Thursday, April 26, 2018

Superintendent-Select Juneau Speaks (and other SPS stories)

It wasn't the most exciting press conference this morning with Denise Juneau, the newly-signed superintendent-select.  But she did do one thing that I think even some of the jaded cameramen were surprised at - she shook hands with everyone in the room.

My takeaway from her comments:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

OSPI Wants Input

State Superintendent Chris Rykdal is seeking input on two areas.

Superintendent-Select Juneau to Attend Tonight's Board Meeting

Update from last night's Seattle School Board meeting via district communications:
Starting July 1, Denise Juneau will become the next superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. The seven-member school board voted tonight to approve the contract it negotiated with Ms. Juneau since announcing her as their preferred candidate on April 4.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Of Interest From the Times

Robert Eagle Staff Middle Schools, Licton Springs K-8 and Cascadia Elementary are all relatively near Aurora and North 90th which makes this very close to the tiny home housing for homeless addicts, the subject of this recent article in the Times.

Tuesday Open Thread

The Washington Policy Center is have their "SolutionsSummit 2018" soon.  Among their discussion sections is education where they say, "How public charter schools are helping kids and saving money."  Wait, what?  I hear a LOT of whining from the right about how charters don't get as much money from states as traditional schools and now it's "we do more with less?"  Hmmm.

I attended the City Council's Select Committee on the Families and Education levy meeting yesterday.  Not great.  First, there was a pretty big crowd for 10:30 am; most people appeared to be those who work for non-profits in support of childcare, pre-K and public education sectors.  Many people signed up to speak as did I.  Usually, the public comments come first or just a little later but co-chair Rob Johnson announced that first there would be a pre-K presentation,then a K-12 presentation and THEN public comment.  He said, "Around noon."  Amazing that he thinks that all these people can sit for nearly two hours before addressing the Council.  I also note how confidently Early Learning head, Monica Aguirre, spoke about working with the district to find more pre-K space. 

Interestingly, CM Sally Bagshaw pointed out that there was not a lot of extra space anywhere in the district and Aguirre backpedaled and said they were looking for space in community centers.  The City didn't look for space in their own buildings first?  Bagshaw went on to note that School Board President Leslie Harris was in the audience.  There were only eight CMs there and six of them continued to look at their computer screens when she made that statement.  I thought that blindingly rude to not even acknowledge President Harris' presence.  Makes me wonder how those negotiations on working with the City will go.

Also on that note, I attended the Executive Committee meeting last week where it is discussed about needing to up the money for consultants who are guiding the process of the City and the district deciding on their partnership for Memorial Stadium and a possible downtown school.  This work is from April-August, 2018 with Triangle Associates.  Each side is paying $160K.  It also includes "public engagement" of three whole meetings and yet oddly, does not list "the public" or "taxpayers" as an audience for the public engagement plan.  Of course, there are very specific audiences for this work but these are two public entities that get their money to run from taxpayers.  Might be nice to include them.

To look for at tomorrow night's Board meeting:

- the long-promised presentation from the African American Male Advisory Committee
- intro and action on the contract for Denise Juneau, the superintendent-select
-guiding principles for BEX V (I have a copy of the ones for BEX IV so I look forward to comparing them)
- intro of a contract for a voice network from the Death Star named Black Box company for over $3.5M.
- intro of a BAR that would expand Native American Educational programming. 

Congrats to Cleveland and Ballard High Schools for their achievements in journalism excellence.
Members of Cleveland STEM and Ballard High School Journalism Programs attended the National High School Journalism Convention April 12-14 in San Francisco, California. Sponsored by National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), the semi-annual convention was the gathering place for over 5000 high school journalists from across the country. 

The Best of Show competition is held at all national conventions sponsored by the NSPA. Ballard High’s student newspaper, Talisman, won second place and “Vantage Point,” Cleveland High’s TV news broadcast, made the top ten in the competition. The Cleveland Publication (CPub) staff submitted an episode that examined gentrification in Seattle’s south end.
 What's on your mind?

Monday, April 23, 2018

It's Testing Time; Opting Out?

This is a notice from an elementary school.  That's a lot of time for sitting for a test.

Image may contain: text

Seattle Schools, Week of April 23-28, 2018

Monday, April 23rd
Lincoln High School Community Meeting,  
Hamilton International Middle School from 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Revisiting the vision
  • Updates on the building
  • Introduction of teachers
  • Reviewing Course Pathways
  • Forming Parent group
2019 School Levies Community Meeting 
Seattle World School, 6:30-8:15 pm

At the community meetings, district staff members will present information, collect input and feedback, and answer questions. Interpreters will be available by request. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from an interpreter at a community meeting, please email us at

BEX V Capital Levy:
Operations Levy:

More information, including a Levies 2019 Planning Timeline, is available on our school levies webpage.  

