to use the PEER supplemental resources and how many class sets you need per school (doing your best to share class sets please).

It's unclear what is going to happen in high school science in the fall. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

National Education News

From Education Week:
The Trump administration, which is in the midst of a top-to-bottom review of the federal bureaucracy, is turning its eye on the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor, sources say, with the possibilities ranging from a shifting of some offices to an even more radical combining of the agencies.
Did you hear?  The first top tier public research university - the University of Chicago - says they don't care about your student having an SAT score.

From NPR's Education Roundup:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Families and Education Levy Approved by Council to Go Before Voters

The Times has an article about the City Council approving the levy sent by the Mayor (after some massaging by them).  The City Council cut back on how much the pre-K program would get, favoring programming already at SPS elementary schools.

Good Reflections from College Grads on High School and College

The first is an op-ed written by a recent college graduate, Grace Gedye, from the Los Angeles Times, about the stress that students have in college, The tough pre-college talk I wish my parents had initiated.

Tuesday Open Thread

Civics is coming back in a big way and hooray for that.  In this day and time, we need smart citizens.  The NY Times had this article today.

2018 Graduations Have Started

Image result for 2018 graduationBest wishes to all the families of Seattle Public Schools' grads.  It is a very exciting time and I hope each family feels the pride of seeing your child getting to the goal of graduation.  

Update on Kindergarten First Day Of School

I queried the district about this issue and this was their response:

Thank you for contacting Seattle Public Schools with your concerns about the overlap of Rosh Hashanah with the first day of Kindergarten. We acknowledge the difficult choice this presents for families who naturally want their children to be a part of significant observances in all aspects of their lives.

Like other districts, Seattle is working to reconcile operational exigencies like labor contracts with the traditions significant within an increasingly multicultural community. Our hope is to find a way, through opportunities afforded by our transition process, to make each child’s first day special, whenever it occurs - as you can see in a posting on the SPS home page

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hamilton Moves to Garfield Model for Spectrum Students

Or, at least, that is what the letter sent home by the principal would seem to indicate.  Then letter is printed in its entirety at the end of this post but I'll put out different statements.  (Also, fyi, Hamilton parents, that principal, Tipton Blish, is leaving.)

I've said this before - I might not have as much of a problem with the changes to Advanced Learning IF everyone at JSCEE was being honest about what they are doing.  Changes are not just a Thurgood Marshall thing or Garfield thing and now, Hamilton thing.  This is an Advanced Learning  program change.

And let me just say to those in the district who have anything to do with the program - what a bunch of cowards.  Stand up for what you believe and clearly explain it to ALL parents.  Don't use your principals as proxies.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Seattle Public Schools enters apparel agreement with Cloud 9

From Office of Public Affairs

SEATTLE – Seattle Public Schools announced a three-year deal today that makes Adidas the official athletic uniform partner for the district’s athletics program following a competitive bid process. The agreement with Cloud 9 Sports, which is an official Adidas distributor, will be in effect through the 2020-2021 school year.

Religious Accomodation in Public Schools

Sometimes it's hard to understand how SPS functions as it does.  I know (because I know the people) that SPS has many talented, bright people.  But then there's issues like the current upset over the 2018-2019 school calendar which has kindergarten starting on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).