Tomorrow marks exactly one month until school starts (sorry). The district, as usual, powers down during the summer but there are things starting up as well as things that should be showing up (and aren't).
For example, the teachers union, SEA, has resumed contract negotiations with the district. Their deadline is August 31. The union has a general meeting scheduled on that day. (More on this issue in a separate thread.) Keep in mind that if they don't reach agreement, we could have a strike. No one wants that to happen.
The Board is also powering back up and has an Executive Committee meeting tomorrow with different committee meetings coming at the end of the week and into next week. The next School Board meeting is Wednesday, August 19th. Director Carr is having a community meeting next Saturday the 15th (no details on where).
What's missing? Well, what's up with the new Student Assignment Plan and specifically, the boundary maps? I had spoken to Tracy Libros earlier in the summer about some issues with the SAP and asked her about presentations for the boundary maps. She was vague about when this would happen. I asked her to please NOT do it in one week in August. She seemed a bit surprised by this request and said they did always do one presentation on a Saturday. I gently warned her that if the district and the Board don't want people to come with pitchforks and torches to the Board meetings, they might want to consider having a longer rollout of the boundary maps.
Is it really fair to do the presentations during one week during the last days of summer (if that's even happening)? The most important presentation for families in the district and they may follow their usual plan of a series of meetings over one week?
Or will they wait until say, the second week of school (nothing's going on with families then)?
I feel strongly that the district and the Board HAVE to give time for people to assess these maps and have an obligation to allow input in a meaningful way. It can't be a done deal when the district finishes their work - it needs to be "done" when parents have been given time to view the maps (either at a presentation or online) and give feedback. The volume and consistency of what the Board hears from parents should matter (or at least give them pause before they sign off on the maps).
The reason I press this point is that just like all things district, this one's on a timetable. They HAVE to get everything published in the student assignment guides and that information likely needs to get to a printer by late September in order to hand them out in November so that folks can enroll in January (assuming they are still enrolling in January).