Tuesday, April 24rd
2019 School Levies Community Meeting 
Jane Addams Middle School, 6:30-8:15 pm

Wednesday, April 25th
Board meeting starting at 4:15 pm, agenda.

Thursday, April 26th
2019 School Levies Community Meeting
Salmon Bay K-8, 6:30-8:15 pm

Saturday April 28th
Family Partnerships Task Force, JSCEE, room 2750 from 9:00am to noon.

Director Community Meetings

Director Patu at Raconteur, 9:30-11:00 am
Director Pinkham at Northgate Library, 12:30-2:00 pm
Director Harris at Delridge Library, 3:00-5:00 pm

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Three times in a decade - yet another Washington State teacher has been named nationally as the Teacher of the Year.  Congrats to Mandy Manning, a teacher at Ferris High School in Spokane.
Manning joins Jeff Charbonneau (2013) and Andrea Peterson (2007) as the third National Teacher of the Year from Washington state in the past decade.

In addition to teaching English and math to refugee and immigrant students, Manning also coaches fastpitch and girls basketball, advises the writing club, and co-advises the Gay-Straight Alliance.

Manning regularly hosts new teaching candidates, district leaders, school board directors, and legislators in her classroom to experience an inclusive environment and her student-first attitude. As a National Board Certified Teacher, Mandy is an ambassador and facilitator who encourages and guides fellow educators to connect with students and to continually improve their practice.
Batter up!  Good news for SPS kids via SPS Communications:

National School Walk Out Day for Gun Safety

I'll be watching the student walk-out at Roosevelt High this morning for the National School Walk Out Day for Gun Safety.  It is also a remembrance of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shootings that killed 13 people.
The event, which grew out of a petition on, comprises more than 2,000 walkouts nationwide, with at least one planned in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

Students are expected to exit their school buildings for the day. Organizers have called on people to wear orange, a color that has become associated with the gun control movement.
From Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School leader, David Hogg via Twitter:
Remember after you guys walk out, volunteer! Spend the rest of your day working in your community. This is also a day of service in remembrance of the Columbine Victims.
The Network for Public Education is urging folks to send emails to their congressional representatives.  They have made it very easy to do in one place.

Send an email to Congress that demands that your representatives take action to stop gun violence in schools.  Just click here.

Use this excellent Action Alert tool developed by NASSP that allows you to easily call your representatives with a "click." 

Post this link:  on your Facebook page and put a frame on your profile picture. To do so, just click on the link below.  

Let's join with our students and let our politicians know that we need sensible gun policies  to keep our schools and our streets free of gun violence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GoFundMe for Professional Development for Teacher for 2E Students

 Via Facebook:

Teachers in Seattle public schools receive very little to no training in Gifted and Twice Exceptional (2e)* students education. In the meantime, all research points to the fact that especially these children require a deeper kind of learning and engagement  - and in the absence of this they disengage, fall through the cracks or worse.

We are a group of parents of gifted and 2e  students that want to see our kids' amazing potential realized, both for their well being and that of Society at large - and we know that teachers are the ones best positioned to make a difference for these children!

We would like to send at least one Seattle Public School teacher to an outstanding professional development provided by Bridges Academy's premier research center for understanding and teaching the growing population of 2e students.

Mayor Durkan to Announce Her Education Plan Today

 Update: here's the link to the Mayor's plan.  Here's a link to the video of her announcement today I have not watched it yet.)

I want to note that Mayor Murray - in his Education Plan - said he was going to end homelessness for Seattle children by the end of 2017.  (He later denied saying that but it's on the videotape of the event and in the City's materials.)  Durkan's plan says:

Increase K-12 and community investments to close the opportunity gap, increase teacher diversity, provide support services including for students experiencing homelessness, and help students most at risk of dropping out of school;

More modest.  It would seem to me - of all that the Mayor and the City Council and city leaders could promise to do - ending homelessness for children is one big measure about this issue that they could get done.

It appears the number the Mayor wants to go for in combining the Families and Education levy and the Pre-K levy is about $635M which is more than double what the two combined is today.  I'm a bit shocked but Councilman Burgess went for broke in doubling the F&E levy last time so maybe there's a sense that it can be done.  I think it's a bad idea and I think the Mayor is trying to bite off more than she can chew.  

Look for the size of the Department of Education and Early Learning to grow exponentially if this passes.

end of update

I attended the Levy Oversight Committee meeting yesterday for the City's Families and Education Levy where there was a sneak peek at the Mayor's Education Plan.  The Mayor is planning an to discuss the "contours of the levy" today at 11:35(?) am at the Miller Community Center; it should be airing on Seattle Channel as well.