Tonight is the first Board meeting in a couple of months. Pretty full agenda but only 10 speakers signed up (including me). As Charlie noted elsewhere, the Curriculum and Instruction committee (more on this later) meeting on Monday had 3 Board members, lots of staff and 3-4 parents/community members. Charlie was the only SB candidate there. I put that in my notes because here we have the Board starting up with work, work that affects many students (they talked about giving high school credits to middle school students and the high school curriculum alignment among other things).
Wouldn't you think that would be something candidates would want to get up to speed on? I'll be interested to see how many candidates from yesterday's primary who are moving on to the general election will attend tonight's Board meeting (besides Mary Bass).
Agenda items include:
-Superintendent's report with a MAP update
- the first public report by our new CAO, Susan Enfield, on the math implementation
- Don Kennedy talking about BEX projects (probably about Hale and the water damage due to insufficient tarping of the building)
-Title One purchase of supplementary materials up to $1.1M for 500-book libraries in all 3-5 classrooms (does 500 seem like a large number for a classroom?)
-"2009/10 Capacity Management Recommendations for West Seattle –
Approval of this item will authorize the district to extend school bus transportation service for students in the West Seattle North Cluster to all elementary schools in West Seattle South, except Concord and consider space in West Seattle South, except Concord, as cluster space available for assignment of West Seattle North students." This sounds like something didn't quite go right. The explanation:
"This would mean that incoming kindergarten students could ride the bus with older siblings who were reassigned to those schools without requiring families to go through the “space
available” process. "
So apparently there was some hitch for moving Cooper kids who had incoming kindergarten sibs. This measure would mean 2 extra buses (which they say would be one year only but I don't get how that could be).
- application for federal money that would be a bond that only the principal would have to paid off (called QSCB by the feds). They want to apply for between $20-40M that would be used under BTA II projects. Great news for the district that this is available given how far behind we have fallen on our maintenance.
-an important item for parents with students with allergies. The Legislature passed a bill (now law, RCW 28A.210.380) that requires the district and parents to do several things relating to a student's allergy. The parent has to notify the district, in writing, of the medically diagnosed allergy and possibly of anaphylaxis. The school nurse, with the parents, writes an Individual Health Plan.
"The principal or school nurse may arrange a meeting (or telephone call) with the parent/guardian
prior to the first day of attendance to develop and discuss the IHP. The plan will be developed by
the school nurse with input from the parent/guardian, health care provider, and appropriate
school staff. If the treatment plan includes self-administration of medications, the plan will
follow Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication Procedure.
Annually and prior to the first day of attendance, the student health file will contain: (1) a
completed nursing care plan; (2) a written description of the treatment order, signed by a licensed health care provider; and (3) an adequate and current supply of auto-injectors (or other medications). The parents/guardians are responsible for notifying the school if the student’s condition changes, for providing the Authorization for Medication order, the unexpired ordered medications. The school nurse may also request a signed Consent to Exchange Information related to the life threatening allergy and complicating conditions such as asthma. Even without this signed permission it is understood that the nurse has the right and duty to communicate with the prescribing provider to assure an appropriate plan of care for the student."
Students who do not have life-saving medications can be excluded from school.
"This exclusion will continue until the needed medication is provided or a provider indicates in writing that the child does not have a life threatening allergy."
This was supposed to be done (getting the health plans in place) before school. But the Board and the district are getting it done by next Board meeting (when they vote on it). There are no penalties from the state for being late.
-I will be speaking on a grant from the Stuart Foundation for between $380,000-$800,000 to "support system-wide leadership development". The first year is already approved $380,000 with the second funding dependent on reaching certain milestones.
There are a few key issues here. One is this:
"No mandated match – current district resources cover approximately 22% of the project’s costs"
I'm unclear. We are paying 22% of the projects costs? For professional development for principals? When we are getting $800,000 for the project? How much is this really going to cost?
Two is the heading; Policy Implications: none.
Really? This seems to be a belief in the district that we should all be glad for "free" money and look the other way about the beliefs of foundations like the Stuart Foundation and Broad Foundation.
Kids, there is no free lunch. Anywhere except at your mom's house.
These foundations expect something and both are BIG charter supporters. These foundations call themselves "venture philanthropists" or "entrepreunerial philanthropists". The Broad Foundation says:
"We expect a return on our investment.”
“The Broad Residency expects that school districts will hire Residents permanently.”
You’ll note that word “expect”. Not wishes, not hopes, but expects. You should take that seriously and not be surprised when Dr. Goodloe-Johnsons explains that yes, the Foundation wants something back for this "free" stuff they give us.
I hear that steady drumbeat of charter schools and I just want transparency in why we are building these relationships and what the expectations are on both ends.