Sunday, December 14, 2008

This Week's Meetings

Here's a round-up of meetings this week (if I missed one, please let me know and I will add it):

December 17th - School Board Meeting at 6 p.m. Should be a dogfight for speaking seats as schools try to get their voices heard as many times as possible. Signups starting 8 a.m. tomorrow via e-mail or by phone 252-0040.

Public hearings on closures will be held at buildings proposed for closure from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the days and locations below. Sign-ups via phone (252-0042) or email will be accepted until 12:00 noon on the day of the hearing. After that time, if spaces are available, they will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis at the site of the hearing. Interpreters will be available at the hearings to assist individuals who need those services.

Monday, Dec. 15, 2008
▪ T.T. Minor - 1700 E. Union St. (13 people signed up to speak)
▪ Pinehurst – 11530 12th Ave. N.E. (19 people signed up to speak)
▪ Van Asselt - 7201 Beacon Ave. S. (4 people signed up to speak)

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008
▪ Genesee Hill - 5012 S.W. Genesee St. (23 people signed up to speak)
▪ Mann – 2410 E. Cherry St. (29 people signed up to speak)
▪ Old Hay - 411 Boston St. (none)

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008
▪ Lowell – 1058 E. Mercer St. (22 people signed up to speak)

Public testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per speaker, and should focus on the school building about which the hearing is being held. To sign up to give testimony, please call (206) 252-0042 or e-mail hearing@seattleschools.org.

My predictions:

Most Tense - Genesee Hill Building (Pathfinder) There seems to be mounting anger from Cooper towards Arbor Heights (a feeling that Cooper got thrown under the bus) and somewhat towards Pathfinder (for not sticking with them in saying Pathfinder won't accept any building that displaces another program). All that plus we are talking about 3 different schools meeting in one room.

Smallest - Old Hay/Van Asselt - I don't know what Secondary BOC folks think about their move. When I toured the school, I was told by staff that while the neighborhood had been very embracing, they really needed to move their program to be where students come from (central/SE). With Van Asselt, well they are getting a pretty good building not far from their building.

Saddest - AS#1 - I think these folks feel very worried about their program. Closing it leaves the district with the issue of where its students would go but they have far fewer students than Summit which is likely the bigger issue for the district.

Largest - Lowell - Between Lowell parents, Montlake parents, and Thurgood Marshall parents (with large and dedicated numbers), you're likely to see big numbers and a clash of the titans with many articulate parents coming to the mike. (If you go, do see how many parents from Montlake mention being lawyers or bringing a lawsuit - something akin to how many times Palin would say maverick in a speech.) Don't know if the district will have a separate hearing about Montlake's building but I suspect so since it is the law.

Most Passionate - Nova(Mann) - Thought it would be Lowell/Montlake? You've likely never heard from Nova students, parents, teachers and alums. Last closures the CAC got the most e-mail from Nova and a lot of it from alums. Now the district isn't closing their program but students love their old building (wonder how the staff feels) and it's a point of pride for them.

7 comments:

zb said...

My prediction is that they'll set out a bunch of chairs (n(people)-1) and start playing music sporadically. The school that is left without a chair looses their building. Take away one chair, and start the music again, repeat until all the schools are gone. Then, the last one with a chair wins.

I swear that the process is starting to resemble a children's game.

(and, I'm unaffected enough that I can watch it with some amusement in spite of the underlying dismay).

Melissa 'Liss' Cain said...

You're not joking about Nova! I have been so utterly impressed with the Nova students that I've ran into everywhere. I want Summit to remain in existence, but if my son has to go somewhere else (he's in the program specifically mentioned as moving to Nova), Nova will be a great place for him.

AEB said...

I am a Montlake parent for the past 8 years now experiencing my third round of closures. I am amazed at how quickly people who are not familiar with the school or community are to characterize it unfairly. Not once have I heard a Montlake parent threaten a lawsuit. Montlake has a diverse student and parent population that includes some incredibly hard working and dedicated advocates for quality public schools for all children in Seattle. When you make unfounded, misinformed comments like this it only contributes to the partisan rancor that impedes constructive dialogues and real solutions.

Beth Bakeman said...

I agree, AEB. We need all parents to assume the best of others during this process, and work together wherever possible.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, I said that about Montlake because during my CAC work I was responsible for reading all the e-mails and presenting a summary to the Committee. Many of the Montlake e-mails referenced a lawsuit or sender being a lawyer; it was startling because there were very few other e-mails that referenced suing the district. So my remark was neither unfounded nor misinformed. Whether that happens this time around I have no idea as only the Board and the Superintendent read their mail.

Danny K said...

There is a meeting at WMS tonight, 12/15/08 at 7:30 PM, to discuss the proposed APP split.

The questions were submitted in advance, but the answers are live.

Danny K said...

Just to clarify my previous post: this is a community meeting, I don't know if anybody from the district will be there.