The Alternative Schools Coalition of Seattle
Monday, March 23 2009
Potluck at 6:00 PM
Meeting 7:00- 8:00 PM
At TOPS K-8 2500 Franklin Ave East
A coalition building event in anticipation of the audit of alternative education in Seattle Public Schools
Please personally invite friends from other alternative schools and programs: those facing closure or change, those burned out but still caring students, families, teachers, supporters, principals, all are welcome. Numbers will count as we face the next challenge.
Follow up information from March 9th meeting.
Focused small group discussion of common ground between programs using the Seattle School Board Policy C54.00 on Alternative Education and report back to group at large.
Potluck A-F Treats G-Z Hearty Salads
We need help with small items like plates etc… Call Marilyn 722-0793
Here is a link to the FAQ. In the optional schools sections the question is
Will the District support optional schools under these recommendations?
Currently called alternative, non-traditional, and/or K-8 schools, optional schools offer a range of choices to students from across the District. We have asked the Council of Great City Schools to conduct an audit of our alternative schools so that we can better define the programs, assignment guidelines, and transportation choices available to families. We expect their work to begin in Spring 2009.
Does the district's word choice of "optional schools" reveal a lack of support for alt schools? An AS#1 parent sent the following letter to the Superintendent and Board:
Dear Directors and Superintendent,
I am writing in hopes that the terminology used in the latest FAQ's about the new student assignment plan is not set in stone. I find the term "optional schools" to have a negative connotation, and I think it will be yet another obstacle to success for many schools across the district. "Optional" to me says: unnecessary, not needed, excess, weak, disposable.
I understand the need to combine several types of schools into one category for assignment purposes, but I hope the district will find a way to present it to the public as a positive and exciting feature of Seattle Public Schools that people would not get in another district. SPS is a great place for education because of its unique offerings and because of its structure, which takes into consideration the needs of each family and each child. I hope the district will not belittle its own accomplishments by labeling these important schools as "optional".
Some other terms that would be much more suitable, leaving the negative connotation behind:
Please, I hope you'll take this seriously. Terminology that is not carefully planned can easily sabotage a product's success in business; the same is true for our schools. Not everyone can look past the cover of a book, and this change will negatively impact schools that are enrolled through the choice process.